The non finito, most observed in Renaissance times, refers to an artist’s unfinished sculpture or drawing. For example, Michelangelo’s renowned “prisoner” sculptures in Florence’s Academia show four human figures partially emerging from unfinished blocks of stone. This allegorical masterpiece conveys the human struggle to break free of matter or the soul imprisoned by the flesh.
There are several hypotheses regarding the reasons behind an artist’s unfinished works. I see these explanations as pertinent to our own lives, and wanted to share my thoughts with you, for whenever you might be feeling discouraged by life’s challenges.
First, the non finito might have been the result of the artist running out of funding and thus had to abandon the original plan.
Second, as was often the case with Michelangelo, the artist may have been unhappy with the way a project was turning out, and thus abandoned it to start over.
Third, an artist sometimes just lost passion for the current project and left it unfinished in order to start work on something completely new and fresh.
Many of us, over the past year have made important discoveries about ourselves, our work, and even about the relationships we have with the people in our lives. Other challenges might have included losing loved ones; feeling stagnant with respect to our hopes and dreams; or putting our mental and physical well-being on the back burner due to pandemic-related disruptions to our lives—in the form of job loss, weight gain, economic hardship, or losing the momentum that kept us excited about our lives. Yet, for a number of reasons, we may be reluctant to start over and let go of past patterns that no longer make us happy.
It is time to get UNSTUCK!
What if we envisioned our life as a non-finito project with infinite possibilities for continual learning, personal-development, and the resilience to start over again when we are not happy with where we are, or when we’ve run out of emotional (or physical) resources—or even just lost the passion we once had for the path we are currently on?
It’s called “change”, and if you feel you are ready to explore a new passion, here are 5 steps to break free from a block of stagnation and start carving out a fresh new direction towards greater personal fulfillment.
- Start with a clear and realistic vision of what you would like to achieve in 2022. Perhaps you want to change careers, learn a new language, get a higher paying job, lose weight, write a novel, or play a new instrument. Instead of just dreaming about them or jotting them down amongst a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions that are never fulfilled, you have the ability to make a plan and take action.
- Choose one goal you can get excited about. Limit it to one for now. Write a description of how it will make you feel to achieve that goal and imagine yourself having already attained it.
- Decide if you need learn a new skillset or get refresher training. You may want to sign up for an online course or learn through instructional YouTube videos.
- Now, with the skills you need, break that one target goal into small doable steps, with possible ways to reward yourself as you complete and achieve each step along the way.
- Monitor your progress and be flexible when you need to modify or break your steps down further.
To my lovely “non-finito” readers—I would love to know what goals you will be working on as the new year approaches. Feel free to share by writing a comment below.
May 2022 be the year you gain new momentum towards fulfilling your hopes and dreams—by making a plan to achieve them one by one. Remember that you are a beautiful work-in-progress with potential to continually develop your God-given potential.
©Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D., LLC 2021
BONUS—Enjoy my latest column about the potential benefits of a Mediterranean Diet in times of COVID. You will find that article HERE