The new semester started this week at the university. I was speaking with a professor, yesterday, about the first day of class. She told me that she was gobsmacked by a short conversation she had with a student as everyone was leaving at the end of class. Without any introduction or background information, the student simply said to her, “I need to pass this class in order to graduate.” The professor responded that if the student did the work for the class and asked for help when he was feeling stuck, then he should be able to pass without any problem. The student then walked away looking disappointed. The professor told me that she got the distinct impression that the student was hoping for an “A” in the class without having to put in any effort to learn. Unfortunately, I’ve heard enough variations on that story over the years to not have been surprised by it but it was the first time a student had been so blatant with her regarding expectations for a successful outcome without wanting to do any work.
But, before you jump all over this student for wanting the “A” without the effort, stop for a moment and think about how you’ve done the same thing. Have you not tried to take a shortcut to achieve a goal? And, despite the shortcut being unsuccessful, don’t you keep trying shortcut after shortcut? We all do it. If we didn’t, books with titles like “Seven Easy Steps to_______” wouldn’t be best sellers (Have you ever noticed that it’s always seven steps? Why not three or fifteen?).
The downside of the Glamorous Whole Life Makeover is that one aspect of glamour is the sense of effortlessness. Glamorous people have mastered the fine art of making everything look easy for them. Unlike romance that highlights the struggle to achieve a goal, glamour hides how hard one has to work to achieve it.
During the golden age of Hollywood, the studio system created personae for their actresses. There was the glamorous actress, the girl-next-door actress, the rebellious or bad girl actress, the songbird, the mother, and so forth. Behind the scenes, the actresses were groomed by the studios. They took classes in elocution, singing, poise, dancing, and acting. They learned how to dress and they learned how to apply makeup. They learned how to talk to reporters. They learned how to eat at fine restaurants. They eventually became their persona. Even Grace Kelly, who came from a life of privilege, had to work hard to become Grace Kelly!
I didn’t start the Glamorous Whole Life Makeover project with this post on purpose. The first couple of weeks of the new year, everyone is all gung-ho on making changes in their lives. We’re now two weeks into it and the realities of how much work it takes to make changes are starting to sink in. But, if the lifestyle changes were easy without having to work for them, you would have done them already.
[Tweet “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you – Fred Devito”]
Your assignment for today to get out your Glamorous Whole Life Makeover notebook and create a reflection section in it. I want you to spend some time writing about what benefits you get out of not making any changes. What are the “rewards” you get for holding onto the things you say you want to change in your life? Just like there are payoffs for making changes, there are also payoffs for not making changes. For example, fear of failure is a major motivator for not making changes. Then reflect upon whether or not you are willing to give up the payoff in order to achieve a glamorous life.
Today, actresses no longer are groomed by a studio. But you can be sure that they are working hard behind the scenes with teams of experts to create a glamorous persona. Are you up to doing the behind the scenes work, too, to create your glamorous life?