Small Changes…Big Results

Small Changes…Big Results

We have all experienced the power of small changes: that slight shift in hue, design, tone of voice, or verbiage, that can lend an entirely new meaning to something we see, say, or feel.  Color consultation is all about this, and it doesn’t always take a lot.

Before Painting

After Painting

Well, sometimes it does!

Before Painting

After Painting

A “simple” choice of color can affect  the entire look and feel of something.

Yellow House, Green Swag

The Devil is in the Details

Whatever we may think about the green swag against the yellow house body trimmed in white, we can probably agree that the choice of color, any color, of this decorative detail makes a significant difference in the look and feel of the building.

We know as artists, colorists or both, that the tiniest drop of tint into a paint color can change it completely.  Many of us have found this out through intentional or unintentional experimentation.  The balance can be shifted from warm to cool, from clear to muddy,  from light to dark, from saturated to diffused.  The process is always a discovery, an adventure, and a journey.

Taking the Journey

So it is with our words, our actions, and perhaps most importantly, with our thoughts.  We have all had the experience of an interaction escalating into a tirade or an argument, and then thinking later that if we had made just a small change in how we spoke, or behaved that the whole experience and outcome could have been different.  Or, we do make a comparatively small change, such as wearing  a new color of clothing, finally purchasing something that we needed, giving something away, or rearranging possessions, and we think to ourselves something like, “Why didn’t I do that sooner? Keeping these things in a box instead of a bag is just so much easier!”

Why is it so hard to learn these lessons?

I am not sure of the answer to this, but I do know that practice in making the small changes can help us make the big ones without our even being aware of it.  Practice may not always make perfect,  but it may help us approach the larger transitions and decisions in our lives with greater acumen and  confidence.  If we get into the habit of changing small things,  the larger changes we face may be that much less overwhelming.  Our change muscles are flexed, having done some preliminary exercises, and primed to take on the greater challenges of our lives.

Recently, on the wonderful blog talk radio show “Artistically Speaking“, my colleague Lyna Farkus was interviewed about her career as a decorative painter, and inevitably, her life journey.  She shares how recently, she allowed a fellow driver she encountered on a busy workday morning to go ahead of her, and how she saw clearly how that simple act of  generosity would potentially affect that person’s entire day; his interactions, relationships, and who knows, maybe even his safety.  By easing the driver’s frustration, that “random act of kindness” may even have saved his life. by causing him to be calmer and thus more careful on the road.

We don’t know the ripple effect of our actions, and there is an infinite amount of factors that we cannot control.  But, just like the tiny drop of tint that can completely change the character of a color, a tiny action,  change or shift can yield significant results.  Just as we learn about color mixing through practice and experimentation, so we can make small changes a practice.  However daunting, scary and heart-stopping change may seem to be, we can fall back on our experience of the positive outcomes engendered by the changes we have entered into willingly, and enter the mystery of the unknown with that much more clarity and serenity, and maybe, even a modicum of joy.

Entering the Mystery... may yield results

If you feel so inspired, please share with us some of the changes you have made, and how you were able to make them.  We love to hear from you. Remember, we are all  in this thing called Life, together.


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Debra, beautifully written and we are on the same wave length on the importance of being mindful with our thoughts, words and deeds. The ripple effect is so profound, we never know fully how far these reverberate out to others – negative and positive. I like to think world peace is possible when enough people are believing to be possible. I notice that when I really am actively listening and sharing positive experiences, I get real connection with others. Making an effort to keep that positive happy flow is a grand goal and mindful practice that brings me great satisfaction. And so much more fun than complaining or judging others. Thank you for sharing and reflecting Debra.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rebecca E. Parsons, Debra Disman. Debra Disman said: @RebeccaEParsons featured Art. SP. Radio: https://artissima.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/small-changes-big-results! […]


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