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The beginning of a new year is often viewed as a prime opportunity to initiate change—a fresh start with a blank canvas.

Got an undesirable habit? Make a resolution. Want to check something off your bucket list? Set a goal. Need direction in your life? Adopt a one-word theme.

Some people lack the courage to initiate change. Others simply put it off because they don’t see themselves as being in a position to tackle the challenges of a new beginning. They think they have too much baggage, too many commitments, or too little time.

Their perceived lack of a blank canvas deters them from pursuing change. But that doesn’t need to be the case.

Long before Bob Ross became a popular meme, he gained fame as the host of The Joy of Painting. Television audiences marveled at his talents. In less than thirty minutes, the iconic, afroed artist with the soothing voice could paint an entire landscape.

Interestingly, Bob Ross never started his projects with a blank canvas. He utilized a technique known as wet-on-wet painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint.

In the opening of every episode, Bob Ross informed viewers that a “thin coat of liquid white” had already been applied to his canvas. What may have appeared to be a blank canvas was in actuality a wet, messy canvas.

Bob Ross blended the wet layer into his art. The messiness became part of the process. It gave his art depth and character.

You don’t need a blank canvas to initiate change. Life is filled with inherent messiness. Your schedule isn’t likely to ever be blank. You’ll always have baggage and other commitments to contend with. Don’t allow that premise to deter you from pursuing change. Find a way to blend the messiness of your life into the process.

Bob Ross had several popular sayings, including: “There’s nothing in the world that breeds success like success.” That quote applies to the ripple effect of change.

One individual choosing to be a good teammate can change a team’s entire culture.

Demonstrating the courage to initiate change in your life can trigger change in others. When you rid yourself of undesirable habits, accomplish goals, or embody your life’s theme, you inspire those around you to do the same.

If you’re still searching for a resolution/goal/theme for this year, consider making a commitment to be a better teammate. I promise, it will be a decision that you will never regret.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

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