La Cañada Flintridge resident Tom Feldman says that he wants people to know why their New Year’s resolutions keep falling flat.
“The statistics are pretty miserable about people keeping their New Year’s resolutions,” he says.
“It’s the same set of 10 or 20 resolutions, and there’s no juice to them,” says Feldman. “Before you know it, you’ve forgotten them; or you give up.”
Feldman has had a successful career in film and television, not an unusual story in this city. But he’s got a unique background, having studied with an Indian shaman and served as an adjunct professor of communications at Woodbury University for the last four years.
Feldman has balanced his professional life as director of photography, gaffer and lighting director with a decades-long history of cultivating a practice of encouraging people to make change in their lives. He says the two are connected.
‘From those sort of moments, like when people come out of a movie theater, or out of a stage play or a musical performance, for a minute, or an hour, there’s kind of other space people can be in, and it’s a very cool space,” he said. “That space can be gotten through that direction, and it can also be gotten through what’s called ‘transformation.’”
Feldman says his “transformation” work is a calling, and that he’s become more and more focused on it, and now he’s hosting his own self-help program, called “The Future Workshop,” in Beverly Hills this month.
He says his studies have shown that New Year’s resolutions are doomed because people are stuck in habits from their past and don’t challenge themselves with the unknown.
“What you’re doing is you’re whacking your head against the same wall you’ve been whacking it against for years without results,” he says.
Instead of focusing on these sorts of material resolutions, says Feldman, people should focus on becoming the kind of person they want to be, and addressing the habits in their life. Instead of pledging to lose weight, for example, someone could pledge to be a more active person.
“And I want to change my habits, which are generated from the past, mainly unconsciously, into the practices of the person I want to be,” he says. “If you work on becoming that, and you really do work on becoming that, whatever your passion is, then this other stuff is kind of easy.”