“Right on schedule, the witch hazel at the top of our walk broke into yellow streaming flowers yesterday, brightening a grey day, declaring the end of one year, the birth of a new.”
So began an email from my brother, Phil, greeting us with the New Year. Phil and I had long talked about taking a trip to the San Francisco area. In 2013, we did that and blogged about our adventures at www.philanddansroadtrip.com. That road trip was years in the making because while we discussed it many time nothing happened until we became intentional about committing time (scheduling 2 weeks out of our busy lives and work schedules), energy (planning and researching what to see and do) and resources (flights, accommodations, food, none of this was free) to do the trip.
Change is Constant
Change is a constant, whether from one year to the next, one day to another. Like fireworks blazing in the night’s sky, the witch hazel burst forth in bloom, defiant against winter’s chilly grip promising spring is coming with the new year. Every second each of us are dying and being raised to life again as our physical cells decay and die, becoming dust upon each object we brush against, yet constantly our cells are dividing into new ones.
Life is a chain, each daily link a panoply of opportunities and desires. What we do with those opportunities make us the person we are and become.
“If the desire to write is not accompanied by writing, then the desire is not to write.” Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person
This has long been a favourite quote of mine. While specific to writing, it’s truth is universal: if the desire to run is not accompanied by running, then the desire is not to run. It’s truth is not a judgement, but rather a revelation.
One may talk about writing, or running, or saving; They may read all about writing, etc; They may even sign up for courses in x; But if they don’t actually do x, then the desire is for something else.
Perhaps the desire is to be seen as significant: “I’m a writer”. They may wish to be financially free, whatever that truly means since wealth is relative.
Desire may also be disgust: I feel out out of shape, so I desire to be in shape. Yet if that desire isn’t accompanied by getting in shape, then the desire is not to be in shape, it is simply a disdain for my current level of fitness: my lack of fitness. The desire is disgust of the status quo.
In all these cases the desire is shown by the action: Behaviour betrays Belief. If the desire to change is not accompanied by changing, then the desire is not to change.
We all may desire to impact positively: to leave a mark. As my brother, Ian, famously said: “I’m forty years old and I’m not in the encyclopedia!” His desire was to impact the world. I can tell you he has! Not by becoming world famous, but by changing himself. By making steps to be a better husband, father and businessman. By never getting elected, yet by running for public office he engaged and changed the political debate.
That’s what this site is about: Change! Changing the world by first changing yourself.
What’s one small change you’d like to accomplish in your life this year?