Do What You’ve Always Wanted to Do
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
– Shannon L. Alder
How often do we think of all the things we could do, we would like to do, but then find all sorts of reasons to put them off. We see that things need to change in our family, at our work, with the friends we socialize with, or maybe there is something that needs to change in our community. Sometimes, we see that a destructive cycle needs to be stopped in a relationship or a municipal decision in our community needs to be overturned. Maybe we just feel that there is something more we can do with our lives. We want to make a difference and start a change.
Dare to Begin
Change begins with an idea and often a catalyst event. Something happens that tells us that change needs to happen. It may be that the game-changing event is the proverbial “last straw” or simply a wake-up call to tell us that the ball must start rolling. In the sports world, we see this phenomenon a lot. A team is falling behind and can’t seem to get their act together during the game. Then comes a realization that a new game strategy and an attitude fix are needed to win. A timeout and a solid talk from the coach or captain whips the team into shape and the team comes out ready to tackle the world.
It may be that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of the same old, same old. Maybe you are tired of life passing you by while you watch it go by from the front porch. Maybe you just need that push to get you started. Maybe you are beginning to realize that that dream, that idea is possible after all. If others can do what they dream of doing, why not you? Maybe it is your turn to shine. Maybe it is time for you to stand up and do something you have always felt called to do.
A single idea can blossom into something so much bigger than you imagined. As an example, I began this blog on the wing of an idea. I have been doing it for 5 months already and it all began with the question “Can I really do it?” I had all sorts of doubts in my mind. I wondered if people would even care about what I write. Blogging is an activity that takes a lot of time and I put my heart into each post. But I am willing to trust the process and believe that I can do it and I can make a difference.
And what is the process? It’s a chain of events that can bring someone from the point of “dragging their feet” to eventually getting results doing what they have always wanted to do. It is about being consistent, being present, day after day and having the faith to carry it through in the face of obstacles and disappointment. The process is:
A catalyst event that leads to a change in attitude, which leads to a change in behavior, which leads to a change in performance, which ultimately leads to a change in results.
We all have events that happen in our life that we might call game-changers: events that cause our life to take a sudden turn in the road and go a different direction (good or bad), but what we do with these events – how we handle them can make all the difference. We can just sail along with them -or sink with them or we can use them to our advantage. We can capitalize on them. In my case, I was looking for something creative, something that I could personally bring to the table.
So how do we turn these events, these momentous points of decision into action? How can we capitalize on them to bring about a positive change? What is that key that will be the difference between whether our idea, and the catalyst that fermented it, stays in our head or whether it will blossom into something much bigger and more beautiful?
Know Your “Why”
It is rare that we will begin anything without having a reason why. Our “why” is the most important element in anything we undertake. We need to ask ourselves why we want to change. What is the driving force behind the idea? Are we tired of how things are going in our relationships? Do we believe that we can change our work situation or get on a better career path? Do we want to make some changes in our community that are long overdue? Do we see that we can make an impact somewhere? Do we finally want to step out and follow that dream we have been carrying around inside?
Let’s face it. We were not born to be fish floating with the downstream current. We are certainly not here to figure out how to die safely. What is it that we want to do to make an impact on our life? Where are we going and who do we want to be? What greater purpose has been bubbling up inside of us? When we latch on to this purpose, this idea, it will lead to:
Dare to See Things Differently
No longer do we have to listen to or accept all the negative that has been pumped into our brain for most of our lives. We don’t even have to listen to ourselves. We can turn down and turn off that voice and tune into a positive voice and mindset. Believe me, there are days when I wonder if I am writing to anybody or if all my readers are imaginary. Anything worthwhile will come with its share of discouragement. Doubt, discouragement, and questions are part of the process but, in the end:
We are either the captains or the captives of our own thoughts.
We have around 50,000 thoughts a day and they are the only thing that we really have any control over. Our thoughts can either make us or break us. Ultimately we have three choices in life:
There Are Only Three Options
Give it all we’ve got
It all comes down to our attitude and our ability to reframe our reality. A gamechanger in life can get us down or we can rise above it. It all depends on how we are able to reframe it and use it to our advantage.
Take The Next Step
To gain momentum we need action. Like in physics, an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. In other words, we need to get the ball rolling to see results.
The thought of acting on our ideas of making changes can grip us with fear. We may be fearful of what others may say about us. Will they try to discourage us or belittle our idea? Will they be antagonistic? In reality, most people are not even thinking about us because they are too focused on themselves.
We may be afraid of losing what we have gained or worked hard to attain. We spend our time counting all of our chickens rather than think about taking a risk. But changing things will involve risk. If we want results in an area, we have to be willing to give up our comfort.
Maybe we are afraid of failure. Don’t worry, failure is a stepping stone to success. If we try to avoid failure, we will just be hurting ourselves:
Quit thinking about it and do it!
Quit talking about it and do it!
Quit waiting for the perfect time and do it!
Quit trying to make it fair and do it!
Stuff happens! Life happens! Gut shots happen! They happen to all of us. We are going along and feel like our act is together and then BAM! Life hits us smack in the face. Now we hit a fork in the road and have to decide which path to take. It happens to the best of us. No one is immune from adversity. It all depends on how we handle it.
So how do we handle these hits?
It’s not how hard you can hit that makes you successful; it’s how hard you can get hit, get back up and keep moving forward that counts. – Rocky Baboa
Life isn’t fair – we have all heard that many times. We just need to expect the gut shots in life, take them and rise above them. These shots can cause momentum in one of two ways; either a downward spiral momentum or an upward climb momentum. It’s really up to us where we want to go.
Having others on board with you will energize your idea and give it some push. whatever it is you are working to do or change, having a team will be a boost. So, how do you get them on board? For example, in a family, how do you get everyone involved in managing the household chores?
Enthusiasm! Get excited about it. sometimes just seeing someone’s excitement is enough to motivate action even if they don’t know what is going on. Enthusiasm is contagious. Have a vision and get excited about it. Be up when things are up and up when things are down.
Encouragement! Highlight their strong points. What is it that you see in them that makes them special and unique and how would this make them great team members?
Edify! Become a good finder in others. Even if it is hard to find something good, find it anyway.
Get your team together and get them on board!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead
Keep Your Eye on the Horizon
They go hand in hand. We need to show up. We need to do it. We need to do it consistently and give it all we’ve got. We need to never give up and never give in. We need to get through the valleys of life, learn the lessons of the valleys and start climbing out. That is our performance – staying in the game, continuing no matter what. And the results will be there. They are what make the struggle, the persistence worth it.
And here’s the deal – If we don’t take the first step, if we don’t decide to step out and get a little messy, well we will just stay clean. But we may miss out on the adventure of our life.
Everything begins with an idea. Sometimes the idea comes as a result of catalysts – game-changers in our life. Sometimes we just need to make some changes and get the ball rolling. It won’t happen if we don’t begin. We need to put the gears into action and pick up speed if we want the results we are looking for. A snowball will gather speed as it rolls downhill, picking more snow as it goes. In the same way, we can give our ideas the first push, but gathering a team will help it gain momentum.
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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca