Are you familiar with the, “Serenity Prayer?”
People who go to twelve-step meetings are, because they always begin their meetings with this prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Today I’d like to focus on the second part, courage to change the things I can, because that is a primary focus in my own personal life. If we continually want to grow and to better ourselves, then change is inevitable.
How to move a mountain?
Yes. Everything looks like a mountain from our vantage point. How do I stop smoking or drinking or getting high? How do I stop being totally irresponsible with finances and become 100% responsible? How do I overcome anxiety that is so bad, that it is just easier to not leave my house? How do I become someone who I am not?
Most often it does not work to just walk over there and move the mountain. (Though there are cases in which it is seemingly so)
The truth is that major changes usually begin long before the ever happen.
I’ve written before about a friend who became one of those, “over night sensations.” He became a star and had a number one song, and yet, nobody knew who he was.
So here he is now with a number one song and he got a really big check. He went from being an, “unknown” to a household name. From just barely scraping by, to being wealthy. And that is a great deal of change to happen to someone within a matter of weeks.
Yet I had seen him working tirelessly towards this goal for over ten years.
The way I see it is that every single thing he did in that time of more than ten years, added up and put him into the position for something to happen.
And it did.
Every mile he drove, every couch he slept on and the nights he slept in his van, every song he played, every minute he put into his craft of playing and writing, every phone call he made, every e-mail he sent, every post-card he mailed to his mailing list… it all placed him into a position for this great change to happen.
And that is the part that we don’t see when we look at others.
When we see someone on t.v. or hear someone on the radio, or even when we hear a great speaker or read a great author, it looks to us as if the person just woke up this morning and BAM!
So let’s think about change as, “Putting ourselves into position so that something can happen.”
You eat an elephant one bite at a time. If you want to move a mountain, you are probably going to do a lot of shoveling.
We gotta do the work.
Maybe today we could go for a walk, or a bike ride. Maybe instead of a pack of cigarettes we can smoke five or ten. Maybe we can choose to eat something different and more healthy for dinner tonight. Maybe we could pay just a little bit on that bill we owe even if we cannot make the entire payment.
Be clear about what you want. What do you want to change? Can you change it? If not, or if you think you should be able to, but can’t, then it is time that we do what we can.
Do what you can do today. Do your best.
And remember that even simply wishing for change, simply wanting to be better, is actually a sign that the change has already begun!