Happy New Year: An Opportunity & Invitation to Change
The Complexion of Change
It is that time when many of us are making New Year’s resolutions, putting together business and personal plans and setting forth goals and objectives for the new year. It is the kind of temporal transition which lends itself to making changes.
Thoughts often turn to reviewing and learning from what transpired during the year ending; while dreaming, strategizing and making plans for the new one. Often we turn to inspiring leaders we admire for guidance and encouragement. Maybe we want to lose weight, quit smoking, increase our athletic performance or achieve financial freedom.
But it is important to realize that even motivational quotes and talk about “mindset” will be received as little more than attractive platitudes, unless we embrace them in a meaningful way and allow them to change us. If we aren’t seduced, thrilled, and truly altered, then we have merely admired one flat surface of a multi-faceted jewel.
It is written in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This is the power of generative truth; this is the way of a transformative experience.
Until words take on new life and stir us to action, until we do a new thing, or a familiar thing differently than we’ve ever done it before, we remain essentially unchanged.
Our results will also remain basically the same. Certain ideas may be enlivening, and yet if they are offered to deaf ears and an unchangeable heart, they will stir nothing of significance. If insight is not incorporated, it has not been learned.
Until the creative power of ink and paper reaches us and arouses blood and skin, we will remain essentially the same.
What does it take for us to be receptive? Jim Rohn has said, “We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.”
Because I have witnessed the pain of people in desperate situations, I try to advocate change by sharing inspirational messages. I believe the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But our culture seems predicated on denial and stubbornness; we coast along until a catalyzing event occurs and we are forced to change. If I were to guess, I’d say 80% of change comes from desperation and 20% from inspiration.
This is the limitation and the power of free will.
Napoleon Hill has written, “Life gives no one immunity against adversity, but life gives everyone the power of positive thought, which is sufficient to master all circumstances of adversity and convert them to benefits.”
This dynamic power to choose our thoughts and to change our lives is not in question. The only question for us is, will we utilize it to our advantage, or relinquish our right to it? Will we recognize the opportunity and take action?
Gail Sheehy, American author and expert on the various stages of life has written, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
There are many people who seem quite content not taking much initiative at all; they seem to prefer living unambitious, non-adventurous lives. Life seems to pitch enough curve balls at us that a lot of individuals find simply trying to catch or avoid being hit by them is excitement enough.
Then there are those who seem content being discontented. If we are so inclined, we can always find someone or something to blame, thus relinquishing our responsibility and hence, our power.
Still others are willing to take various risks in order to have a shot at enjoying the rewards. One thing I have learned over the years is that we can be in one category for most of our lives, and then decide to change. It is one of life’s most mysterious and marvelous qualities.
What enables someone to become the “you” of whom Jim Rohn refers when he says, “Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.”
It often starts with the realization that something is missing in our lives. There are things that keep us up at night; fears and hopes, anxieties and dreams. We feel a desire, something that tugs at us. At first it can be vague, easy to ignore; but like a wave that builds, at some point it washes over us. We aren’t as happy as we want to be.
What is missing in your life? If your answer is, “Nothing is missing.” Then I suspect you are not the “you” about whom Jim Rohn refers in the above quote. It is likely that you are not very entrepreneurial. It is probable that you avoid risk and prefer playing it safe.
However, if you believe that life has more to offer than what you’ve already achieved or attained, chances are you also want to become more. What happens when you realize that there are real opportunities available to you? Will you see within them the invitations that they are?
What if someone whom you know, like and trust said to you, “I teach people just like you how to get fit, feel fabulous and become financially free. How would you like to invest in yourself and buy your freedom back?” Would you feel skeptical or excited? If you are ready to make some changes, having the start of a new calendar year can be a great motivator, with milestones of your own making. Monthly, quarterly, whatever you decide.
Do you consider yourself a person who is committed to life-long learning, is positive, looks for opportunities to improve yourself, and who embraces challenges with curiosity and accepts invitations with gratitude? Do you have goals which stretch you? Are you serious about becoming your personal best, both physically and emotionally? If so, you might be ideal for a home-based business.
New Year's Reflections
Janus is the Roman god of gates and doors, of beginnings and endings, and therefore he is imaged as a man with a double-faced head, each side looking in the opposite direction. It is a marvelous symbol for looking both backward toward the year just passed, and forward toward the one into which we are moving. Thinking about how our lives are full of doors, I wrote the following reflection about gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and some of life’s passages.
Accessible wisdom for true success.
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