Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
And on our good days, we do this.
As human beings, we have our own point of view, our own perspective. Our experiences, preferences, lives lead us to choices we make with our resources. Resources immediately make me think of our family game of Catan, where you acquire particular resources of wheat, ore, sheep, logs, and bricks. Based on what resources you acquire, and the choices of fellow players, you can make choices on how to proceed.
Isn’t this really what life is about? You have resources. Resources are either dealt to you or worked for, then you have them to utilize. You can choose to use your resources as you see fit. You allot time for activities, money for food, prayers for those in need…
What? You don’t specifically allocate your resources prior to utilizing them?
Well, what if you did? What if you thought about your time, money, commitments, prayers and decided prior to using them, what you would use them for?
Our Year-Of-Quality : We can easily change our perspective and identify how to better utilize our available resources for our best year yet. We can do this, but first we need to create Margin in our schedules, in our closets, in our lives to enjoy the perspective. To look deeper within ourselves and see what brings us joy, then find ways to implement more impactful joy into our lives.
You likely are not going to find joy in a shopping spree, but an experience? This will likely bring lasting joy for hours, weeks, and maybe even years to come. What is giving you joy right now?
I focused the last year on cutting out the clutter. 2016 was The-Year-Of-Less . Focusing on Living Lightly, creating Margin, and enjoying life in the face of my Cancer diagnosis and treatment. I reflected on what worked in 2015 and continue cutting out the excess, find myself back-sliding, cut out more — but the companion to the cutting is the implementation of adding more Quality. Much like eating better or adding exercise, you can’t allow the void to develop, doing so leads to failure. Filling the physical or emotional void with positive — squeezing out the bad — however you choose to make your change.
You can do it.
I’m living proof. While I don’t have all the answers, and I daily try to move closer to the person I want to be, I realize that what I have to say, the way I live my life, is impactful not only on my children, but my greater community around me. When I have a bad day, my community can feel it. When I choose to have good days and send out positive energy, my community seems to feel that as well — and I feel the love returned.
Not always, but I’m thinking positively.
I have always tried to act with positivity and demonstrate the way I want my children to see the world, but I’ve found that my words, attitudes, and expressions are infinitely impactful. I can volunteer with a happy heart, but if I don’t extend that to the rest of my life by showing grace and gratitude, what am I really saying? What is the lasting impression?
Thankfully, I’m giving myself grace. I know I will make mistakes. A lot of them. I appreciate my parents so much more now knowing that they too, just did their best. They wanted my brother and I to have better lives than they had. I think most every parent truly hopes to give their children a better childhood, a more rich experience, by changing the way they parent. I am lucky to have had a wonderful, albeit naïve, childhood. My parents likely made mistakes, but I never lacked for love, comfort, and security. I never lacked for a home — I have always been welcome and have always known that not only am I welcome, but all my friends are too, to stay forever.
I’m thankful for the childhood my parents gave me. I hope that my children are able to have the kind of loving, compassionate, enriching childhood I had, but I want to give them more. I want to give them the tools they need to become the amazing men they are growing into. I want to demonstrate to them through the choices I make, that change can happen. I want to demonstrate how to show grace in the face of my fallibility, to say I’m sorry, to give of myself and have empathy — I know that I’ve not always been the beacon of light they’ve needed. My selfishness, shallowness, humanness — it gets in the way.
Being mindful. A new year, a new reset. A change.
My renewed commitment to my life-cancer-diagnosis, to my children, husband, and family in a new way. My commitment to myself, my writing, my photography, gardening, crafts, less-is-more….
We all have finite resources. No matter how much we have on paper, or think we have in life, our days are numbered. Our finances are limited. Our focus is limited. Our scope of work and impact is limited as well. What we choose to do with our resources, limited as they are — that’s going to be the game changer. That’s going to be impactful. Our unapologetic actions and words to be who we are. Mindfully. Whole-heartedly. With purpose. On purpose. With love. With grace.
It’s important. I want to be the change I want to see in the world.
How are you changing the world?
Disclosure 1: No Material Connection. This is the standard disclosure I use when I don’t have any embedded links or a relationship with any of the products or services I have mentioned: Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”