And I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
I check my looks in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
–Bruce Springsteen, from “Dancing in the Dark”
These lyrics speak, really, to the human condition. A person is deposited at birth in a vast sea of life with the only constant being change. Ironically, it’s change that is sometimes the most disturbing experience of life. Attempting to express ourselves in a sane, consistent and linear fashion seems like building a castle made of sand. But it is that desire for consistency that can trap us in a what seems to become a rut with no way out but to contradict ourselves.
Yet, within this conundrum of humanity lies the greatest of all opportunities: with change comes growth. And with growth comes increase and expansion. We must expand our vision, expand our viewpoint, and increase our honesty with our own values and express that vision and viewpoint with all the passion and determination we can muster within us. By staying true to what and who we are, our true divinity can shine through to uplift and inspire everyone around us including ourselves.
The great psychologist Abraham Maslov said, “What is necessary to CHANGE a person is to CHANGE his awareness of himself.” When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What are you aware of? Is it something to change, or something to make greater? It may not be fear of change itself that keeps us from changing, but fear we may not be able to change.
The only way to find the ableness to change is to set forth, bravely, eyes locked on target, strength mustered, and just START. The start is the most difficult, so once that’s accomplished, it’s really just a matter of increasing the momentum. It takes all the horsepower of a automobile to get it up to highway speed, yet only a fraction of it to keep it cruising.
All that being said, take another look in the mirror. Find ONE THING to change, and then DECIDE to change it. That motive power of DECISION is your accelerator pedal. Once it’s engaged, the road immediately lays out in front of you. Strategies pop out of nowhere, and suddenly you find yourself writing down the list of actions to achieve that change. That is the power of decision.
Of course, then the trick is to keep the pedal to the metal. That’s where passion and determination comes in. But as successes are achieved, morale goes up. As morale goes up, confidence soars. Now it becomes easier to keep the car on the road and the momentum up.
Decisions are different from wishes. “I wish I could lose this extra 30 pounds,” or “I wish my back pain would go away,” or simply, “I wish I felt better,” are all coming from an assumption that these conditions we’re wishing out of cannot change. A wish is a feeble desire, and hardly a decision. A decision is something you make with your heart and soul. It’s something you write down, something you declare without reservation–something you embrace as a reason for living. And in this way, your heart and soul work together to give you the power to plow through all the crap that is preventing the change. In fact, it is precisely the difficulties you confront after making your decision that are holding the unwanted condition in place. Therefore, when the challenges to your decision rear their ugly heads, you know you’re headed in the right direction. Nothing changes easily, and it is a measure of a person’s character to be able to step back and observe the big picture revealed during the trials and tribulations on the road to achieving the goal.
With a firm heart-and-soul decision, everything becomes advantage, and each apparent “setback” is the pure gold of insight. Then, from seeing one’s way through, freedom is attained because that unwanted cross to bear can never again weigh you down. With that new-found freedom comes new energy, and after a while, what seemed like a mountain becomes the proverbial mole hill.