This isn’t the apocalypse. The world is not ending, the sky isn’t falling and time isn’t standing still. It’s actually just the opposite – perpetual. This is just one day, one moment in the larger flow of the timeline. In fact, it’s probably already 12:13pm. So what’s the big deal? Some people thought today would mean everything, while others are barely even paying attention. The numerical symmetry of this particular day does make it special – after all, it won’t happen again for another hundred years. But that’s not what I believe is most important. Because of the collective awareness of this unique calendrical moment, there is an opportunity to highlight the importance of moments in general. Remember, while 12/12/12 will return in a century from now, this particular moment will *never* come back again.
The question isn’t: What do you want? The question is: If you truly want it, what are you willing to do to get it?
With the new year fast approaching, and the lists of resolutions being calculated and solidified, an important distinction must be made. Anyone can want something, and we all do. Both tangible and intangible – from houses, cars, electronics, travel and a new wardrobe to love, joy, peace, satisfaction and general happiness, there are always things to want. But there is a reason why so many of those resolutions never come to fruition – passively wanting something rarely gets us there.
In a moment when we feel life is good, there exists the possibility that we will feel gratitude. But in a moment when we feel gratitude, feeling that life is good becomes definite. In other words, happiness *might* lead to gratitude, but gratitude is *certain* to lead to happiness.
We all have a glass that has both water and air within it. And we all have the ability to perceive it as half full or half empty. Gratitude comes from the *choice* to focus on the water rather than the air – to see what is there, rather than what is not. There will always be that which we lack. But if we are aware of what we do have, and choose to appreciate it, our experience in that moment will become that of abundance.
“The pain of discipline pales in comparison to that of regret.”
Lest we forget, while home runs are nice, life is not about home runs. It’s about showing up, and making a patient and consistent effort. Whether it’s a professional accomplishment or a personal goal, whether it’s creating or improving a relationship with someone else or the one with yourself, nothing in this life of any real, lasting value will come without time, effort, patience and some form of sacrifice.
Today is one day. Show up and make it count.
This past Wednesday found us all celebrating July 4th once again, and we’re clearly full swing into the Summer season – beaches, pool parties, baseball, BBQ’s, fireworks, holiday sales and Joey Chestnut eating sixty-eight hotdogs in ten minutes down at Coney Island. So much of this holiday is about Americana. But of course its origin, and indeed that of America, is freedom and independence. It’s about taking a stand, and making a choice.
In truth, *everything* in life is a choice. Some are clearly easier to make than others – and some are significantly more difficult – but there are always at least two options.
The main issue with most challenging situations comes down to control – what we can, and what we cannot. Independence Day commemorates our forefathers making what must have been a very difficult, albeit necessary choice. They could have instead continued on in the same vein – putting up with the conditions that ultimately lead them to rise up and break away. But they didn’t. They exercised what they could control – their efforts – and they took action. And though the outcome was beyond their control, they were hopeful that it would be successful – and it was. But not every situation will be like that one.