“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself."
— Leo Tolstoy
[Classic post from 3-30-11]
Isn't it so true how we want to change the world, the other, the system, the outside, and not think about changing ourselves, our outlook, our attitude, our view instead.
There's a phrase I love to say when I'm trying to change the world that helps me remember what I'm doing. I say that I'm swimming upstream. I love the analogy of life being like a river and that everything we want is downstream and we just need to not worry about things so much and stop struggling with other people, things, and events, let go of the oars and just enjoy the journey.
Many of us have been brought up with the philosophy that the struggle is important and that without the struggle, there can be no true success. Just as in bodybuilding, they have that silly phrase, “no gain without pain." So, we've been brought up to have this work ethic where we “make" things happen, because there is no real success or gain without the pain and struggle of work.
I used to believe that and live it. I'm thinking now that I've accepted an idea that just never felt quite right, but I just kept on doing it for so long. Now I'm thinking that the struggle and/or pain is entirely self-inflicted and needless, or even self-defeating.
What if we went back and did it all over again, but this time we decided to let go of the oars and experience the journey with eyes wide open? What if we adopted a single goal in our daily lives of experiencing as much joy as possible? Some would say (because I've heard the argument) that nothing would ever get done. But, I'm not accepting that premise either. Joy doesn't mean that nothing gets done, what it means is there is no struggle or pain! When you do what you love to do, there is copious amounts of joy. Having a passion for serving others can be so effective, rewarding, and yes, even profitable.
Truth is, we can't rewind and start over, and the good news about that is that we don't need to do that because we can change any time we decide to do so. And, it is in the changing of ourselves instead of everything outside of us that will change everything in our world just by accepting that premise and responsibility.
It Is Not An Idealistic Idea, Just A Better One . . .
Spread Some Joy Today–by playing with the idea that you can have joy every day, even all day if you choose to. It's empowering.