You and I are participants in a story of endless creation.
Look around you. Most of what you see, use and often take for granted at one time did not exist. The chair on which you sit, the lamp providing light, the organization you work for, the plane in which you travel, are all the result of thought transformed into substance.
An idea was sparked, someone believed, a commitment was made, actions were taken, and the idea became a reality.
Recently I saw a televised news segment of a woman celebrating her 114th birthday. Incredibly she is on Facebook and Skype regularly with her family. For perspective, when she was born no human being had ever flown. She lives in a full-time care facility that provides a level of care--medically, environmentally and socially--that would have been a fantasy to elderly people when she was a young person.
The ideas, visions and dedication of others throughout her lifetime have created the conditions in which she now lives. How easy we can take these wondrous discoveries for granted.
My eldest grandson, when he was 13, was pestering his mother to get him a mobile phone. She was resisting this request for what I agreed were valid parental reasons. One day he approached me and vented his frustrations: “Grandad all of my friends have a mobile phone, what do you think?” I responded that I did believe he was a bit young to which he indignantly exclaimed, “Well how old were you when you got your first cell phone?”
After my laughter subsided, I replied, “Fifty!” My grandson had no idea or perspective that cell phones at one time did not exist.
Each of us is creating every day whether we are aware of it or not. We create how we present ourselves to others. We create our interactions with others. We create our attitudes towards work. We create our careers. We create our relationships. We create most of our experiences and often how we feel.
That we take responsibility for what we have created to this point in our lives is critical if we want to positively influence future outcomes. It really doesn’t matter whether we are happy or unhappy with our creation. What matters is that we grasp the fundamental truth that, moving forward, we have the power to create what we want for our lives.
Now, I am fully aware that circumstances often seem to mock this approach. I have lived long enough, however, to be given concrete evidence of the following: some people are born into circumstances that provide unlimited opportunity, yet their lives can be described as barely surviving. Others are born into the most adverse circumstances imaginable, and yet create ways to thrive.
So, have you ever said or thought: “One day I’m gonna.” Then you think of an experience you would like to have, a place you would like to visit, a person you would like to meet, an accomplishment that would boost your confidence and be incredibly satisfying. How long are you willing to live in that vague and nebulous world? When are you going to put a stake in the ground and declare: “I’m gonna!”
“If our lives are mundane, we have only ourselves to blame.”
From MARK OF AN EAGLE—How Your Life Changes the World