“If you could give the world a gift this year what would it be?” This was the question asked to me by Suzanna Bowling. Anything? World peace? Stop the Polar Ice Caps from melting? A fantastic world economy with abundance for all? A cure for all the diseases? A pill to make us skinny without side effects? Save the tigers? Clean drinking water in endless supply? Then it hit me: consciousness. Just that, for people to pay attention to what they are doing and how they are doing it, whether it’s managing disaster, dumping waste or table manners.
Rather than rallying for one cause or another, I thought it would be better to simply ask all of you. What kind of world do you want to live in?
I was cleaning out my book shelves, scrubbing away residue from Sandy. Over the years, I have collected a lot of self-help books due to my lifelong fascination with paths to success and optimum performance. From Anthony Roberts to The Secret, from The Power of Positive Thinking to Oprah, I noticed that they all had some common themes: visualization and massive action. We become what we think, do, eat, wear. Thought, decision and action, over time, creates who we are and the space we inhabit. Everything is up to only us, a thought both daunting and empowering. Ok, I admit that I am a bit of a control freak and that I also need to learn to let go of what’s not important.
But we are in control of our thoughts, emotions and the decisions and the actions that we take. Yes, learning to let go and chill out is also on my to-do list, ha, ha!
The first day back in my apartment after being displaced for over a month due to Sandy, I was finally in my own digs, drying out from the storm. A day of unpacking, laundry and scrubbing, my home, me, everything! Piles of mail to sift through, hundreds of emails, papers, to-do lists, clients to catch up with. Some things were salvageable, other matters, just better to terminate and move on. I have become obsessed with the idea that “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” Especially when it’s so clear to me that people generally just don’t seem to pay attention to the details in anything. I want to put my whole life, every aspect, in order, so that there is nothing left to organize, do, clean up, because I’m in control and on top of everything. You see, my uncle, the happiest, most successful, most self-actualized in every way person I know, once said to me. “Sam, I am extremely lazy, and I can’t bear the thought that there is something left to do. Therefore, I take care of everything as it’s happening, so that there is nothing left to do and I can relax.”
So ask yourself what you want in the New Year, for yourself, for your friends and family, community, country, the world. Start with yourself and become the person you want to be. If we could all pay attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it, do all we can do, each day, until we’re caught up and there is nothing left to clean up. Until we are living in the wonderful sort of world all these annoying holiday songs (I’m a bit Grinchy), keep singing about.
I wish you all a marvelous New Year.