“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to creation. Specifically, what it takes to create things in one’s life; events, feelings, actions, moods.
I have been pondering why there are some people who take action to create what they want in life, and others who don’t. For example:
How often have you bumped into someone in the street who you know, and would love to spend more time with, only to end the chance meeting with “Oh, we should catch up for coffee soon”, and then simply walk away without getting contact details or committing to a next catchup?
When you were last having dinner with friends, did you (or someone) say something like: “We should do this more often!” and receive enthusiastic nodding agreement, yet go another six months before seeing any of them again?
Have you ever thought: “I hate my job”, yet continued to stick with it for another several years?
Why is that we are so quick to say “I should lose weight / get fit / eat less / eat healthier …” and yet, when we know the outcome we want, we are so reluctant to actually commit to it and take the step along that path?
I don’t have solid answers to these questions. I come up against these challenges in my own life. A lot.
I think our “stuck-ness” is made up of a fear of taking absolute, ultimate responsibility for ourselves, coupled with an inherent fear of actually creating something.
We are reluctant to own the fact that our life literally can be a work of art of our own creation. And/Or: We are terrified of creating something new, in a world of “fitting in” and “doing what has always been done”.
Closing the gap
Lately, I’ve been consciously working on taking that final important step. Taking the action. Closing the gap between the loose “we should…” and the firm “let’s lock in the date…”
I recently asked a bunch of my good mates to catch up with me for dinner and a drink one random Monday night. Part way through the evening, I told them how I would be travelling at the end of the year, and wouldn’t be around for about 18 months. I explained how I’d like to spend more time with them before I leave Sydney, and would they be interested in a mates’ catchup every month, perhaps on the first Monday of the month?
After a few uncomfortable chuckles and the odd joke about how one catchup every 18 months was about right (typical emotionally-uncomfortable male response), everyone quietly agreed that yes, they’d love to catchup every month with this group of mates.
So I took an action to set the next date, and invite them all. All it cost me was about 30 seconds of vulnerability to share how important they all were to me, and a few cents to send a group text message with the details of the next catchup.
Same story as my quarterly photowalks. I simply set a date, send a few emails, and then turn up with my camera, and any/all comers.
In another instance, late last week, a friend and long-term client of mine came over to work with Belinda on a new project. We got chatting after the meeting, and she shared about how she was dealing with regular feelings of overwhelm because of what she has going on in her life right now. My friend commented about how I’d probably be a good person to chat to about that, as she knew my history with depression, stress, and overwhelm, and how I worked my way into and out of it.
Instead of leaving it at the “oh yeah, we should make a time to catchup”, I got my calendar out then and there, and said “OK, let’s lock in a date.” The date is now set, we will catch up, and we’ll both benefit from the connection, the relationship, and the sharing that happens in that context.
Blowing my own trumpet?
I’m not sharing all this to blow my own trumpet, or make you feel inadequate if you don’t take that final step.
I’m sharing all this to illustrate that, even though I don’t know why we stop and falter so often, it doesn’t take much to create what we want more of in our lives.
I’d go so far as to say that the phrase “OK, let’s set a date” and a reliable calendar are all you really need – at least when it comes to spending time with people that enrich our lives.
In short, to make things happen, we must take action. We must CREATE.
If we want to create a life full of enriching relationships with interesting people, it requires getting out the calendar, and getting mildly uncomfortable in actually asking for commitment to a date to meet again.
I hope you take something from this, and take a few small steps to create more of the things you want in your life.