Posts tagged Change
Drip by drip

A garden doesn’t flourish from a flood of water.

Writing for an entire day doesn’t build a habit.

Going a day without meat doesn’t make you a vegetarian.

And signing up for a gym membership doesn’t make you fit.

Lasting change hardly ever happens through intense, sporadic, passionate bursts of action.

Change happens through the consistent, generous practice of showing up — day after day — and falling in love with a different way to see the world.

Currents and perspective

Current is the rate of flow of a fluid or charge. We know from rivers that a rapid, deep, or steep current can appear quite threatening from the banks.

In life this out plays whenever our instincts tell us to play it safe. Design a current that moves, but not too fast. Create a path that slopes, but not too steep. We impose all of these self-created constraints, all to make sure that the current appears moving, yes, but mostly just safe.

For the water, though, the work is all the same. It’s no more terrifying or difficult as the pace of current increases. If the effort is the same regardless, why would the water ever go smaller, slower?

So two options for who we can choose to be:

  • The bystander on the bank, seeking first safety - when possible, change.
  • The water, seeking first change - at full effort and intensity.
This is our chance

An incredible story of change, and hope, and generosity is coming to us this October. If you haven’t heard of Scott Harrison and the work that he and the Charity: Water team are doing, it’s well worth taking the 20 minutes to watch their video here.

The story is and continues to be an inspiring tale of courage and caring. Whether you’re considering it from the angle of Scott, or the 8+ million people Charity: Water has served there’s a truth that shines through loudly, clearly, and consistently in their story — today matters.

It’s never too late too change. You’re never too far gone.

No matter how bad today is, you never know what might happen tomorrow if you have the courage to persevere.

You can make a difference for others.

Charity: Water is living proof that we are all capable of far more than we often think that we are. And the first step in seeing that truth come to reality, is by approaching today — our next hour, our next moment — with the purpose and intent of someone who cares.

What has worrying done for us?

Not just lately, how about ever?

Nothing, right? Not a very good return on investment. In fact, take a second to think about the cost of worrying — not just in hard costs, but soft ones as well. Emotional costs. Energy costs. Opportunity costs. It really starts to add up doesn’t it?

If worry is never a good investment, that really leaves us with two basic choices:

+ Do something helpful to change our current circumstances
+ Let it go, and spend our energy on something we can change for the better

Substance over image

Our image — also called reputation — can be an incredibly powerful force, whether working for us or against us. We’d all rather it work for us. When it does, the things right in front of us generally become easier. Our access to opportunity seemingly increases. This appears to be exactly what we’d want, and so we’re wooed into guarding, protecting, and promoting our reputation above all else.

A good reputation must be earned, and there’s a lot of value in the hard work it takes to do so. There is a part of our image, though, that will always be outside of our control; no matter how hard we work. Because our image is dependent upon what others think of us.

A sobering reality for those of us committed to creating change that matters — change always happens on the edges, on the fringes of culture far away from consensus. Meaning that on our path to pursuing meaningful change, we can be guaranteed that there will be times when the majority believes that we’re foolish, crazy, and wrong. Actually, that’s best case scenario.

If our image is the thing that drives us in our quest for change, we will crumble before we ever get there. We must be driven by something deeper.

Enter substance. The stuff we’re truly made of.

When our image is stripped away, when we’re in the crucible of meaningful change, when the layers have been peeled away and our core is revealed, our substance appears. In our quest to make important differences in our world, this moment is an inevitability. We will always encounter it. And if we wait until then to decide on our substance, we will be disappointed to discover that choice was determined long ago.

The time to choose is now. Today. It’s tempting to concentrate on reputation, after all that is the part of us constantly on display to the world. It takes courage to decide differently — to direct our focus on our substance instead; knowing that work of substance is often done out of view, and that there’s no assurances that everyone else will ever understand who we are choosing to be inside.

It all comes down to this: If we are ever going to explore the edges where real change is made, it will be our substance — not our image — that gets us there.

The Sure Cure For Fear

Stop pursuing a life of meaning. Or better yet, do nothing at all.

We can avoid fear for as long as we want, but in doing so we are also choosing to avoid anything that matters. Fear doesn’t have to mean we’re fraudulent or weak. Actually, it might mean we’re on the edge of real, life-altering change.

Dancing with our fear is a whole lot more satisfying than avoiding it.


Until time travel becomes a proven method of transportation, we aren’t going to be able to go back in time and change our choices. We can, however, embrace the do-over that today provides.

Don’t like how something ended yesterday? Do it differently today.

Every morning we have a fresh chance to correct what we didn’t like about the day before. Getting it wrong yesterday isn’t the problem. Doing it the same way today is.

Today is our next do-over. What will we do with it?