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Wise Words – Even If I Can’t Remember Who Said Them!

Posted Nov 13 2009 10:02pm

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone starts to quote some dead philosopher as if they have the answer to everything and you start thinking “oh boy, here we go, how trite is this going to be”. Then you realize that what they are saying is actually not only powerful but really quite profound.

Nah, me neither.

OK, that’s not quite true. I was actually in a meeting at work just the other day when the fabulous Dr. Bill Stewart, author of ‘Deep Medicine’ (available at all good bookstores and some pretty crappy ones too) was quoting from a favorite philosopher of his (don’t you love that, Bill has favorite philosophers the way I have favorite beers, and ironically too much of either one will leave your head spinning).

Anyway, Bill was quoting this philosopher – whose name I can’t recall – saying “If you want to change tomorrow, you have to change today.”

Now, at first I was thinking “what the heck does that mean” but the more I thought about it the more sense it made. After all change, particularly big important change, doesn’t just happen on its own, it takes planning, thought and effort. So if you are thinking that tomorrow you are going to start leading a more active life, you have to start thinking today how you are going to do it, because it won’t just happen on its own.

In the same way if you are thinking that tomorrow you are going to be more thoughtful about what you eat you can’t then go home and eat a pint of ice cream, because if you do the odds are that you won’t do anything different tomorrow or that even if you do it won’t last. What you do today will shade and influence tomorrow, so if you hope to have change tomorrow you have to begin making that change today.

It’s a switch from being passive and saying “Ok, this New Year I am going to resolve to …..” and being active and saying “Ok, this minute I’m going to resolve to…..” You are not waiting for things to happen,  you are making them happen.

Of course, that doesn’t make the changes you are trying to do any easier, but it does make them more immediate, more real and more in your control. They are not some abstract idea that is going to be put into action at a later date. They are a wish, a desire, a resolve that you are beginning to put into effect now.

And I think if you are going to change your life, now is a pretty good place to start. It’s like at the end of the movie, ‘When Harry Met Sally’, where Harry (Billy Crystal) declares his love for Sally (Meg Ryan) at a New Year’s Eve ball saying: “And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

I think now is as soon as possible. So, that’s a pretty good place to start.


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