New Year’s Revolutions…I mean resolutions.
Or do I? No actually I’m in favor of fewer resolutions and more revolutions. Making New Year’s Resolutions has, for some, become as meaningful as roses on Valentine’s Day. We do it because we t...hink we should, but it isn’t really our idea and our heart is rarely invested in this annual declaration of grand intention. But a Revolution! Now THAT by its very name and nature has some weight, some substance, some fiery grit and determination to it! Now Resolutions are all well and good, but tend to be quite cliché when they arrive on New Year’s. As a result, our hearts and therefore any true resolve rarely hold their ground for the long term. To be sure people do occasionally use this time a year to launch into real, deep and true change. But more often than not, New Year’s resolutions result in rarely used gym memberships and a juicer that collects dust before finding its way to a garage sale. So it occurred to me that the answer to these take-it-or-leave-it resolutions was to entirely forego them in favor of something infinitely more deep, meaningful and enduring. A Revolution. Now once you start a revolt, it more or less implies that there is no going back. No shrugging your shoulders and saying, “next year perhaps.” No one from your local gym is going to come knocking on your door when you’ve gone for over a week without grunting, or groaning, your way through your latest resolution. But a revolt, is a far more powerful personal performance. To stage a revolt requires an entirely different level of determination and commitment. Now when the colonists made the rebellious move to toss a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor, I’m pretty convinced they knew the fallout would be dire. Yet none of those brave souls showed up on the dock the next day apologizing for their hasty actions and blaming their defiant behavior on one too many pints at the pub. They didn’t merely resolve to file a complaint about tyranny, they led a revolution to rid themselves of it forevermore. They didn’t just agree with the notion of freedom they went to war to win it as their own. So what freedom do you have yet to claim? What part of yourself and all you could become are you holding prisoner with your fear, your uncertainty and your excuses? What mediocrity have you settled for in your life rather than the inevitable, heartache, struggle, and battle scars that are part of any true transformation? Is your internal upheaval a force to be reckoned with or is it a vague and weak notion of what would be nice if it weren’t for the battalion of excuses that thwart your efforts with little to no resistance from you. Greg has spoken often of the “anti-you” as he calls it. That voice of fear and uncertainty that keeps us from realizing the absolute splendor of who we might become. That dialog of anxiety and procrastination that convinces us that we can’t, we shouldn’t, we are undeserving or unable. Call it what you will, the “anti-you”, the alter-ego, the devil, or just a nasty boss or unsupportive family that you allow to plant the seeds of worry and self-doubt. Are you willing to go to battle? Are you willing to be beaten up by that phalanx of forces that will try to keep you from your God-given purpose? Are you willing to leverage your heart and mind against legions of naysayers, with yourself being perhaps the most formidable opponent of your potential? Yes or no? It’s only the essence of who you are and all that could be that hangs in the balance. Now lest I paint an errant picture that glorifies this struggle as needing to resemble dire and dramatic combat zones of sweeping martyrdom, such is not always the case. Perhaps the battle is the successful CEO who in his heart of hearts wants to coach high school football, but succumbs the pressures of society that suggests that we value status, wealth and influence. Perhaps it is the mother with years invested in her education and career that has the courage to decide that the job of being a mom is where her heart truly lies. Or perhaps it is found in a daily willingness to confront that which keeps you from the bright light of possibility and purpose. So I am suggesting that we can the cliché in favor of a crusade. An all-out, unapologetic Revolution for the life, the joy, the passion that is our right if we are willing to not just want it, but to fight for it. Do we retreat to the trenches of ease and acceptability or do we rise to the challenge of deserving more and dare to inspire others along the way. Personally I’d rather be wearied and wounded by the battle than wonder what might have been… ***In loving memory of Marci Millican who taught me how to be brave.