“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.” -Unknown
The irony of New Year’s eve this year was a peculiar one. I spent part of December 31st, when many celebrate the start of something new, celebrating the life of a great man, the end of his time here on this earth. As I sat and listened to the words of the priest’s homily, watched his family cry, read his obituary I was struck by how much this man had accomplished in his life time. I was awed by the impact he had on his family, friends and his community. During the reception after the funeral, I was speaking to a friend of the family’s and we spoke about where we were in our lives. Nobody wants to admit they are having a midlife crisis, but what occurred to me is what does that exactly mean? Many feel as though it is a last grasp at youth. Some feel as though it is the time to spend time and money doing things they wished they had done years earlier, the very cliché act of buying the red convertible comes to mind.
My midlife crisis, if that is what its called, is not to have more, but to do more. I know we all make promises to ourselves at this time of year to eat better, exercise more, save more money, etc. but what about the memory of who we are and what we leave behind. This year, instead of a dream board, I am creating an action board. I am not going to try anymore, I am going to do. The very way that is perceived in your mind changes things doesn’t it? It creates a sense of urgency, it creates a stirring in the mind’s eye that it, whatever IT is, is already occurring. Whenever we tell ourselves something over and over it sets in motion, through the subconscious, the steps to make that dream a reality. It creates a sense of order that the body and its physical acts will complete the thought because we become what we think about most of the time.
Think for a moment how empowering that is. The secret to success and the secret to failure lies within the same source. ME. If I am to fill my head with thoughts of positivity, abundance, love and creativity then I can assume a certain outcome. The same will result if I am filled with rage, resentment, despair and destruction. The mind is like a garden; no matter what seeds you plant, whether it is tomatoes or poison ivy, given the same soil, sun, water and care the earth will produce the final product. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” So take care as to what thoughts and ideas you plant in your mind.
Lights, camera, action is obviously the familiar refrain of a director. I feel as though sometimes that our lives are like our own movie sets. I spoke earlier about the funeral I attended on New Year’s eve and the symbolism of one of this man’s many accomplishments became apparent to me more than the rest. He was responsible for getting the lights installed on our two high school football fields to create “Friday Night Lights”, the now popular venue for high school football. He in so many ways, lit the way for us to see what we can do if we are to put our minds to it. Some times we need someone to shine light on something we don’t quite see, to visualize the many possibilities, to accent the positives and see what we have right in front of us.
The camera brings it all into focus. It highlights what we want and need to see in all its vibrant colors and defines what memories we want to record. The pictures in our minds transcend time. They can conjure up old memories and lessons of life’s past and remind us of what we have learned to create a successful future. The camera doesn’t lie, it sees things for what they are and we need that in our lives because sometimes we don’t want to see the ugliness or the imperfections in each and every one of us. Which brings us to the final and ultimate command, ACTION! The director doesn’t says lights, camera wish or dream or hope, he commands all on the set to action. This is the time and place where we close the gap between our dreams and reality. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.
Be the director of your own lives, the star of your own show. Hold yourself accountable and no on else. We are our reasons why our lives play out the way they do and the footprint we leave behind. I believe in you all, keep believing in yourselves.
Special thanks to Jim Gilbert whose lights will continue to shine down on not only the fields of Middletown, NJ, but on the lives of the many he touched, including mine.