As autumn begins its merry dance and trees across the still green lawn shake gold hues into their leaf tips, the wind changes shape. The sky changes its face. The rift between the livelihood of summer and the dead of winter reveals itself as an inevitable change and plasters in colorful cracking coats, exciting thoughts and refreshing the imagination.
I noticed that when people ask me how I’m doing, if I state a mere “I’m feeling O.K.” then the day feels dull and feelings of inability shoot through my core. But when I reply “I’m doing Fantastic!”, “I’m feeling Great!” something changes. And like the autumn blaze in the season before us a feeling of capability and creativity begin its constructive work.
Last week my wife and I had a discussion about change. About changes that lie before us and the changes we’ve been through. About the habits of millionaires and the activities of people who lead happy lives. Through that conversation two immediate changes came up.
1. Drop the TV.
A good amount of what we watch is educational, but still entertaining. Shows like Good Eats and Mythbusters are peppered with documentaries on health, finances and history. There’s still some mindless entertainment, though. Last night I took some down-time watching a couple of three-stooges episodes. And though I only watch 10 hours of non-scheduled programs a week, opposed to the national average of 19 hours, that’s still 10 hours that could be pared down to 2 (for Family Movie Night).
2. Spend that extra time reading.
My personal take on reading has been to find something that excites the imagination. But reading books to hone and create skills, to challenge and build faith and to encourage thought and creativity need to be more prevalent. The idea is that if I can inspire my desires into action then I’d be more successful in life. For example, I could be a better photographer, a better Dad, a better Husband, a better thinker, a more creative programmer, and overall enjoy life more with a change in attitude and thought that comes through reading and applying.
So those are my two major lifestyle changes that have come up recently. I hate it when people say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “you’re too old to change”. Bah! That negative attitude didn’t bring them any success. Statements like that are insulting. They’re saying “you’re incapable, unintelligent, too complacent, unmotivated, uncreative…” At the heart of the matter is a lack of faith in God. The Bible is loaded with examples of men, young and old alike, changing. Anything I create I can change. Similarly, anything God creates He can change.
So what am I feeling? I’m feeling change!