This post was first published at the end of 2022. It's about big changes achieved through small actions.
As 2022 moves towards a close, it is natural to reflect on the year. To review our achievements, our losses and our relationships. To take inventory on our lives.
It is also natural to look forward, to set new goals and resolutions for the new year. To hope that we'll achieve something or become something.
One of the things I've noticed this year is that many of my clients are struggling to look forward. In fact, they are stuck in inaction, because they feel more and more overwhelmed.
When we question where this feeling comes from, it becomes clear that much of it comes from macro, global events. From fears about political turmoil, about wars, about climate change and so much more.
It's all too much. It's all too overwhelming. So people do nothing. They are frightened into inaction. Once this becomes a habit, the sense of overwhelm changes into a sense of helplessness. A sense that anything we do do is meaningless. We feel that whatever we do isn't enough and so we become passive and anxious.
If this resonates with you, then some simple advice from neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman might be what you need to hear.
Just act. Do something.
Dr Huberman teaches us that, if you change your behaviour, your feelings will change and then the way you see the world will improve. We think it's the other way round don't we?
We think that, if the politicians could sort out climate change targets, then we'd feel better and then we'd be able to make the changes we want to make. But that misunderstands the way we are wired as you can see in this clip:
So, my message to you as you think about goals for next year is to go and do what is exciting to you. That's the thing you are going to do best.
Maybe your goals will be to achieve something for yourself and that's great. Past issues of this blog are full of advice for you.
But maybe your goals are to change something in yourself, your community or for humanity.
If that's the case, don't worry about the scale of it. Just do something.
If you are worried about climate change, eat a vegan meal or walk to work one day. And when you've done that one thing, do another.
As you change your actions, you'll feel better. And after you feel better you will see the world through fresh eyes. You will see the opportunity and beauty and possibility of you, your community and all of humanity. Then it will be pleasurable to do more.
So don't worry about the scale of a global problem.
Go and do. Whatever it is. Go and do, something.
Because whatever change you make, however small it seems, is a change to the whole system.
That's how systems heal. And that's how people heal too. 🙏