Why Make It A Good One?
You can always change your outcome – you have the power within you to do it. But the only way to do it is to change your internal narrative, the story you tell yourself….your paradigm. It is a domino effect: if you change how you see things, then you change how you react to what you see. You don’t have much power over events and circumstances that are external to you, but you do have tremendous power to change the way you observe them and understand them.
“Make it A Good One” is an invitation for action, it is a way of living. “Make it A Good One℠” is not about a world of constant happiness, as there is no such world. But it is within this world of imperfections that we can create and design a Good One. By welcoming challenges as they appear, grieving our losses when they happen, embracing opportunities when they arise, and taking actions that define our purpose in life, we can, each day, Make it A Good One.
Somehow, deep down, there is a belief within many of us, a story we tell ourselves, that if we just did things a little better, or were a little more organized, or somehow could convince someone to change his or her behavior – if we could just do those things, our lives would improve. The problem with this notion is that it conflicts with the very nature of what it is to be alive and human. We cannot escape challenges and hard times. We can, however, make active choices that not only increase our sense of joy and empowerment, but also enhance our ability to manage those challenges and difficult moments when they come. Life is not perfect, and it will never be, but we all have an enormous amount of power to harness within ourselves. Making It A Good One is about active choices, empowerment and joy.
Consider the word, “whatever,” when used as an expression of apathy or negativity. It often comes with a shoulder shrug and a teenager whine, but at its base is a sense of powerlessness. It is a state of doing nothing. Have you ever felt yourself unhappy with something, but also, simultaneously unwilling to take action to remedy the unhappiness? Often it emerges from a sense of being a victim: “my difficulty comes from the outside, it is external to me, and therefore I cannot change it.”
“Whatever,” is a powerful conversation blocker, shutting off even a person’s internal dialogue, and limiting possibilities for action and authentic change. Make It A Good One℠ poses a critical question: what can we do to transform the “whatever” way of thinking to a meaningful and purposeful way of living?
Another interesting phrase is “Life Is Good.” I couldn’t agree more – life is good! But somehow this phrase has entered into everyday speech in such a way as to become meaningless, or worse, dismissive. Is life really always good, all by itself, even if you do nothing to make it good? Perhaps this phrase is simply the flipside of the “whatever” mentality. One might ask, “why should I make active choices if life is already good?”
“Life is good” can, indeed, be a simple expression of gratitude, but it can also be a way of expressing complacency. The truth is we are empowered to make active choices to bring goodness into our lives. If you were sitting on a sailboat on a sunny day with a healthy wind in the sails and your feet dangling in the cool water, you might sigh and say, “ah, life is good!” and you’d mean it! But sometimes it is important to remember that it wasn’t an accident that you decided to get up early that morning to go sailing, or that you remembered to put on sunscreen before you got out to sea, or that you invited a few good friends to join you on the water that day. To get to the place where your feet are dangling in the water, you had to make a number of critical choices – your active participation in the day’s events, including a few things, like the sunscreen, that are such habits so ingrained into your life that you hardly even notice them, is a large part of why it is such a good day.
Of course, sometimes it is ok to take a moment and “not think about it.” In fact, these pauses we allow ourselves can ultimately help us find clarity. Likewise, we mustn’t interrupt our authentic “life is good” moments by ticking off the list of active choices we made to get there. It is fine to just tip your head back and enjoy the breeze in your hair, and the water as it swirls around your toes. But life becomes richer, and challenges become more manageable if we recognize all the power we really do have to bring joy and fulfillment to our lives.
As human beings we are distinguished from other creatures by our ability to choose – what we think, do and create, how we work, learn, practice and grow. The decision to get up when we fall is a powerful choice we make. Even grief is a decision to move forward. Every day, we can actively design our life to Make it A Good One. We can Make It A Good One regardless of our age, the time of the day, the season, our location or the circumstances of our lives.
Together we will learn how to “Make it A Good One” by embracing our dreams and passions, channeling our ambition and drive, practicing our commitments and beliefs, and turning all this into action, purpose and meaning in our lives.