“Nothing you do is going to make any difference,” he said, having no idea how encompassing his words might be. He simply meant there wasn’t much time for exercising before they were due elsewhere, but she was at a crossroad for so many goals, his words could have been applied to any of them. Fortunately, she knew better.
She had twenty minutes and in that time she could boost her self esteem by staying committed to a plan she put in place the week before. She could begin a new habit of finding time to exercise. She could practice putting her needs and desires ahead of old comfortable routines that weren’t taking her where she wanted to go.
There was a lot she could do in twenty minutes. In fact, she didn’t even need that long to make a difference. That’s when it hit her, and she realized it was DOING NOTHING that made the difference. Doing nothing versus doing something, makes the difference between reaching her goals, feeling good, and respecting herself – or none of those things.
Nothing makes a difference all right; it just isn’t the difference she wanted to make. My friend immediately began applying this idea to several changes she wanted to make. I’ve written before about the power of ten minutes, and of dispelling the “all or nothing” concept, but this perspective is a little different. This view shows that doing nothing is not the same as maintaining your present state, but is actually moving you along in the wrong direction.
When has doing nothing taken you where you didn’t want to go?
How could doing something slight actually be quite powerful?
There is a line from an old Rush song, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” It’s the same concept as choosing to do nothing. Choosing to do nothing builds a habit you may not want to strengthen. Indecision can result in a less desirable future than one in which you choose which direction to head.
We may not control our destiny, but we sure have a lot of leeway over the path we take while trying to create it. I’ve noticed that people who believe nothing they do will make a difference are often the people that have given up, are apathetic, or blame someone or something else when they fall short of the life they desire most.
I love how my friend worked out the truth for herself. I admire how hard she is working to defeat the pull of old familiar but unsatisfying routines, and looking to create new ones. With her insightful perspective of how nothing makes a difference, I’ll bet she finds herself on a far more fulfilling path than that of doing nothing.