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To do good, you actually have to do something

The other night I was watching some TV (something that I don’t do a lot of thanks to a busy schedule) and happened to see a Member Project from  American Express commercial.  It contained Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard talking about saving and protecting the environment.  His big project is removing the Matilija Dam along a tributary of the Ventura River that is serving no purpose at this point in time and killing the life in the river. 

When we work to save and preserve the environment we are doing more than that.  We are saving ourselves.  In the commercial Yvon says: “We are part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.”  We are not immune to the repercussions of the things we do in this world.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  If anything, global warming is teaching us that.

Then Yvon says something that really caught my attention.  “When I get an idea to do something I like to take the first step.  If that feels good I take another step.”  He then concludes with:

To do good you actually have to do something.

I really started to think about that.  I mean to me this is very powerful statement and I can see why American Express created a Members Project commercial around it because it is so simple and yet so motivational.  How many times have we had an idea, maybe even a revolutionary or game changing idea but we never took that first step?

To do good you actually have to do something.

We all have the desire and capacity to do good.  But to do so we actually have to do something.  We have to take that first step, and then another step.  And before we know it we are walking on a journey that changes our life and the lives of others.  We become leaders and pioneers even if it is only in the small circle of people we associate with.

What we do doesn’t have to be as dramatic or as large as Yvon working to remove an obsolete dam.  We can do things to initiate change that are as simple as replacing the light bulbs in our homes with energy efficient bulbs.  Or choosing to walk, bike or take public transportation to work.  We can choose organic foods at the supermarket.  Sure it costs a bit more but what is the environment and your health worth to you?  We can get involved with organizations that work to preserve and protect our environment.

To do good you actually have to do something

We can even take this statement further.  To do anything worthy in life, you have to do something.  Yeah, no kidding you might be saying as you roll your eyes at the same time.  Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it?  But how many times have you wanted to change your life, maybe go in a different direction, start your own business, travel overseas but fear of the unknown has held you back?  Trust me I know that feeling.  Fear of the unknown has held me back on numerous occasions.  It’s a feeling that eats away at you and makes you start to doubt what it is you really want in life.  It culminates with you settling instead of taking that first step to make a change that Yvon speak about.

We can do anything we put our mind to.  But in order to do it we need to do something.  We need to take that first step, see if it is good, and if it is, then take another step.

Taking the first step

Do you have something you want to do or accomplish in our life?  I know I do.  I have a whole list of things to accomplish.  Have you taken that first step toward that goal yet?  I’ve given myself the rest of 2010 to make some major life changes which include a major relocation and business launch.  I’ll have more details on that over the coming months but I’ve already taken some first steps which include:

  1. Connecting with others who are living unconventional lives
  2. Clearing out clutter to lighten our load
  3. Paying off debt so we can be financially free

I really believe that when you start to position yourself to fulfill your dreams things will start to fall into place.  Maintaining a positive attitude and really believing that things are possible will bring your life into focus.  Take that first step today and see if it is good.  If it is, then take another.

 You can view the commercial of Yvon here:

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