Woohoo, I’m working on my final edits for In The Spirit Of Love! It’s a ton of work, and at first glance, I felt a little overwhelmed with all the little red marks and comments my publisher attached to the manuscript. On second thought though, I realized it was my opportunity to clean up areas that needed cleaning, tighten sentences that were sloppier than they should be, and review – again, my finished product before sending it out into the big wide world.
It’s not often we get a chance for this kind of do-over. Or is it? As I sit, hour after hour going through the manuscript line by line, I couldn’t help but think about the parallels to life. How many times have we wished we could just go back and erase something we said or did? I don’t know about you, but for me, lots.
Just about everyone I know has regrets; things they’ve said, or didn’t say, missed opportunities, or things they’ve done that have hurt others (intentionally or unintentionally), but wish they could change.
With life, we hopefully learn, and as Oprah Winfrey says, “When you know better, you do better”. Well, I’ve learned a hell of a lot, and I know I could have done better in a lot of areas. As parents we’re always second guessing ourselves. There are always ten thousand things we wish we’d done differently or better. Being a parent means learning to live with guilt and regret, but most of us get enough right to raise reasonably sane and productive adults who contribute to society, love themselves and value the importance of family, religion and doing the right thing.
But what about actually making a change? What about do-overs in life? Well, we may not be able to go back in time and change the past, but we have full control of changing the present and the future. We can make amends to those we’ve hurt, we can apologise for hurtful words or deeds, we can choose to make different decisions and thereby change the future. We can even choose to change the world if we want.
I recently attended a large incentive and rewards trade show in Toronto and was fortunate enough to attend a seminar by keynote speaker, Scott Harrison, Founder & CEO of charity: water. I really hadn’t paid any attention to who was speaking, I just went to the seminar because my boss asked me to. I came away with a deep appreciation and respect for this young man who was able to pull off one of the greatest do-overs I’ve heard of. Going from popular event promoter in New York City living a carefree life of parties, booze, drugs, and irresponsibility, Scott made a decision to change his life, and thereby changed the course of many lives. I sat in that packed amphitheatre and listened to his story and was amazed at what one man could, and has, done to make a difference in his own life and for so many others. Wow. Very cool. I encourage everyone to check out Scott and his organization to learn more about this 100% fixable global problem of insufficient clean water.
I think too often we think we can’t change things, we can’t change ourselves or our direction in life, or that our efforts and deeds don’t matter. We can, and they do. Every day we make decisions on how we want to present ourselves to the world, how we want to interact with our fellow human beings, and how we contribute to this life and planet.
It’s true we can’t change our past – it’s done and over, but we can change our outlook, our direction, and our future. For sure not as easily as I edit my manuscript, but in editing the words on a screen, I’m reminded of the bright possibility of tomorrow, and of the do-overs yet to come.