The Year of Living as if All Things Are Possible

Crofters WindowCombining my optimism, hope, faith in the goodness of the world, and free will, I have decided to embark on a year long journey. I am going to live the next year with the view that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. My initial goals: to live as much as I can without past resentments and programing, to overcome fear, to achieve my career goals, to develop stronger, more loving relationships, and act with more open kindness. I’m sure those goals will grow and change.

The inspiration came from a book I just finished, which I highly recommend: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg. After reading about habits and how we can change them, how we are manipulated by them, how the big corporations use them to target customers, I came to a story about William James, who when he was a young man, suffered from depression and more. After struggling for years, James made the following commitment:

I think that yesterday was a crisis in my life. I finished the first part of Renouvier’s second Essais and see no reason why his definition of free will — ‘the sustaining of a thought because I choose to when I might have other thoughts’ — need be the definition of an illusion. At any rate, I will assume for the present — until next year — that it is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.

This decision changed his life, and focused him on the path that led to him now being considered the Father of American Psychology.

Obviously, my year will be different. To begin with, I’m not focusing on free will to gain free will, but on using free will to live the life that some part of me has always believed is possible. I’ll try to report every week but before I start I have one more thing to say: if you subscribe to my blog, please don’t feel bad deleting the notifications in your inbox. And that is my first act of kindness on this journey. 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. 1) Wow! Very inspiring. I’m excited for you and to hear about your journey, especially as we all (to some degree or another, I think) fall prey to “settling” or having that self-defeatist “This is probably as good as it gets” attitude about so much of life.

    It’s probably not as deep as your reading material (and I haven’t even read the book yet, just blurbs, heh heh), but I’ve been using the title of Mindy Kaling’s new non-fiction book as my mantra for the past few months: Why not me?

    I’ve found it inspiring and applicable to so many aspects of my life. A full-time career doing what I love – why not me? Health and vitality with or without weight loss – why not me? A happy, mutually satisfying marriage in and out of bed (LOL) – why not me? And so on and so on.

    2) Why on earth would I want to delete your notifications in my inbox? (And if I did, why would I need your permission? 🙂 🙂 )

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Angela. I can’t wait to hear more and participate in my own way with you!

    p.s. I just bought WHY NOT ME? this week. When I actually read more than the amazing title, I’ll let you know what I think.

    • 1) Yes, WHY NOT ME? It’s a rare book that can inspire before it’s even read. I am eager to hear your thoughts on it!

      2) Haha! You’re right! However, I’m giving you my permission anyway. 🙂

  2. I think that’s fantastic. There are so many people out there and messages telling me what to believe. I want to come along in this ride with you!

    • Wonderful, Dave! You’re so welcome on board! Just don’t ever think I’m telling you what to think!!! This is all just my meager musings.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of who is in control Angela! I sometimes despair and forget that I have the power to change things. – that, as you said, “all things are possible” and my way of thinking has an effect on that possibility.

    Your musings are not meagre. They are authentic and honest. They invite connection and community. Many thanks for your thoughts and your sharing. I look forward to the journey.

    • Thank you for your very kind words, Deb!

      It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we’re powerless in our various situations, and act according to our usual habits – or ruts. I’m finding that I have to keep reminding myself. I watched “After Earth” again last night, and was really impressed by Will Smith’s take on fear. Danger can be real, but fear is a choice. To insert whatever I’m afraid of for the word “Danger”, then choose to not be afraid, then act wisely… To me, that seems a worthy goal!

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