This song has been praised as one of his most original compositions. It includes this line: “We’ll hold hands an’ then we’ll watch the sun rise from the bottom of the sea.”
Well, that’s impossible. It’s also original. Have you ever read or heard that idea anywhere else?
It’s impossible to split a dense hunk of wood. Until you have a sharp axe and know how to use it. It’s impossible to change our habits. Until we have a tool suitable for the task and … know how to use it.
The key is in the song, hidden in the concept of what’s “original.”
It’s easy to know what’s familiar. But to experience something familiar as original is a developed skill. For example, every sunset can be different, when we see it that way. Every sandwich can be unique, when we savor an original taste sensation. Every kiss can be the first kiss.
A visionary activist begins, not with noble causes to support, but with developing the ability to originate their momentary experience. This requires developing a new habit that enrolls imagination to activate quantum potential.
Knowing the familiar gives way to understanding the original, deeply feeling every experience, rather than living superficially in our heads and solving problems. We become able to approach those so-called problems from an elevated perspective, not to solve them, but to evolve them. This starts with acceptance: “This is the way things are. Perfect. Now, how can I originate the familiar into what’s next?”
A person might notice their reflection in the mirror and say to themselves: “Whoa, I’ve gained weight, I should eat less and exercise more.” In that moment, they “know” they should do this. The question is: will they?
Probably not. Because solving a problem from head space is a tiresome duty. The alternative? Evolving a situation from heart space, which is an exciting adventure.
We “know” a lot. We know we should stop this and start that to be healthy. We know we should be kind to those we love. We know we should fix that tiny leak in the roof before the rainy season arrives. We swim in a sea of knowing, drowning in all that we know we should do… but don’t do.
Why don’t we do these things?
Because we don’t want to. And we’ve resigned ourselves to living in a conflicted state, knowing that we should do yet not doing.
We can achieve temporary results by trying harder but until our desires change we’ll always yearn for what we’re giving up. We can quit drinking… but we really want a drink. We can quit smoking… but we really want to smoke. We can go to the gym and work out … but we really don’t enjoy it.
We want what we want. So, how do we change what we want?
There’s a word processing tool in writing software called Replace All. It’s used to change something that shows up many times in a document. For instance, if you wrote December 15 seven times you can change that to December 16 with just one click, which is quicker than changing every instance where you mis-wrote the date.
How about a Replace All feature for our personal software? What if we could change “knowing the familiar” to “experiencing the original,” in just one keystroke.
We can. Here’s how.
Pick a moment. Select any familiar aspect of your life where you’ve realized change is important but haven’t been able to pull it off. In this situation, you're that old dog struggling to learn a new trick. Choose something familiar, like “I know I should get more sleep.”
OK. Instead of rehearsing ideas about what you should do – go to bed earlier, quit eating late night snacks and drinking caffeinated beverages after noon, etc. – consider the obvious: You’re not an old dog!
This is not a joke, it’s not just word play, it actually reveals the secret to lasting change that we are unveiling together: what needs to change is a “who,” not a “what.”
Your finger is hovering over the Replace All key right now. With one click you can address every situation where you’ve been unable to do what you know you should do. Ready?
You need to be
a different person in order to do
something different. Who would you be? Someone capable of doing the impossible.