"If": proof that glorious things can come in very small packages. Think of all the wonder wrapped up in this tiny, two-letter word. Imagination takes flight, dreams come to be, and chances of a lifetime are taken by its mere utterance. On his blog, Chris Brogan asked his readers to consider the three words of 2010 that they would use to shape their 2010 plans. “If” is my selection because of the great possibility it invokes.
"If" describes the abilities that make us successful in the truest sense of the word, in terms of the deepest and dearest meaning it has. What abilities allow us to live a life of great virtue? What abilities will make every possibility an option for us? "If" is the gateway to the answers.
"If-" is the title of one of my favorite poems by Rudyard Kipling, and one of my favorite lines of the poem asks us to “start again at your beginnings”. Today begins a new decade, and so it’s only natural for us to look back and remember where we began the last one. A few days after January 1, 2000, I took off for my first theatre tour. Previously, I had been working in a tiny theatre box office, and I needed to break out of it. The contract for the tour was only for four months and the pay was less than I made at the box office. I didn’t care; I needed the adventure.
And so began a decade that would lead me to travel around the globe, fulfill my dream of managing Broadway shows, and then send me back to school to take on the complex world of hard-nosed business. I became a published writer, and through that writing found my truest voice. I found yoga as a balm for my old soul, fell in love countless times, and learned to trust my own instincts above all others. In the decade that began with the year 2000, I discovered how I could make a meaningful contribution to humanity that would live on long after I am gone.
At the end of the decade, I was getting a bit too comfortable. I had gotten set in my new ways and lost sight of the adventure that called to me so clearly at the start of 2000. I too often trusted the opinions and instincts of others. And so, the world decided that a cleansing was necessary, a cleansing that would make it impossible for me to rest on my laurels by taking away the laurels altogether. In Kipling’s audacious terms, I was forced to start again at my beginnings.
Today, in this hour, at this moment, I am choosing to begin again using a map of “If, then” statements. It is a long and winding road, filled with imagination and dreams, a tortuous tangle of stunning possibility and hope. Cheers to the beginning of a very good year, and a very good decade!