Imagine you were given a small, plain houseplant. You watered it regularly, made sure it had enough light, fed it fertilizer, and maybe you even played music for it. Over time, the plant grew strong and bloomed. It became beautiful and it filled you with joy every time you looked at it.
Now imagine that you forgot about that plant. You forgot to water it and it drooped. It started looking pretty sad, so you put it in a dark corner. It wilted and turned brown. Leaves fell off. You threw it out in the trash. And you missed out on that joy it would have brought you.
This is your life. This is everything in your life. If you do not care for things, engage in everything around you, they will wilt, and you will miss out on many opportunities.
Deepak Chopra, renowned doctor and writer, states, “The moment you stop interacting with anything, show indifference toward it, or even just go through the motions—whether it is a relationship, activity, or object—is the moment it starts to become less relevant to your life and starts to wither away” (43). Contrary to that, when we purposefully engage with relationships, activities, or objects in a positive and caring way, those things in our life will grow.
Think about a relationship that’s important to you. It may be positive or negative. Now, what would happen if you paid more attention to it? What would happen if you communicated more often? Or if you did kind things for the other person? If you told them something about themselves that made you happy? Chances are, the relationship would yield more blossoms, rather than wilt.
Of course, it’s hard to change. If you’ve always just called your mother on holidays and birthdays, it may be uncomfortable to start calling every Sunday. But think of it this way: Chopra tells us, “Our brains literally lose the capacity to expand, adapt, transform, and evolve if not challenged. As a result, we doom ourselves to a world of repetition, boredom, and stagnation.” Does “repetition, boredom, and stagnation” sound like something you want to perpetuate in our short time here on earth? Chopra goes on to say, “We settle for something far more predictable because it feels safer, even if it dulls our very experience of being human” (NEED PG #).
So, yes, it’s safer to keep doing what you’re doing. You know the outcome, if it’s something you’ve always done. But if you truly want to grow and have a richer, more fulfilling life, you need to engage.
We are all connected to each other. And not just to people, but the world around us. Chopra states that the wisest “look at the trees as their lungs. If the trees didn’t breathe, they would not breathe. And if they did not breathe, the trees would not breathe” (34). Realize that every one of your actions affects everything around us. When you realize that, you may want to consider what you’re putting out there. Is it negativity? Indifference? Is this what you want your surroundings to become?
I hope the answer is no. To make positive changes in your life and that which surrounds you, you must be purposefully engaged. Pay loving attention to the people in your life, start to care for things you may have inadvertently neglected, and get in the game! Become truly involved in your life. Don’t just wait for things to happen to you. Be the catalyst of your life. You are the one responsible for change and growth.