If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...
When you’re ready to do something challenging in your life, don’t go it alone. Even if you’re able to accomplish whatever it is solo, do this: take names. Take the names of great teachers to help you get there, and friends to bring along for the ride.
Then, when you get to where you’re going – which you’re much more likely to do when you take names – you’ll have lots of friends to celebrate with you!
I call my work Kick Butts, Take Names. The focus is on tobacco – that’s the buttkicking part – but the more important part is how: by bringing others along for the ride. Not only is it a lot more effective to do challenging things this way – it’s more fun, too!
We’re not meant to be lone rangers, remember: even The Lone Ranger had Tonto and Trigger in his life! We’re meant to be more tribal, more connected. I think it’s the disconnection that’s at the root of everything we call addiction. Every heinous thing that’s happened, really, seems to be fed by some disconnection and isolation… think about it. It doesn’t have to be that way, and each one of us has the power to help transform that.
When we have something in us that compels us to seek change, we also have a golden opportunity to seek out meaningful connection. This kind of deep connection changes things, not only within us, but in our world.
This is how the Civil Rights Movement happened, this is how women got the right to vote, this is how entire countries gain their independence, this is how we change the world, for the better, for all. We do it together.
Whatever it is you’re wanting to change or grow within you, whatever it is you’re fed up with and wanting to transform, chances are there is someone else who is seeking the same. We’re not alone. We’re all connected… we just need to feed and nurture those connections with the power of our emotion and our words and our thoughts and our actions.
Never underestimate that power you have within you. It is easy to forget this, in the world we live in. Easy to forget; important to remember.
When I smoked a pack a day for the more than twenty years that I did that, I not only forgot about the power of this interconnection… I forgot about the power of this amazing body I inhabit too. We each inhabit a body that has the power to heal wounds; did you ever think of it that way? It’s amazing and, if you’re reading this, you have one.
To the best of your ability, feed and nurture this, too, with good food and water and the power of your emotion and words and thoughts and deeds. Laugh as much as you can. Love, too. We have the power to do so much good. Kick butts – whatever that means for you – and take names!