Despite many positive developments in global affairs, by and large the world is in a mess - the environment is being further degraded by the day, there are so many examples of human rights abuses and hundreds of thousands of people are still needlessly starving.
And while, collectively and individually, we can improve our skills and be ever more compassionate, I don't accept that the world's difficulties are down to a lack of love or ability. Most of the people I know are very lovely, very caring and have incredible skills, not perfect but very functional. I have met people from all over the world and almost all of them have been capable and caring.
Rather, I put the world's problems down to a lack of action on our behalf. Not all, but most. Just as Einstein said, "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." This quote, mainly inspired by what the Nazis did in Germany with the general acquiescence of the German population can to some extent be applied today to us taking responsibility for simple actions and decisions in our own backyard.
Whether it's allowing Coal Seam Gas, or logging old growth forests or simply accepting fossil fuels, make a stand. Don't vote for the parties that allow these practices, put solar panels on your roof, sign all the petitions against these practices and join marches and protests against them.
But the truth is your open heartedness enables you to access untapped resources to bring about great deeds for the good
I can guarantee that the people who are behind the decisions that cause harm to the environment and society are no more intelligent than you, have no more skill than you. In fact, the actions they take prove them to be less advanced in their thinking. They have generally blocked out their emotions to enable them to take such actions, so you may think of them as being stronger.
But the truth is your open heartedness enables you to access untapped resources to bring about great deeds for the good. Try it, you will experience this force, the same force that propels the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and Jane Goodall and that drove Gandhi and Mother Teresa forward on their missions, bringing inspiration, strength and the resources they required. Of course, we won't all reach global hero status but we can all add our piece to the collective tapestry of good works. In fact, the more of us who uphold our patch the less we will need the great heroes.
Most of the people I mentioned started in very humble beginnings and were actually quite awkward in themselves.
Aside from the Dalai Lama who was selected as a child, they were not the ones expected to achieve greatness by their peers early on in life. But what they all have in common is that they took a determined step against an injustice and from there the path opened up. They got over their procrastination.
I am without doubt one of the world's leading experts on procrastination. I have studied it from the inside so diligently, tying myself in knots to be unravelled before taking even the simplest of actions. And what I have discovered is that procrastination is not lack of action - there is a huge amount of effort and multiple actions within procrastination!
Procrastination is actually an act or series of actions in order to inhibit the desired action. Sometimes it comes from being misaligned with the purpose of the action, for example, a desire to do something on the head level but an inner knowing that it is not your path. But in my experience 99% of procrastination is simply down to a lack of self esteem, that awful phrase, "I can't do to". And the only way to overcome that is to do it.
No amount of therapy or discussion will overcome the cause of procrastination. Only action, only busting through the barrier and doing it will overcome procrastination. Furthermore, it is successful action that breeds self confidence. As you act you become more confident, you draw your resources together in a focused effort and you then begin to draw on and embody resources outside yourself. As you continue to act and work towards your goals, your self esteem continues to build and you begin to know deeply who you are and what your path is. You don't put effort into things that are not your mission; your energy is too dedicated to your mission so you don't have time to sidetrack.
There are two secret ingredients to jet fuel your mission:
The action (mission or project) needs to be for the benefit of all.
If your intention and your outcomes sincerely benefit life and all humans you will draw on the collective consciousness of the earth and humanity. This is why it cannot be defeated. This is how Gandhi stopped the British Empire, why China is more terrified of the Dalai Lama than a nuclear bomb and why Luke Skywalker wins in the end!
Success is not just in the outcome.
Of course, you want to achieve your goal, for example, to stop an old growth forest being logged or passing a law to greatly reduce carbon emissions. It's a great achievement when we win outright, but even if our goal is only partially achieved or, worse still, the developers or mining company get it completely their way there have still been many victories in the process.
It's helpful to remember these things:
i) a partial victory is still a success; if the forest is logged but an area is saved that is better than nothing,
ii) a precedent of opposition is set and there will be more support next time,
iii) people will have been educated as to better options,
iv) people will have been motivated to fight for just causes,
v) you will have developed your internal qualities for future projects and will have learned valuable skills, and
vi) actions for the good build the muscle of the collective conscious. No good act is wasted! But of course we'd give our all for outright victories, just don't get too downhearted and give up if complete success is foiled!
I encourage each of you to make 2016 a year of action, not a floppy attempt in January only to slide back on the conveyer belt of humdrum life in February. Instead, make a concerted effort throughout the year towards a project you are passionate about and something for the good of all.
If you have always desired to be a teacher and mentor young people enrol for that course now. If you love animals join an organisation and give your furry friends some real support like assisting at a cat shelter or helping find homes for discarded dogs (a huge problem as the Christmas charm wears off). If it's the environment you love, find your niche and work towards it - clearing rubbish from your local lake, protecting forests, lobbying councils for greener policies.
It will be the greatest gift you can give yourself, not just spiritually but in all aspects of your life. You will feel good about yourself, you will meet new people and you will positively glow.
A long time friend of mine recently went through a divorce. After a period of grieving he put himself to work. He is now the voluntary head chef of a local homeless shelter, providing lovingly made nutritious meals for people finding it tough on the streets plus a lot of heartwarming banter with the people who come in for sustenance and a roof over their head, most of all some TLC. My friend lost his home and his family as it was but his positive action in reaching out to those even less fortunate than himself has been such a fillip in his life. He now has a whole set of new friends, a much more suitable partner, is reunited with his children and has an even more open heart. He has become a sort of Jamie Oliver to the homeless. What can you do? Don't delay, act today!
In the words of animal activist Jane Goodall, "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
At 26, following a “shamanic intervention”, Jeremy closed his business and left London to visit sacred sites and elders, later creating Transformational Tours and SacredFire.
When not roaming mother earth, you will find Jeremy at home in Byron Bay's hinterland, playing with his children and planning the next adventure. firstname.lastname@example.org