Everyone is looking for a formula, a plan, a few steps for better living.
And the people who aren’t looking are the ones who are selling us the formulas, plans and steps. Good living is just so easy…well, as easy as a few easy payments.
I don’t buy into much of the self-improvement fad. I scoff most of the time when a pastor or motivator or leader tells me that my life can be better with three or five easy steps. If I just do “X, Y, Z,” then my life will be complete. Usually, one of those steps involve giving the expert my money. I think step one of their formula for better living is “Make up a formula for better living.” Step two: “Sell your formula to a lot of people.”
But I like Mary Oliver’s formula. There is no cost involved. It is simple. Anyone can do it.
Most of us are not even completing step one. We just go through the motions and then wonder where the years went. We feel cheated, simply because we didn’t bother with step one.
Step two is even more elusive. It takes a certain amount of faith, a particular level of childish joy in a person to do step two. Even if people do step one, most of them don’t get past this one.
And finally step three. I’ve come to think that if people have not done steps one and two, and are trying to skip to step three, then whatever they are saying is probably not much worth listening to. It’s only by doing steps one and two and we actually find our voices.
So which step are you on today? Don’t worry, it’s probably best to start at step one every day, isn’t it?