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Sandy Reflections: Realizing Goals and Change

November 11, 2012

Photo Credit: Brandan A. Cox

Hurricane Sandy proved an unwelcome reliance on electricity in my life, which further revealed a need for widespread change sparking decisive steps to turn ideas into reality. What follows is the progression of thoughts leading to prioritization, commitment, labor and successful life changes.

Returning from morning errands to shower, cook breakfast and start preparations before Hurricane Sandy, the power went out just as water started to flow–2 hours before winds were even expected to pick up. Great. Well, without much else to do and tiredness looming, I eventually laid down. Half an hour later the lights flicked back on, my eyes opened and I jumped for the shower hoping to get nice and clean before a powerless few days.

At 6 o’clock–right when we turned the oven on for dinner and right when it became dark, the power went out again in one definitive swoop. Good timing. Soon after giant tree cracked and fell loudly across the street, just missing the neighbor’s car and power lines. I watched it fall amazed at the ease in which seemingly subtle winds could topple a seemingly sturdy beast.

While lighting oil lamps and candles, I prepped a movie on a laptop to view over low-lit dinner. After, meandering through darkness I found welcoming sheets, where I read in bed by oil lamp, I tired and retired.

The sun started poking through and by 10 AM the next day skies were once again clear. The storm’s mega system had whirled itself unusually inland leaving only smaller pockets of powerful red on the coastal radar, my current location.

At noon we were still without power. I had one hour of battery life (less in reality with this old thing) to write hard-hitting reflections charging my mind.

Knowing that so many people were struggling through truly disastrous measures, I felt spoiled and unjustified, but not being able to toast, cook or heat water is specifically dampening to my daily comfort, routine and enjoyment, which affect my ability to be productive. These things I take for granted, and like when you make a mistake, I think I’ll be thankful for electricity every day once it’s back on, but the initial buzz that returns often fades fast.

Commitments to such ends are difficult to maintain. Why are we blinded from commonplace realities? Is this referable to traveling to unknown, different lands and cultures to alter our prior learned perceptions of where we call home? Do people who travel often and always have a skewed or confused perception of the world? What is the role of having a home base to root one’s perceptions in?

As nice as it is to experience life without power, in its raw state, it kicked me from behind last night as I watched DPW clear the tree in raining darkness, illuminating how obscured our lives are–living in homes surrounded by technology, immediacy and reliant on power. We would be completely lost without it. Why have more post oil preparations have not been imposed? Really, life is so different without such luxuries we regard as given, and the source of our low resiliency lies in our expectations. We must adapt, evolve and change our perception of how it ought to be. Of course, the transition would be long and hard.

Food is important to all. And food, without power, is a major issue. From transport to sales and shelf life to home preservation–without power things go awry quick. Where I was during Sandy, we were not set up to cook without power besides lighting a fire and balancing pots and skillets on logs.

Like many a task in life, it boils down to labor. One must invest time and effort into learning and practicing in any area they would like to see grow. For instance, in writing I must sit and write nearly every day; to read, research and actively pursue the craft in order for it to advance into anything workable. It is a goal within reach and I have many years to advance it if I so choose. Everyone is not a writer, no, but anyone can materialize what he or she wants in life if they truly believe and set out to.

That may sound cliché and shortsighted, but choosing your priorities and setting time and energy into them mixed with the power of the mind–believing and having faith in your success–will grant you results. Commitment and devoting labor are hard, but setting priorities is a prerequisite that can be the most difficult.

Today the possibilities of what to do with ones life are greater than ever in history and continue to grow. The Internet and all the toys and gadgets associated with technology increase our access to information on these choices. Schools and programs exist, jobs are available and all in different areas of the world. Where, what, how, why and when are questions that begin to gain more and more weight until a decision, or at least compromise is met. Choosing what you want to do defines what you choose to prioritize, and from there you can take the proper steps to advance in that direction.

As I face a period of transition, the question of where to live battles with the question of what to do as a prioritizing foundation. The options are plenty and the answers unclear and speculative. It is one of life’s complex problems, where lies a level of uncertainty–the beauty of the beast.

If you choose to appreciate and expect uncertainty, you find the comfort to bask in it. I’m not saying it’s easy, in fact the opposite. Accepting uncertainty for its majestic force present in daily life leads to more confidently defining priorities and goals, making commitments to further them and putting in diligent labor. With not only reaching goals as a driving force, but also a passion for learning, understanding and expanding your capacities, opportunities and personal and professional network, we will unearth success in chosen priority.

Another key aspect to retain in the retina is that action is essential. Having ideas is fantastic. The more the better, but being able to decipher which ones have the most potential, which ones speak to you loudest and which ones you have the most power to influence in your life will define which ones are best to act on. Ideas are just that, ideas. They are in our heads and create ambitious inspiration, yet they only become real and manifest into phenomenal things, careers, projects and subtle successes in life when we put that idea into play in the real world.

Keep dreaming up ideas, write them down so you’ll remember (organization helps) and find ways to apply them into real life through action. Set commitments, tangible or preposterous, and put in labor to carry those out. Never doubt the power of belief. As people can heal themselves through the power of the mind, people can also achieve great ends, even with meager means–believe it.

Please share revelations you experienced during Sandy or other times set apart from our techno-immediate lives, as well as ideas, whether incubating in your mind or already brought to fruition. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to hear what other brains are storming.

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