Updated: Apr 30
I was a little late this morning getting to the beach, but there’s a good reason. I decided to rock the boat, change it up a bit, rearrange the furniture, so to speak. I am a creature of habit, and my routines are incredibly important in my life. But today… today is a new day.
I began to park my car in the usual spot before making the trek to my usual area on the beach to enjoy my usual Sunday morning ritual, but something felt different, so I decided to roll with it. I turned around and headed north. Only about a 1/2 mile north, mind you, but I ventured into uncharted territory; the other end of the beach.
What I received from this seemingly simple decision was a fresh, new perspective, not only on the beach but on life in general.
This morning I chose to change my circumstances. I took a chance. I was rewarded with beauty and solace that I had yet to experience during my weekly visits to the beach. It was an amazing feeling. I was awestruck.
Here, on this unfamiliar stretch of sand, people were scarce. I typically like to “people watch” at the beach, but today was different. I was looking to bask in the solitude of the South Florida sunshine and doing this virtually alone was a plus.
There was also something strangely different about the physical appearance of my surroundings, The sand was cleaner, and as I later found, the seashells were vastly different. They were larger, in greater quantity, and they were more unique in their appearance.
The water seemed warmer. Now, I know this was something of a delusion, but my new outlook was framing my circumstances to be better than the current reality. Like the framing effect.
I also met a new friend. He had struggled to make it the thirty yards or so from his parking spot on the street to the beach. It took him seven to eight minutes of exhausting, laborious, manipulation of his sticks to safely plant him on the sand with a giant log propping him up so that he could have a bird’s-eye view of the ocean.
My new friend had suffered a spinal cord injury the day after his high school graduation and was never supposed to walk again. Through countless surgeries and grueling therapy, he manages to get around.
It’s not a very far stretch to examine one’s life in a similar fashion. We can become so bound by our routines that we subconsciously progress through life, moving further and further away from where we really want to be. The next thing you know, you find yourself in a situation where the necessary change seems insurmountable.
One of my favorite quotes, whose origin is in dispute, is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you always got.” Grammatically incorrect, yes, however, those sixteen words carry so much truth. If we continue down the path we are currently taking, our destination is fairly predictable. Therefore, if we want our destination to be different, that is, our future, then we must change our direction.
Are you happy with your current journey? When you really stop and think about where your current actions will take you, are you content? Today would be a great day to examine your life—the one chance you get on this earth—and figure out where you really want to go. If you’re not currently heading where you want to end up, change your circumstances. Start small, then gradually increase the change. You can begin by simply visiting a new spot on the beach.