My wife gave me a great gift this Christmas – a book by Tim Lewis called Land of Second Chances. It’s about Team Rwanda, a cycling team that formed about a decade after the genocide in Rwanda. The book is also about those from other parts of the world who made their way to Africa to start various cycling teams at the turn of the century. One person who is mentioned is a man from Singapore named Nicholas Leong, who was a commercial photographer before coming to Kenya to help form a Kenyan cycling team. Leong did well as a photographer, but said he realized if he stuck to photography, “At the end of my life, there really would be nothing I could point to and say, ‘I did that, and if I hadn’t, it would not have been done at all.’”
That quote got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I tend to make them each year, but my resolutions are more like goals, things I want to professionally or personally accomplish over the coming 12 months. What if everyone resolved to live out Leong’s quote? Imagine how it would change the world if each of us resolved to do something that if we ourselves had not done it, it would not have been done at all.
Of course we don’t all need to quit our jobs and move to Kenya to have a profound impact. Imagine how you could change your future if you were the first in your family to earn a college degree. How many lives could you impact for good if you stopped drinking or using drugs? How would things be different for you every day if you gave up the safety net of your comfortable job and did something you jumped out of bed for every day because you really loved doing it?
So as you begin 2014, my challenge for you is to not make a New Year’s resolution. Instead, begin dreaming about what you can do that if you don’t do it, it will never be done. Then do that thing. If we all did, it would start a revolution of good.