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To be, do.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The Bible says, “If you want to have friends, be friendly.” Winnie the Pooh said, “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

I spent this weekend putting flowers in my window boxes, the planters on my deck and in my newly repaired garden in the front yard. I was not a gardener when we bought our house and neither was my husband. He was an avid houseplant lover, though, and the thought of having a whole yard to tend made him as eager and happy as a puppy. So we just started. Fast-forward 30 years and people are asking me for gardening advice. I became a gardener by gardening.

Want to be physically fit? Start walking more. Want to be more up to date on the latest music? Listen to the radio, or music podcasts, or see who is playing live in your area and go. Want to be an artist? Paint or draw or stitch or shape. Whatever you want to be, go do that. It’s really that simple although we all know that sometimes it’s not.

Obviously, if you are new to something, you have to start at the beginning. Walk first, run later. Learn the basics first, move on to more complicated skills later. Be patient with yourself. Be realistic, honest, and gentle. Our wants can be overbearing and frustrate us if we aren’t willing to be kind to ourselves. You still have to do it if you want to be it – from rock-climbing to lawyering to parenting to thinking critically – no matter what it is you want to improve.

Accept setbacks. They are part of the process. Persist. Keep your eye on your goal, knowing that every goal is only another step to the next goal. Eventually, you’ll be like I am when it comes to gardening. I know a lot more than I did 30 years ago. I'd happily and confidently say I am a gardener, but I say that knowing that there’s no done – there’s only doing.

When you can do what you enjoy and enjoy what you are doing, you will be happy. 



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