What does that actually mean?
Be the change you want to be…
It means that if you want change in your life, adopt that change and change will come. Don’t wait for change to happen, contingent on something else. Be the change.
An example: I’ll like that person when they stop being rude to me. Like them anyway, embrace them literally and figuratively, and you know what? they might just stop being rude to you.
Another one: I’ll be happy once I get a better job, or I have more money. Try being happy right now in your miserable job, start adopting the mantle of being free of money worries, and the money will come, the better job will come, or your current job will become a happier place.
It’s amazing how it works.
This isn’t about the Spiritual Laws of Attraction, because for that to work it requires a belief that there’s separation between you and what you want. This is saying there’s no separation.
You are what you want.
You are the change you want to be.
Here now is a personal example: I’ve been frustrated for a while because I’ve been waiting for two of my movies to kick in – the thriller to be shot in India, a $7m movie called DEFIANT starring Toni Collette, and my film on intuition.
Not many people realise that independent filmmaking requires enormous patience. Movies usually take between 5-7 years to happen, sometimes longer if, like DEFIANT, the subject matter is tough.
DEFIANT is based on a true story of two young lovers hunted down by their families in an honour killing. I read this story in the Times of India while I was in Bombay about 5 years ago, and I’ve been determined to make the film ever since.
The gestation for the intuition film has been much longer – now coming on 15 years since a “voice” saved my life in New Orleans. But it’s needed that time to coalesce – for me to grasp the full implications of the film I need to make. For me to truly understand what I need to make.
DEFIANT is now getting close to being funded – the script is in terrific shape, Toni is an extraordinary actress, and I’m working with a wonderful Indian producer who feels as passionately about the film as I do. He was born in “honour killing” country in India.
But the reason this funding is now starting to materialise is because two months ago I went to the US for 5 weeks where I spoke with financiers, and that energy I put out there fanned embers that are now becoming flames.
As an aside, one of the reasons DEFIANT is taking this length of time to go into production is because it’s battling age-old and entrenched energy that doesn’t want the film to be made – that wants these horrific practices to continue, because it’s not actually about so-called “honour” at all, it’s really about power and wealth.
With my intuition film, Jennifer and I depart in less than a week to begin filming in India. After having a meaningful dream, and waking up at 4:44am one morning, I decided to get on with it.
I decided to be the change I wanted to be.
And because of that personal commitment, investment is now flowing in; others see that the film is commencing, and they want to support me and be a part of a very exciting (and hopefully profitable) venture. It’s starting to snowball. The film I’ve been working on and dreaming about for so long is now about to start production.
This wouldn’t have happened if I’d waited for something to trigger my commencement.
I was that trigger.
When I look back on the fifteen movies I’ve produced and directed, and all the documentaries too, they’ve happened because I took the first step. Without realising it, I’d adopted the practice of being the change I wanted to be.
So many people in my industry sit in coffee shops and talk about the movies they’re going to make and how great they’ll be – better than any movie made by such-and-such or so-and-so.
And three years later they’re still sitting in those same coffee shops and they’re still talking about the great movie they’re going to make, perhaps with a little more bitterness because they believe their extraordinary talents aren’t being properly recognised, and they view the world as being grossly unfair, and limiting.
The world isn’t being unfair or limiting – the world is the world. It’s their actions – their karma – that’s limiting them.
They’re waiting for change – they’re waiting for funding from a Government agency, or validation from independent assessors, to tell them their material is terrific, and that they’re hugely talented, and that the movie should be made.
It’s like waiting for that rude person to stop being rude to you. You’re waiting for that rude person to smile at you. But the rude person won’t smile at you, not until you do something to make them smile.
Here’s an exercise – ask yourself this question: what would you be doing right now if money weren’t an issue. If you were so wealthy you didn’t need to work another day in your life.
Then do it.
That’s the really scary thing, right?
Embracing the rude person.
Because if you begin doing what you want to do, rather than what you need to do, then what you want to do becomes your change. It becomes your life, your reality.
You will begin to be the change you want to be.
Start small, and watch it snowball.
Put energy out there.
The universe loves energy.
The universe will smile at you.
if you embrace it…