There is a scene in the movie “Everything is Illuminated” that takes my breath away. Near the end of the movie, after searching for answers, the protagonist sees a house surrounded by sunflowers. The sight of all those sunflowers is overwhelming.
There is something magical about a field full of flowers. That is why I love a story called The Daffodil Principle. I had read it a long time ago and it made a big impact on me. John recently reintroduced me to the story and I was amazed to find that I had forgotten the message at the end. I remembered the idea that it is wonderful to plant 50,000 bulbs, one at a time, to make the world a more beautiful place. But, like the woman in the story, I spend a lot of time wishing I had started earlier.
One of the most damaging phrases in my vocabulary is “If only…” If only I had thought to start planting daffodils years ago. If only I had started exercising earlier. If only I had volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters when I was my daughter’s age. If only I had saved more money. If only I had written a book. With every “if only” I find myself less eager to begin NOW. And NOW is the only time over which I have any control. Regretting the past does no good. As the story says,
The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask “How can I put this to use today?”
How can I put this story to use today? What are my “50,000 bulbs”? The woman who planted those bulbs had a dream to make the world more beautiful. Her way of doing that was to plant bulbs. What are my dreams? Where will they take me? Once I know the dream, I can come up with a plan. Then, I can take a step. I can plant my first bulb. And I can keep planting until my dream becomes reality. Actually, the Daffodil Principle shows that reality can EXCEED our wildest dreams if we just keep going.
What is your dream? Dream it up. Write it down. Then take a step. Plant a bulb. Plant more. Watch your dream come true.