Each of us comes to the environmental movement in different ways. We come with different causes, with different dreams and hopes, with different goals and ambitions, with different concerns. We come with different resolutions about what we are going to do to help the environment and the world. We come and we change our lives to be better inhabitants of this world. It is refreshing and exciting when we first jump into this movement, this flowing river of people who are working to positively change the world we live in. It is exhilarating and full of hope, if not also fear. We may fear that the world will be destroyed, that so many animals and plants and even humans will die due to the greed and comfort of a few generations of human beings, but we also all of a sudden find ourselves full of positivity and hope because we have joined those who are working to protect, conserve, and make things better, not just for a few but for all of the world.
Nonetheless, that exhilaration does not always last, and we may find ourselves in negativity and hopelessness at times. Just like in all long-term things in life — marriages, careers, long-term hobbies and interests — we have to rejuvenate our interest from time to time. If we want to sustain our enthusiasm for helping the environment, our positivity, our dreams, and our actual contributions, we have to rejuvenate ourselves from time to time.
Here are a few ideas for how to rejuvenate your commitment and better realize your dreams!
1. Make a list!
It may seem simple or old-fashioned, but this method is good not only for making sure you buy the right foods, but for many purposes. Make a list of what “Green Goals” you want to achieve, how you want to change your life. Doing this helps us to sit back and really reflect, think, what is it we want to do, what do we need to do. We get very complacent in our lives, it is human nature, but we can counter that complacency by taking the time to think about our goals and dreams and lives more deeply.
Once you have made your list, you may find it difficult to move forward at all because of all the wonderful things you want to achieve and change. Be focused now. Choose where to start. Maybe plan a little schedule or identify priorities. Don’t drop the little dreams, but make sure you know where you are going.
3. Fit them into your life!
Dreams are big, dreams are small, but no matter where you start you have to keep a balance in life if you are going to achieve them. Know what you can do and what you can’t do. Keep a balance in your life and do not try to walk like a giraffe — step in a natural way. We must be steady. For more on being personally sustainable in our activism, read this article.
Taking the time to do these things may help you to achieve your environmentalist dreams rather than feeling like you are a hamster running on a hamster wheel. They should help you to rejuvenate. However, as with all things, we have to put the time in if we are going to achieve this change. As with all things, the time and the effort are what make the dreams real.
Make a new dream list. Focus on how to achieve it, where to start. Natural growth always goes the best in the end, so be natural. If you are genuine, you will find more light in your step and more dreams an actual reality in your life.
For more on self-evalution in “green” living and lifestyles, read “Seeing the Forest for the Trees” or “Green is In, but What is Green?”
For more on change and renewal of our environmentalism, click here.
Thanks for the reflective and uplifting post, Zach. While your thoughts are focused on personal goals, I had a different thought after reading your prompt. One thing that keeps me energized is hearing about (and becoming involved in) all the innovative businesses launched, technologies leveraged, activist networks expanded, and investments made every day across the world. Whether its D.light selling solar lamps to the BOP in India, the new use of mobile in Kenya, Van Jones going to the White House, or a gigawatt investment in wind in China, it is this activity that gives me hope.