I recently came upon the expression “pick up your life” in a talk given by John Morton, the spiritual director of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. This simple phrase captures the idea that we always have the choice to move our life to a higher level of expression. Whether you dream of being an Olympic star or simply see areas of your life that you would like to improve, it is your choice whether or not you take it upon yourself to lift yourself higher. Is it time for you to pick up your life? What might be possible for you?

It is so easy to pass endless days and years of our lives in a kind of stupor on autopilot spending and losing ourselves in the routines of daily life and to-do lists that get us nowhere. Sometimes life simply exhausts us and we lose sight of our dreams, our potential, and passions. But there is a heavy price we pay for stagnation and complacency. We become stalled out and stale and sometimes bitter. We lose sight of the power we have to choose to live our lives differently.

We are meant to evolve through learning and growing. These processes take place within us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We all have areas of our lives where we feel stuck or unfulfilled at times. That’s not a problem — it’s perfectly normal, and often the irritation required for us to choose to pick up our life.

So, how do you break out of a repetitively unfulfilling life or an irritation? The answer starts with believing that it is possible. Until you believe in the possibility of change, it simply cannot occur. Belief opens the door to taking action. It is the accelerator out of stagnation — beyond all the excuses and rationalizations that have kept you doing what you have always done, getting what you have always gotten. This is as true about small personal changes as it is about global issues. Momentum comes when you choose to do what it takes to manifest what you have come to believe is possible. You take ownership of your life and do something radically different. Radical need not be earth shattering. It is sometimes best to start with a baby step like making your bed each morning because you have come to believe as my friend, Lisa says, “making your bed each morning is the cornerstone of civilization.” Now, I appreciate that you may not hold bed making in such high regard, but sometimes the smallest change can make a world of difference.

While belief is the door opener and initial accelerant of change, momentum and eventual success come by taking consistent, appropriate actions in a clearly defined direction. Action is taken in the context of a vision of success and a plan of action. For example, over the past year I have been overcoming a lifelong challenge with excess body weight. Every single thing I have put in my mouth or chosen not to eat has been a conscious choice. In time, temptations receded, new habits formed and I began to have a love affair with vegetables. Who knew that was possible? Every step of the way I kept my eye on my goal and reinforced my belief that long-term success was possible and in the process of happening. I also chose to celebrate my mini-successes along the way to the momentum of gratitude. Someone once told me about an interview with Jack LaLanne, dubbed “the godfather of fitness.” The interviewer said “Jack, you must really love exercise” to which Jack abruptly and passionately responded “I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! I do it for the results.” When we believe in something, whether it is sustaining a healthy body or laying down our lives for a cause we passionately embrace, success comes in the followthrough.

So, here are some questions for you. Do you have any secret dreams for yourself that you have let slip by the wayside? Are you settling for less than you know you have in you? Have you given up on yourself or told yourself it is too hard or too late to change? I encourage you to come out from behind your excuses and disillusionment and pick up your life. Imagine what is possible if each of us believed in ourselves enough to manifest our greatest self-expression. Imagine if we believed that we all have that responsibility and accelerated our best selves into manifestation.