be the miracle

be the miracle

In the movie Bruce Almighty, there’s a scene where God, played by Morgan Freeman, leaves the Jim Carrey character Bruce Nolan to solve things on his own. He tells him, “You want a miracle, Bruce? Be the miracle.”

We all look for the quick fix, the instant cure, the ultimate breakthrough, the magic pill that can solve all of our life’s problems. We are seduced by the sorcery of Hollywood and pop culture, and feel that we can accomplish anything we want in a short period of time. This is a toxic mindset, because right off the bat we set ourselves up with false expectations. 

Believing in the “magic pill” and the “big break” is actually even worse than being a couch potato and doing nothing. It’s dangerous because we end up transferring the locus of control from ourselves to external circumstances and events. We don’t even take the little actions that we must take every day and keep ourselves from making meaningful progress towards our goals. As a direct consequence, we never create the outcomes that we desire and deserve in our life. 

Life is like a flowing river, and we must keep up with it. If we’re not swimming day in and day out, we eventually let ourselves drown. Coming back to the philosophy behind the daily apple approach, what’s easy to do is also easy not to do. When you deliberately make the choice not to do the small, seemingly insignificant actions every single day and to not move forward towards your grandest goals, you set yourself up for despair, frustration, helplessness and mediocrity. A majority of people all around the world do this — they quit making effort altogether and in Henry David Thoreau’s words, go on to live out lives of quiet desperation. 

The magic is not outside us, it’s within us. The miracle lies not in a fortuitous turn of events or a quantum leap, it lies in the power of daily actions, compounded over time. As Jeff Olson teaches us in his book The Slight Edge, “Quantum leaps do happen, but only as the end result of a lengthy, gradual buildup of consistently applied effort.”

Once you cultivate “an apple a day” way of being and create a solid discipline in your life to do the things that must be done, you’ll stray away from the debilitating mindset of “overnight success.” You’ll stop seeking a miracle, instead, you’ll start being the miracle.