If Not You, Then No One


A new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate. For most, the anticipation of progress, results, and endless possibilities are alluring. For others, the New Year can appear daunting, painful, even disinteresting. But whether you’re ready for it or not, the New Year is upon us and the most influential thing you can do for your future, is to make the following adage personal.

You’ve heard it said “if not you, then who?”, but that simply doesn’t cut it. It’s too open-ended and leaves room for blame shifting and reliance on “someone else will probably do it”. May I suggest we reformat it to read “If not you, then no one”? Here’s why.

There are many out there who thrive on pursuing progress, change, and opportunity. Yet, while the small percentage of opportunistic, self-motivated seekers work diligently for progress’s sake, there are many talented, unique individuals that do nothing. They sit idly by hoping to catch a break, hoping things will change, and are simply not driven to move. And to those of you, I exhort: As a human being and contributor on this planet, you have a real responsibility to steward your gifts and talents for the betterment of you, and mankind.

I don’t know who you are as you read this, but I do know one thing: you are uniquely gifted and have a purpose here on Earth, and although it may be undiscovered at this point, you have a contribution to make. You have your fingerprints to leave here on this world and there is no one else on this planet that can accomplish your purpose for you.

You are able to make manifest the splendor of your dreams. And it is you that is able to spread that manifesto to your neighbor and to your world.

If it were up to me I would make the decision for you. I would send you off into the unknown, and I would know. I would know my investment would not return void because your contribution will matter. Does matter. But it’s not up to me; it’s up to you. Your future is beckoning you like a sailor to the sea – the torrent is mighty but the adventure assures possibility, creativity, and freedom. Your idle posture proves you have convinced yourself another can take your place, but you are wrong. There is no one else who can take your place.

No one else will be able to dream like you, plan like you, accomplish like you. No one else will be able to think like you, feel like you, and do like you. You are unique, you are you, and you are able. You are able to make manifest the splendor of your dreams. And it is you that is able to spread that manifesto to your neighbor and to your world. But if you sit idly by, watching your glory fade to black, the world will never know you. Your neighbor will never know your name.

There is no one that can leave an impression like you, but in order to do so, you must move. You must move from your place of comfort and discover the safety and vulnerability in that which makes you uncomfortable. It is risky and it is thrilling. Stepping out into the boldness of opportunity will reward you in a lifetime of depth and discovery, unlimited potentials and opulent possibilities. You will be sharpened and shaped, and you will sharpen and shape others. You will change, and be changed.

Stepping out into the boldness of opportunity will reward you in a lifetime of depth and discovery, unlimited potentials and opulent possibilities.

Go now. Be the change you wish to see and make an impression in the world. In your world. For the doers, they cannot make your future yours, you must. And if it is not you who takes ownership of your life and your legacy, then no one will.

If not you, for the sailor’s sake, who challenges the waves and clutches the deck as the storm braves, then no one. If not you who defies the unforgiving and uncomfortable for the sake of profit and success, then no one. If not you, who embraces the tyranny of complacency and is beckoned to move, then no one.

Your future is on you, and you alone. Make it manifest.


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Image credit/ subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo

Beth Nicoletto serves as the Senior Editor here at Switch and Shift and is humbled to be a part of the movement. As a life coach and mentor, she is passionate about the pursuit of living healthy and impactful lives. She is most noted for her sassy spirit and overuse of exclamation points.

  • John Bennett

    OR it could be that the person has what Carol Dweck calls a Fixed Mindset. Such people believe their capabilities are fixed, cannot be increased (Growth Mindset). They would also likely hold back as well – fearful their fixed capabilities would not lead to success. (Dweck followers, I’m still understanding mindsets; forgive me if I’ve misspoken.)

  • http://www.switchandshift.com/ Shawn Murphy

    Beth, your strong voice on this topic raises an important point: Can we passively sit by and observe and make note of the changes necessary in the world or do we need to be part of the solution. I think John raises a good point that some of us are paralyzed by our fear. Bring the two perspectives together (John’s and Beth’s) and I think a good match is made – we must act despite our fears as the changes needed in our world, in our businesses, need more active participants. It’s time to do.

  • http://www.mills-scofield.com/ Deb Mills-Scofield

    Beth – this is a very important point – we want to keep looking around for others instead of in the mirror – because it’s easier… and then we can blame others. I hope people listen and heed! d

  • http://www.daneallemarshall.com/ Dani Marshall

    Realizing that no one can take our place is usually only thought about when someone passes. Bringing it into today inspires action. We each have a legacy to leave. Thank you!

  • http://idolbuster.com/ Greg Marcus

    Beth I so agree with you on the point of taking an active role and personal responsibility. Jewish Ethics teaches that it is not sufficient to “do no harm.” We need to be proactive and do good when the opportunity presents itself.
    Glad to see you join the fray here on Switch and Shift

  • Dr. Ellen Weber

    After growing up in Nova Scotia and spend time recently in PEI – love the images. And the message is a game changer for the start of a new year. Great post and discussion – thanks Beth and all! Ellen

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  • Chery Gegelman

    Beautiful, Inspiring and Spot On! Thank you Beth!

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  • Beth Nicoletto

    John, absolutely! If the fixed mindset is the case, that will clearly limit one’s potential, but that doesn’t mean it’s true! :) To Shawn’s point, whether one is afraid, cognitively “fixed”, or completely unaware, all are hindrances in the pursuit of possibility. We need to bring awareness to what is true, and move people forward!

  • Beth Nicoletto

    Thank you Shawn. Agreed! I’m hoping this message will cause awareness and reflection….but more importantly, action :)

  • Beth Nicoletto

    Deb thanks so much! So true. Self reflection and motivation are much harder, but incredibly rewarding. Even good intentions won’t get us there – we must ACT! Thanks for your help on this!

  • Beth Nicoletto

    Dani, good point! Time to switch our thinking to present tense. “What CAN we do?” is a crucial point to think through, but often can settle down in our future. We need to be saying “What are we doing NOW?” Thanks so much!

  • Beth Nicoletto

    Greg, thank you for the encouragement. “…Not sufficient to ‘do no harm'”?? That’s awesome, I love that! It’s true. In my opinion, those “do-gooders” are not only doing good because they’re doing good, but also because they’re doing :)

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