If you sincerely want to change your life: raise your standards. Tony Robbins said, “What changes people is when their “SHOULDS” become their “MUSTS”. Do not change yourself. Change your purpose. Go improve yourself.
If you cannot change yourself, why even try? The buzz is that the infomercials and self-help seminars tell you that you can change yourself. The point is they are totally wrong. You cannot possibly change.
Like a thirsty man in a desert chasing a mirage, or a fat man peering into an empty fridge there is nothing there that one needs to look at. So, stop chasing the thing that does not exist. Go do something else instead.
Now the vital question is, why can’t you change yourself? Because the whole idea of change is an arbitrary construct. It is something you just made up to make yourself feel good (or maybe even bad).
Technically, you are both always changing and never changing. It just depends on how you look at it. What you decide is change or not is an imaginary line drawn in your head. Let’s start from the basics.
The problem with using the word “change” is, it gets your identity involved. When you get your identity involved, you become really emotionally attached to imaginary things.
You throw fits and beat yourself up and blame others and decide that you are, in fact, a worthless piece of crap who has no hope in this world. The key is not to Change Yourself. It is to Improve Yourself.
Can I ask you something? How well do you know yourself? Sometimes, it does not even matter how good your self-awareness is. You might know yourself, but you are not being yourself. Sounds familiar to you?
Here are a few more questions for you:
- Are you the same person at work and at home?
- Are you the same person when you are with your friends and with your spouse?
- Do you feel like you are forced to behave differently in some situations?
Often, the answer is no to the first two questions, and yes to the last one. The reason is that we somehow feel we have to be different people in different situations. But that is a lie.
Ralph Waldo Emerson put it best: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
We really live in a world that tries to turn you into something you are totally not. There are so many standards about the way you should look, talk, and behave.
Do not try to change yourself, change your purpose.
We often find ourselves in situations where we feel we do not belong. Maybe you feel like an outsider at work, at school, at your in-laws, or even at home.
Now, I do not believe in the whole, “you do not get me,” thing. Too often people just try to rebel and say that other people do not get them. That is either pretentious or childish.
However, you must believe in one simple thing: Never apologize for who you are.
It has nothing to do with being rebellious or being an outcast. It just has to do with being you. Sometimes, you just cannot be yourself. In those cases, it is time to get out. There is no other solution.
Peter Drucker said it best in Managing Oneself: “The conclusion bears repeating: Do not try to change yourself; you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform.”
Do not change yourself. Change your purpose. Improve your strengths.
Who do you not want to be? That is very important…
The whole ‘do not try to change yourself’ idea took me many years to apply in my life.
You have to figure out what you want out of your life… Is it what determines the levels of the conducive behaviour that determines your current situation?
Do not stay stuck up in the current situations and more so do not hang out with all types of judgmental people, or people who are shallow.
“The more clearly you recognize who you do not want to be, then, the clearer your sense of identity and purpose will be.”- Robert Greene
So, how to change your purpose and life holistically?
Here are 8 things you can do to make changes in life for the good, forever:
1. Find Meaning In Life
Spend some time trying to sort out what is important in your life and why it is important.
What is it that you want to achieve in your life? What are your dreams? What makes your happy?
Your meaning in life gives you purpose and sets the direction of how you want to live your life. Without meaning you will spend the rest of your life wandering through life aimlessly with no direction, focus, or purpose.
2. Set Goals To Achieve Your Dreams
Once you know what is important in your life and what your dream life looks like for you, you need to take action and set your long-term, medium, and short-term goals.
Remember your goals may change. Always be flexible with setting and achieving your goals as things in life change and your goals need to reflect these changes. It’s the small steps that you take that create the momentum for change to happen in your life.
3. Let Go Of Your Regrets
Regrets will only hold you back in life. Regrets are events of the past and if you spend all your time thinking about the past you will miss the present and the future.
You cannot change what you did or did not do in the past, so let it go. The only thing you have control over is now the present life.
I had a heap of regrets that were holding me back in my life. I came across the “Balloon Exercise” and got rid of my regrets for good.
What is it? It’s simple — blow up as many balloons as you need. On each balloon write a regret and then let the balloon go. As the balloon drifts off into the sky say goodbye to that regret forever.
A simple and powerful exercise that works and can change how you live your life.
4. Start Living A Well-Balanced Life
Our health does not remain the same. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual state changes, as we get older. What we can control however is how we feed our minds and our bodies.
Living a balanced and healthy life builds our resilience to the physical changes of our body. Exercise is the best way in which we can attain a positive and optimistic attitude toward life.
5. Face Your Fears
It’s easy to ignore our fears and hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, it does not work like that.
If you want to change your life, learn to master your fears so they can’t control you any longer. Our fears are only thoughts in our minds that are not real but over time we have become to believe that they are true.
It is our fears in life that stop us from living our life to the fullest. We know when our fears are controlling our lives because we feel discontent, dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
6. Accept Yourself
The only person who is going to create change in your life is you! And to create that change you have to like yourself.
There will be times in your life where you will face rejection and there will be people who will not like you that much. Accepting who you are and loving yourself helps you to move forward in your life.
Putting yourself down all the time and wishing you could be better will only lead you to a life of unhappiness and discontent.
7. Live In The Moment
Many of us tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Often, we get to the other side of the fence and find that this is not so.
The motivation to change our lives comes from our desire to be happy. We are often so busy focusing on our pursuit of happiness that we miss the joy of actually living in the moment.
Our desire to have happiness in our lives is a desire of a future state not of the present. We become so consumed with all our problems and discontent in the present we miss the precious beauty of the moment.
8. Experience The Joy Of Learning
Each time you learn something new, you gain more knowledge and with more knowledge comes more confidence.
Learning helps us to be more adaptable and flexible to new situations. Learning encourages us to be more creative and innovative in our thinking and we are therefore more comfortable with the unknown.
So, you have dreams about wanting to change the world. Many people want to change the world. Few actually do as they do it with a purpose! Change your purpose and change your world.
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About the Author: Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful.
She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India. Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.
Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.