This is going to be a very direct blog post about real change. This is going to be a post that hopefully challenges the reader to take some sort of action. I listen to a lot of what Eric Thomas, a very popular motivational speaker, has to say about change. I recently listened to a talk he gave where he talked about how “you owe you.” I think too many times we don’t give our best effort toward something and we settle for less because it was just easier and more convenient. We didn’t want to make the sacrifices needed in order to make whatever the goal was happen. We then sit and make excuses as to why something didn’t happen. We point fingers at people who did not live up to their word. Eric says many times that “nobody owes you anything.” He says, “You owe you.” You owe yourself your best efforts. You owe yourself to make the necessary sacrifices. If you fail you need only to look in a mirror. The mirror is a great place to point a blame finger.
This post is a very personal one. I am in the middle of a huge change and in the early process of making another huge change. I owe it to myself to do what is necessary for the changes to occur. Maybe you are thinking about making a change of some sorts. Hopefully this will be a little/big motivator for you.
Change is defined in Webster’s dictionary as to convert or transform. If we want to have real and lasting change then we have to be willing to be transformed. This requires a mental and physical commitment. Many people handle the physical commitment just fine. However, the mental commitment is usually the clog in the process. When I decided to stop pursuing acting and comedy I went back to school, fulfilling my promise to my wife. I had not been a very good student before and I had not been in a classroom in over 10yrs. I had to be a better student. I needed to make the most of my educational opportunity. I told myself that if I didn’t get all A’s the first year that I would quit school. I was capable of getting straight A’s and I would not settle for anything less. I sat in the front row of every class, I took meticulous notes, I recorded lectures and I studied everything for the purpose of being able to teach it. If you can teach something that means you really understand it. I had to give up hanging out with my friends for a while. I stopped playing as much golf. I made small sacrifices so that I could achieve my goal. I made straight A’s for the first 3yrs. My past told me that I was not a great student but my new thought process helped me transform into a good student. I created an environment for myself that pushed me to reach my goal.
Too many times change does not occur because of our environment. Either we are too comfortable in our situations or the people around us have too much influence over us. Comfort is the enemy to change. Many have said that in order to grow we must get uncomfortable. We don’t learn much, if anything, when we are comfortable. Comfort lead you to where you currently are. It will not lead you to where you want to go. Being uncomfortable may mean learning to deal with failure. So many people are terrified to take chances because of their fear of failure. They would rather feel safe in their bubble. Failure, I believe, is where we really learn. We learn who we are, how determined we are and how important is the goal to us. We must be bold in our endeavors. The dirty little secret of life is that no one gets out alive. Les Brown, a motivational speaker, says that we can either die in the bleachers or die on the field. In order to make real and lasting change we must make ourselves uncomfortable. We must create an environment of uncomfortability for the sake of change.
Sometimes we must let go of some unhealthy relationships. Before every flight the flight attendants go through safety and what to do in case of emergency. They say that oxygen mask will drop in front of you. They tell you to be sure to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting anyone beside or around you. The reason for this is because you cannot help anyone if you pass out. Our friendships are very similar. We should always be willing to help a friend out when they need it. Friends should be there to help build each other up, but far too often we are what holds each other back. I prefer to be around friends who are direct with me. I want genuine people around me who don’t mind telling me hard truths. I do not want negative people who constantly tell me how bad life is and how much they hate their job. We spend a lot of time with our friends and they can have both positive and negative effects on our outlook on life. To make real and lasting change we sometimes have to make hard choices about the relationships in our lives.
Too many times we fail and I believe it’s because we just want something. We don’t actually need it. “It” can be anything from a new job, house, weight loss, etc. I have had clients who’ve lost over 90lbs. Some of them needed to lose the weight for health reasons. As they reached their goals I noticed that they began to fall back into old habits. They began missing workouts. It was not too long before they had put on 20lbs. They reached a goal and then they lost their need. Some of them quickly rebounded back on track and others simply went back from where they came. If you don’t need it, whatever it is, you will eventually make every excuse for it not to happen. You will allow fatigue to be an excuse or fear to hold you back. I believe that if you don’t need it then you really don’t want it either. When Hernan Cortes came over from Spain and settled in Mexico he immediately ordered that the ships be burned. His people were going to either die or thrive in this new land. I imagine this act gave his people new purpose to survive. They had no option to go home. They needed to make this work or they would die. When you need something you will do whatever is necessary in order to make it happen.
We all have obstacles to overcome in order to make our goals happen. It is often a hard road to get to the pay off. I have decided to push on to make the necessary changes in my own life so that I can reach my goals. When I came to this conclusion I had no idea where to start but I remembered something I heard many years ago, “a thousand mile journey begins with one step.” I needed to just take one step toward my goals and the trip had begun. What are your goals? What are the things holding you back?
We all have obstacles to overcome in order to make our goals happen. It is often a hard road to get to the pay off. I read a blog post a friend of mine wrote the other day. He said that people often don’t reach their goals because they see it as progress over process. It should be the exact opposite. It should be process over progress. The whole journey is a process and it takes diligence and purposeful actions to make progress and it doesn’t happen overnight. I have decided to push on to make the necessary changes in my own life so that I can reach my goals. When I came to this conclusion I had no idea where to start but I remembered something I heard many years ago, “a thousand mile journey begins with one step.” I needed to just take one step toward my goals and the process had begun. What are your goals? Do you have them written down? What are the things holding you back? Is it fear? Lack of confidence? Take your first step now.