The 3 words “Change Your Life” sound deceptively simple. How often have we seen people talking about making big amends perhaps in their personal development, relationships or careers but find them more or less in the same place years later?
When we do come up with that great vision to do something great or turn our lives around in some way, we tend to have no issues with building up that initial hype and excitement. Heck, we’re often even able to craft out a stunning plan, vision board, or what have you that make us briefly feel that we’ve just written our sure and utopic future.
Ok, so inspiration is cheap, then what does it really take to make our dreams actually come to pass? Does it really just boil down to no pain no gain and putting on some Nikes? Au contraire. Every dream that relies on just doing and steam to make it come true will eventually run out of steam (and doing). Instead, the first and foremost success factor isn’t to “just do it.” It’s actually to change ourselves into someone who has the love, passion, endurance, ethics and drive to actually do what we “say” we want.
1. Change your definition of enjoyment
Whether you want to start a business, improve your figure or enhance a relationship, there will always be voices telling you to chill out, relax, enjoy yourself and find an excuse to opt out of “tiresome and grueling work.” Don’t fight the urge. Replace it. This in no way means to stop enjoying the opiates in life.
Instead, find an addiction even greater than the high of television, sleeping in, partying, playing and social media, that is, the addiction of doing something meaningful, healthy, intellectually or emotionally stimulating, rewarding and makes you feel like you are “being” the YOU of your full potential.
2. Cease acting from your Ego
The Ego or Me-syndrome is always concerned with “what can I get out of this” whenever it chooses to do something. This survival mentality creates distress and distractions when our efforts don’t produce the results we wanted, discouraging us and preventing us with mental overhead from performing at our full efficiency and sincerity. In worse cases, it can cause us to abort our efforts to change our lives and retreat into something more “comforting and “pleasant”.
Change the motivations for why you “step out onto the practice mat.” See yourself as doing things for others or because what you’re doing is meaningful, fascinating, engaging and challenging rather than for self-gain and you’ll find yourself able to give your all when working on a task and enjoy it without the negative resistance of the worrying Ego.
3. Change other aspects of your life in parallel and synchronicity
We’ve all heard the idea that a clean room indicates a clean mind. While it’s definitely conceivable for someone to attempt building a healthy relationship while living with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet, applying uniform ethics across the different parts of your life is an excellent way when you’re just starting out in your efforts to change, to build a unified character.
Don’t just cut back on wasting time on social media in favor of your spiritual studies, also cut back on junk food in favor of whole foods and detoxes. Chances are if you can adopt the habit and mindset of mindfully sweeping your floor clean every morning or being sure you spend ample time calling your parents and showing your care every Sunday, you can also acquire the level of care and thoroughness needed to lead that groundbreaking project at work to awesome completion.
4. Surround yourself with inspirational influences
Don’t underestimate the power of your company and the environment. When you choose motivational people, music, settings, activities, content consumption and whatever else, you are training your brain muscles to feed off of those things instead of the opposite. How much easier is it for you to focus on writing that book, when you are surrounded by passionate and achieved authors and hourly breaking news from the literary world? It’s much easier to really focus on spiritual and physical development when your idea of a great time becomes a getaway or a meditation and fellowship session with fellow Yogis.
When planning to make a major life change, there are plenty of mature ideas and common sense about what to “do.” Sure, you do need a good plan, regime, a schedule, with milestones and all, and it’s absolutely recommended that you make them. But before getting to the work itself, it’s more important to change who you are on the inside before you have the real power to change what goes on on the outside.