Okay, I’m Ready to Change – So Now what?
This is a great question. I would like to say it’s that easy. That all it takes is a simple statement “okay, I’m ready to change”, and it is a great start. Change is the most difficult activity we can undertake because it involves changing every aspect of our lives. Everything we believe in, everything we have learned, everything we perceive and trust as “real” and everything we use to define ourselves most change. When I went through this I thought it was going to be the easiest undertaking in my life. Well, surprise. Change is the most difficult undertaking you can experience. The reason is we have been living a life created by others. This life we are living is that of our parents, teachers, religious and political leaders, our friends and family, corporations, advertisers and news agencies. The life we call ours is a sham. It isn’t ours at all but the conglomeration of all our learnings. The fact is we actually have no clue who we really are. We are the result of the learnings we have been taught. If we are going to change we must understand the who we claim to be, strip away all of our learnings and beliefs we use to define this person we claim to be, and begin the arduous task of identifying who we actually are.
Okay, I wanted to change so why not burst my bubble some more?
You want to embark on a journey of self-renewal but have no idea what to do. Up to now, you have lived a life created for you and you call this your life’s path. You have seen your life’s path laid out before you and you have worked hard trying to achieve the goals that would allow you to arrive at the end of your path. Well, guess what? That ain’t it. You have been walking someone else’s path and to begin creating your own path you must step off of the path you have been walking. This will be your first experience at change and you are about to discover just how difficult it can be.
You will discover and formulate many questions such as: “How do I do this?” “What specifically do I need to do to change?” “I understand what you are saying, but what do I have to do to stop falling back into my old ways?” “Why in the hell couldn’t I have left things alone and just lived the life I had?”
The only way I can answer these is, change is as individual as each and every one of us. I can set up classes (individual or group) hold seminars or fill a stadium, but the fact remains change is an individual process and experience. We all know of twins and the common response to them is “they look identical, yet they are as different as night and day.” This is because we have different perceptions, different DNA, different personalities, and they formulate their experiences differently. Change is different for each of us. Each of our perceptions, fears, and beliefs are different and the experience of change will be different for each of us.
To recognize we need to change to reduce the stresses in our lives, or to improve our health, or to simply feel we want to have more good days than bad, is the first step. But to change is an extremely difficult process to comprehend because it is so specific to each individual. We all come from different backgrounds; we all come from a different place in our lives, and we are all going to different places. We all have different perceptions, personalities, and ways we handle life. Our backgrounds are different as has been our education, upbringing, and belief systems.
The best way to experience change is to first accept we need to change. You can study with me, attend seminars, or read books by others, but the most important thing to do is ensure you are forced to address the issues that encourage you to face yourself. The fact remains that commitment is tough and will be the primary issue you will face. Most journeys of self-renewal take place in the mirror, but in lieu of giving you nothing to go on, here are some things to think about as you prepare yourself for your journey of change:
- Identify all of the fears you have, why you have them, and if you faced them, what would be the worst thing that could happen to you. All fears are learned and can be unlearned.
- Do you hate? What do you hate? Where and when did you begin this hatred? All hate has been learned and what you learned can be unlearned.
- Eliminate the labels (titles) you use to describe yourself. You are not some political affiliation. You are not some religious affiliation. You are not some professional affiliation. You are not affiliated with a race as the human race is the only race.
- Look at how thickheaded and thin-skinned you are and ask yourself why. Why is it important I have to be correct? Why do I feel I have to defend my position when someone disagrees with me? Why do I get my feelings hurt so easily?
- Define what role ego plays in your life. How has your ego helped you? How has your ego hurt you? What would life be like without your ego?
- What is the difference between ego and inspiration? Would you prefer to be inspirational or egotistical? Which benefits you the most? And define what benefit means to you.
- How the system of problem, resolution, solution and their effects have on your life? Do you recognize the role advertising has on your life and who advertising is focused on? Why we fall victim to advertising all the time?
- Accept some simple basics:
- You are happy: You have just wrapped yourself in so much unhappiness (yours and the unhappiness of others) you can’t see you are happy.
- You are content: You simply keep listening and react to your ego’s wants and desires. This is something you have been taught and now believe, these wants are yours. Therefore, you don’t see yourself as content.
- You are complete: You have just been taught, or convinced, that you are not complete and material things, or other people, or better titles will complete you. They won’t.
- There is no superiority among human beings. We are all the same and individuality has been introduced to separate us and give the illusion superiority does exist and must be defended.
- If any of the ideas you define as belief systems preach fear, hatred and discrimination, stop the belief system.
- Nationalism is a ploy to separate us from the rest of humanity. It has been presented as a justification: “National pride.” What it actually does is convince us to build and protect borders and to declare one people’s superiority over another. Pride is the way ego is used to divide us, not pull us together. Social Categorization is the process used to accomplish this separation. Don’t succumb to this false picture of patriotism.
- Helping ourselves is the first step in helping others. If we can rid ourselves of all the effects of our upbringing, education and belief systems, we become whole. We are then better able to help others because we gave up all the biases, discrimination, fear and hatred that has, up to now, guided us on the path we have been traveling. We get to realize we have been walking someone else’s path, the path others wanted us to walk. Just stop and begin to lay down your own path. A path of your own choosing.
I am here to help you. I am here you make you think. Self-renewal requires you to take a good look at yourself and, if you harbor any of the above, you have a lot of work to do to change because your learnings, ego and belief systems will fight you every step of the way.