If you could change one thing that could have the most positive impact in your life what would it be?
That is a loaded question, but one worth engaging.
Here is why you should engage this loaded question. It can change your life. Apologies for the simplicity of that answer, but it is true.
Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living”. It is quite obvious why we avoid examining our lives – it can be emotionally draining and exhausting, even discouraging. It does not have to be. If you do it right, it will empower you tremendously.
Why the digression into examining your life? To gain valuable insight on what you need to change in your life, it is important to examine your past. If you do not change, then your next 5 years will be just about like the last 5 years.
A few hints to help you determine the one thing to change:
1) The one thing you need to change is not in your past. You can not change something that already happened. That sounds obvious, but you will be surprised how many past events or experiences will come to mind. It is easy to make this a “I wish I did exercise”.
It is about the future not the past. The one thing you can change is not in your past it is in your future. You examine the past only to gain insight on what it is.
2) It is internal not external. Don’t make the one thing you need to change, something you can not change. It is tempting to think of external things – If only I could change my boss, if only the economy would get better, if only the weather was better, and so on. You can not change any of those things.
You can only change yourself – your character, your habits, your life philosophy, your attitude, your faith.
Take some time to examine and determine the one thing you can change that will have the most positive impact on your life. Many things will come to mind, but chose one, the most important one.
Once you determine your “one thing”, commit the next 40 days to change it. Do everything you can to change it. Get help from someone else if you need to. It will take commitment and discipline. If it were easy to change, you would have already changed it.
Like Jim Rohn says, habits are like a basket weaved tightly with strands. To change them you need to unwind each strand at a time. I say don’t try to pull one strand from one corner hoping to unwind the entire basket with one strong pull. The strands will become entangled and messy and you will give up. (I can’t tell you how many times I have tried this short-cut , it does not work!)
Studies show it takes about 40 days to change a habit. Commit to the 40 days. Be patient with yourself and reward yourself when you make progress.
At the end of the 40 days, review how you did. If you are successful or on a solid path to success in changing the “one thing”, chose the next “one thing” and make continuous personal improvement, a life long endeavor.
Remember that your success is a journey, and know this journey will continuously change your life for the better. You will have more passion and more energy. You will develop self confidence and gain a deep-seated faith that the future is bright and promising because you are working on it.
You will start waking up the alarm clock (rather than getting startled every morning!) because you can not wait to get started with the day. Regardless of what is going on around you, you will always be excited to get to work, on yourself.
Please, feel free to share your experiences as you embark on this journey. Have you started yet?