Every day, we’re presented with challenges.
Maybe the finances are tight. Maybe we failed to win over a client. Perhaps a conversation with the significant other didn’t go over so well.
But not everyone wants to do something about their circumstances. It’s okay if you don’t want to act. But the more honest you are about where you stand on the matter, the better.
If you don’t want to do anything about your situation, you should prepare to live with it. It is a perfectly acceptable path.
The problem arises when we’re confused about acting or not acting. If we’re confused, 1) we won’t do the things necessary to change our circumstances, and 2) the quality of our actions will be unsure, tentative, and ineffectual.
If our finances are tight, we could hope and pray for a solution. We could buy a lottery ticket. We could beg our friends for money.
All things being equal, it’s better to do something rather than nothing.
But I would not say that any of the above are quality actions, especially given they are not long-term solutions.
If you need to make some mistakes before seeking out better solutions, there is nothing wrong with that. But a person who is earnest about finding a solution will dedicate as much time as they possibly can to the problem, researching, studying, journaling, documenting, tracking, measuring, asking questions, getting into conversations, and seeking out coaching and mentors, until they’ve illuminated previously unseen blind spots.
Be honest with yourself – if you are doing anything less than that, can you honestly say you want to do something about your situation?
If you’re going to do something about your situation, don’t sit on the fence. Muster all the time, energy, and resources you can in overcoming the challenge. Even if you fail, your commitment will not be in vain. The Universe will move mountains on your behalf. But if you don’t begin, very little will happen.
Do you want to do something about it? Sit with that question and know your answer as a “yes” or “no,” not as a “maybe.” Only you can do this for you.
You don’t have to change just because you’re 30, or 40, or 50.
Many people do reflect on their lives as they reach milestones. Some like to coast. Some go through a midlife crisis. For others, their family or their kids start taking precedence over all else.
There’s nothing wrong with any of it.
But I felt the need to change.
I wasn’t necessarily looking to transform myself wholesale. But I knew there were aspects of my personality and skillset that had yet to find expression.
I’ve had the privilege of diving deep, not just into music, but also into personal development, leadership, entrepreneurship, productivity, publicity, digital marketing, and social media. I can sing, play most instruments with strings and frets, write songs and lyrics, produce, and mix music. I can draw, paint, design graphics, and make websites. I am also fluent in Japanese, and I love food, comedy, fishing, escape rooms, and skateboarding (although I cannot skate at all).
It doesn’t usually come up in conversation because I like to practice, as Dale Carnegie termed it, “conversational generosity.” I listen to people. If I started talking about myself, there would always be more layers to peel back. It could be hours, days, weeks before I ran out.
But exploring the outer reaches of who I am, led me to the point of reassessing. And I realized how much “square peg in a round hole” thinking I’d done to that point. Not that a change in direction would ensure success. But a change in direction could be enjoyable, needed even.
There are things I value. One of my greatest values is freedom.
I’d thought of business as my ticket to freedom. But there are many roads leading to that destination. And I began to think, “Maybe there’s a road better suited to me.” Again, a seismic change may not be required. But change is required nonetheless.
Whether as a remark, statement, or headline, I’ve always found this to be an odd one.
The phrase denotes tragedy, and tragic events generally aren’t anything to snicker at.
But when people say, “it will never be the same,” I wonder what they mean.
I wonder because change is the only real constant. The only guarantee we have is that things will change.
Of course, we all resist change now and again. No one wants to lose a loved one, or to become paralyzed, or to fall ill. There are undesirable changes.
But on a granular level, you’ve already changed. You aren’t the same person today as you were yesterday. Cells are dying and replenishing constantly. You will never be the same, no matter how hard you may try to recover what you used to be.
Every day, things are transforming. There are many things that will never be the same. You may only notice miniscule changes most of the time, major ones occasionally. But today isn’t the same as yesterday. It will never be the same.
You can count on life never being the same. You will wake up tomorrow, and it will never be the same as it was the day before.
Maybe that’s not a problem. Maybe it’s just the way it is.
Sure, we may want to hold onto the way things were. But change is not a malevolent force. It’s unpredictable, but it’s reliable.
Maybe we miss the changes that should be enjoyed and celebrated more. Maybe we focus too much on the changes we don’t like.
When we say “it will never be the same” we are telling the truth. But it’s as true now as it was yesterday, and it will be just as true tomorrow. So many things will change between today and tomorrow.
You’re right when you say, “it will never be the same.” But this is a constant, not an event.
Maybe we can lose the drama around “it will never be the same,” because you’re right, it never will be.
What if everything you tried didn’t work?
What if your best ideas, best plans, best strategies, best efforts didn’t pan out?
What then? Would you give up?
What if you knew it was time to get your act together? What if you knew you didn’t have much time left? What if you knew it was now or never?
What changes would you make? How would you adjust?
Would you move to a different city? Make new friends? Start a business? Try a new workout routine? Embrace minimalism?
If you knew that you would simply be trying old things in a new way, would you feel discouraged about the fact that breakthroughs may not be forthcoming? Or, contrary to all evidence, would you continue to believe in breakthrough results?
It’s a big decision. Would you think long and hard on it before getting into action? Or, sensing the limitations of time, would you spring into action, doing something daily to create the life you’ve always wanted to create with the time you have left? Even if you have no idea whether those actions are going to lead anywhere?
Perhaps there’s a different option.
Maybe you could live your life in three-, six-, or 12-month capsules. Give something your full attention for a while, before moving on and trying something else. After all, what’s a quarter, half a year, or another 365 days in the grand scheme of things? Maybe you could indulge the multi-passionate within you. It could be a fun life.
Perhaps we could let go of the significance and drama of the situation altogether. Maybe we could adopt a laidback, easy-going attitude instead.
What if you created life as an experiment? What if you let your curiosity drive you? What if you held onto that curiosity for the rest of your life?
There are many ways of approaching the situation. The only thing needed to find solutions is to see the problem from different angles.
What’s even more fascinating, though, is that the “situation” itself is a creation. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. We know this because the situation doesn’t have an opinion on the matter – only you do. Since you’re the only one with an opinion on the matter, it’s all context, and contexts are created.
What context do you want to create? This is the ultimate question.
Transformation occurs in the moment.
There is no waiting for transformation.
There is no working towards transformation.
Small progress is not snowballing and gaining momentum towards big progress.
Incremental change isn’t leading up to a breakthrough.
Transformation is now. And if it isn’t, it’s not transformation. You should be skeptical of anything that isn’t happening now because tomorrow is but a concept.
Today is all you have, and tomorrow will just be another today. It will only be another now when you get there. The time “in between,” so far as we’re concerned, doesn’t exist.
Here and now is where transformation happens. Here and now is where transformation is needed. You don’t need it tomorrow. You need it today, and it’s available today.
You either say what needs to be said, or you don’t.
You either give up alcohol, or you don’t.
You either begin doing what it takes to lose weight, or you don’t.
There is no middle ground.
The change you’ve been waiting for will not suddenly tackle you to the ground and announce itself.
Why? Because you’re responsible for that change. You already have everything you need to make that change. The power has always been within you.
Don’t hide. Don’t play small.
You’re here for a reason, and your vision matters. You can make a difference as much as anyone else can. No one is any better than you. And, importantly, you can start now.
Who cares about what you did or didn’t do? You did what you did, and you didn’t do what you didn’t do. That has nothing to do with what’s occurring in this moment.
Don’t talk about creating the life you want. Create the life you want. It’s available now.
Don’t look for transformation, don’t talk about transformation, don’t work towards transformation.