Never Stop Being Yourself

“That was what made traveling appeal to him – he always made new friends, and he didn’t need to spend all of his time with them. When someone sees the same people every day, as happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own”

Paulo Coelho ~ The Alchemist

You are the only person who gets to decide whether you need to change anything in your life, and if so, what and how. It is your life, after all. Some people are genuinely happy as they are, and for these people we should accept them as they are and be happy for them that they are at peace with themselves.

Change, after all, comes from within. No matter what external driving forces or potential rewards for change, if you don’t want it for yourself, you won’t commit to it and your efforts will eventually come to nothing.

Our friends and family are the greatest external drivers of change. Social groups are slightly different – they put pressure on us to conform and change but this is a decision we make with our eyes wide open. We are well aware that we need to fall in line to remain part of this group, so any decision to change which we make is a conscious one. We make the changes, and stay part of the group. OR…we do nothing and find a new group to join.

With friends and family, it’s not so easy because we believe that they are pushing us to change because they care and that it’s in our best interests. Maybe they can see something that we can’t?! Maybe they’ve been in a similar situation and have benefited form the changes which they want for us?! Or…maybe…and this is the part which we are reluctant to consider…maybe they are pushing us to make changes which are in their best interests, not ours.

The only way to know whether a change is in our best interests is to take some time to reflect on where we are right now, whether we are getting any closer to our goals and whether we are happy with our lives. Then reflect on the changes we are being asked to make. They may very well be for the best. Or not, but this is our decision to make.

In life, we learn and grow through the lessons we learn from others as much as what we learn through our own experiences. So, you should never dismiss another’s advice. Whether you apply any of it or not, though, is up to you. They may be advising a positive change which could really make a difference in your life. Or, they may be providing a warning that it’s time to change your surroundings and who you surround yourself with. So, hear people out and judge for yourself. Any change made should be one you want to make, and not just something you’re doing to please others.

You Want Something To Change? Do Something About It Then!

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek

Barrack Obama

Whether it’s our finances, health and fitness or personal relationships, we all want to change something in our lives for the better. Most of us even know exactly what it is that we want and how we can achieve it. Yet, with all the information at our fingertips and opportunities available to those who seek them and put the work in, nothing seems to happen for an alarmingly high percentage of people.

The will is there. They know what they want and how to get it. They have the knowledge, skills and contacts to at least get started on their journey towards change for the better. So, why do they seem to be standing still instead of moving forward?!

Simple answer? A lack of self-belief. Too many people don’t have the confidence they need to take action towards their goals. So, they wait for the right circumstances. They wait for the right time, to lose a certain amount of weight, to save a certain amount of money…the list goes on, but it all boils down to one simple fact. With a lack of self-belief, people wait for conditions to be met before they take action to bring about change in their lives. This waiting does more harm than good, though, because it just wastes precious time.

The truth is that you don’t need to waste time and energy waiting around for the planets to align or anything else to happen. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, who you are and what you want from life. Decide what you want to change in your life, and turn this into a series of goals and a plan of how to achieve them. Then, get started. You have enough within you already to get started on your journey.

Once you do take those first steps, set yourself some regular check-in points at which you can reflect back on your progress so far. It could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Whatever works for you. Personally, I do my reflection on a Sunday and log it in my journal. This sets me up nicely for the week ahead. It gives me a clear idea of what has worked and what needs to be adjusted, and also gives me an opportunity to update my goals if I am close to achieving any of them.

As with opportunities and luck, change only presents itself after you decide what you truly want and take action. Put the work in, reflect on your progress and make adjustments as and when you feel necessary. This is the key to change. You don’t need to actually wait for anyone or anything. Once you know what you want to change, take action. That action might simply involve seeking advice, but you need to start somewhere. Just do something every day, no matter how small, and in time you will experience the change which you desire.

Stop waiting, and start creating the change in life which you so badly want. The power is in your hands, use it wisely.

What is it that you want to BECOME?!

This is arguably one of the most important questions which you need to ask yourself, but it often gets overlooked. When we think about our personal development, we think about what we want to achieve, the value we might bring to the world in the form of a business, product or service and how we might be able to lead a more luxurious lifestyle.  The time has now come, though, to put your “wants” and desires to one side. The fame, cars, houses, holidays and clothes are not where your focus should be. Of course, they would make for some great posts on social media and attract a lot of attention but they are also just things or experiences. Material goods should not be prioritised over providing value and becoming somebody of substance. When you reflect on your current circumstances and set goals for yourself, reflect also on the kind of person you want to become.

Ask yourself what knowledge you would like to acquire. What skills or abilities do you want to improve? Reputation and personal brand are becoming increasingly important in business, so how would you like to be regarded personally and professionally? What kind of relationships and interactions do you want to have? When you leave a room, how would you like to be remembered?

Our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions of the world around us determine our actions and behaviour. These all impact the decisions we make and the quality of life which we lead. Which ultimately dictate the kind of person we become and what we achieve in life.

I’ld love to hear your thoughts on this, but for now will leave you with a few of my favourite quotes on this topic from Jim Rohn;

“Change starts from within”

“If you want to have more, you have to become more”

“Success is something you attract by the person you become”

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better, then go about becoming better”