“Nothing on this earth is standing still. It is either growing or it is dying. No matter if it’s a tree or a human being.” This is Lou Holtz quote and is at the core of today’s post.
The idea that you are either growing or dying, is one that more people need to hear. I actually prefer the blunt version, “Change Yourself or Die”. I prefer this version because it’s succinct and delivers the message more acutely.
Of course when I say, “Change Yourself or Die”, It does not mean that you will die physically, at least not abruptly.
What it does mean, is that you will die slowly, emotionally, spiritually, and eventually even financially if you are not changing. If you are not seeking to consistently change yourself, your opportunities will sooner or later wither and die. Your options will shrink, your life will shrink, and a shrinking life is a dying life.
So if you know someone who is stuck in their ways, or who is always looking off in the distance hoping that things will one day get better, this post may be exactly what they need.
A History of Change
If you are a student of history, you may have observed how many of the conflicts, frustrations, and challenges of life are treated by each generation (Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, Silent Generation, etc.) as if they were the first to experience such events.
It is actually a scary pattern, but it is there; obvious to see for all those who look.
Too many of us, regardless of our generation, think to ourselves that either our generational circumstances or our personal circumstances are unique and different from all others.
We believe our circumstances are so different. In fact, many of us believe this so deeply, that we actually leverage such differences as a crutch. We proclaim our situation as different so we don’t have to change, we use it as a way to exit, as a way to escape the discomfort of change.
The fact of the matter is, every generation experiences much of the same occurrences that happened to the generations prior to it. As they say, History repeats itself. And in my estimation, History occurs in cycles, much like the seasons.
What I’ve observed is that the people who make a constant and conscious effort to improve and change themselves in the face of changing external conditions, have been and always will be, the ones to gain the most from life.
The ones who don’t, are the unhappy ones. The the people who don’t change are the ones who become negative and despairing people. They are always in some form of a rut. Be it a financial rut, and mental rut, a professional rut, or even a spiritual rut.
The Best Time to Change Yourself
Not too long ago I read in James Altucher’s book, ‘Reinvent Yourself’, how the greatest artists would reinvent themselves every five years. Altucher noted how leaders of the world’s top businesses, like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos; are habitually prone to reinvent themselves and their businesses, over and over again.
After digging deeper into the examples James mentioned in his book, It became apparent that change was ingrained in each leader’s every activity. Every great leader’s or great artist’s active pursuit of change spilled over into their art, business, and life.
When’s the last time you reinvented yourself? When’s the last time you intentionally sought out change for change’s sake?
The world, the economy, and life in general is constantly changing. Are you actively seeking to keep up with the change?
The few who embrace change, are the ones reaping the benefits. There is opportunity in change. With change, comes the opportunity to live differently, become who we wish to be, and to live life on our own terms.
There is no better time to change yourself than now.
How to Change Yourself
If your time to change yourself is now, here is how you can do it.
First and foremost, if it is change you seek for success, then you must first know that unconventional success calls for unconventional approaches.
This means that if you are going to change, you must change who you are, and what you do.
I mention this, because of what I know about human behavior.
I know how natural it is for us to fall into the habit of relying on behaviors that seem to have worked best for us in the past. We can no longer do that.
To make significant and meaningful change, we must be prepared to get uncomfortable. We must not let the inevitable discomfort of doing something new, or becoming someone different, persuade us to not move.
After you’ve prepared yourself mentally to get your hands dirty and get uncomfortable, you must now vigorously seek out and:
- Try out new behaviors
- Test new attitudes
- Apply new routines
- Practice new habits
- Learn new ideas
The bottom line is this. If you want to change yourself, if you want to accelerate your rate of achievement, you must attempt to do all of the above consistently. Even if you just want to keep backsliding at bay, it is recommended that you approach change in much the same way.
“Nothing Endures but Change” – a powerful quote once exclaimed by the ancient philosopher Heraclitus. It is a quote that I have confirmed with my own life, as change has been the only constant.
For instance: I’ve been broke, broken, and awakened. I’ve gone from being a jock, to a lover of Bach; from a world traveler to a corporate drone, to a business owner willing to go it alone.
I’ve been single, married, and a father, yet I still seek change, because I know I can go farther.
My embrace of change has proven to be the most essential thing I’ve done for my happiness. Seeking change has also benefited my health, wealth, and overall success. As such, I’ll continue to pursue change, because I know if I stop, the dying will start.
Now it’s your turn. Only you know what change needs to be done, so get out there and do your part.