I was stuck.
So I signed up for a class. Listened to a podcast. Bought a few books. Spent hours reading online.
I found valuable mentors who I knew could point the way. I gobbled up everything they had to say.
Months later, I was still stuck. Albeit a very motivated “stuck” person.
I wanted change so bad, I could taste it.
I knew exactly what I wanted my life to look like. Sorta.
I saw all of these people who had achieved real levels of success, so I knew it was possible. I just had no idea how to build my own lifestyle up to resemble theirs.
Success was possible … for other people.
So I bought up more courses, paid for more mentoring, and purchased even more books.
I knew I was close. So I continued searching for the key.
Can you relate?
Inspiration … Isn’t Everything
Inspiration can really motivate you. And I should know, I’m a self-help junkie. I listened to cassette tapes in my Walkman, clipped to my shorts as I jogged around my neighborhood. I graduated to signing up for courses, attending live events, and being schooled by more mentors than most ever will.
And I’ll admit, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of that.
All of that training helped propel me forward.
I’ll continue learning for life.
Because no matter how often you seek advice, no matter how many ways you hear it, the lessons come when you’re ready for it. So it’s important to keep listening.
The other day, I was on a coaching call with my current mentor. He said something that flew out at me.
“Your best thinking got you to today. Now what?”
And that’s exactly it.
Everything you’ve ever done in your life led to where you are today. The choices you’ve made. The things you’ve said yes to. The actions you’ve taken. The things you’ve turned down. All of it has made you into the person you are, right here, in this moment.
It’s taken your best thinking to get you here.
But the only way to get to tomorrow is to up your game.
Changing who I am
Looking back over my life, I see a lot of change going on.
Every time I decided to make a change, it required upping my game. It required changing my habits. And ultimately, it was about becoming an entirely new me.
I moved from meat-eater to vegetarian. From vegetarian to vegan. This process completely wiped meat off the menu for me. I’ll never eat it again.
I moved from employee to self-employed. From self-employed to business owner. This was a huge mindset change as I learned to move from the 9 to 5 mentality, to one where I generate ideas and look for how I can impact people’s lives.
I moved from anti-ager to pro-ager. This was a shift in my thinking. Anti- thinkers try to avoid what’s inevitable. Pro- thinkers prefer to find a way to be at their best every single day. Maybe that’s why I cringe every time I see a new anti-aging product hit the marketplace. Why would I want to do anything but pro-age?
I moved from writer to blogger to author. There’s a big difference between writing a little every day and having the commitment to create a blog. When you take it to the next level and start authoring books, it takes a whole new level of determination.
Of course, there are a lot of other “me’s” I’ve changed over the years.
And for every one of them, it started with an inkling of thought. I reached the peak of “me,” and decided I was ready to reach for more.
And then I reached.
Sounds easy. It’s not.
But I don’t have to tell you that. Because you’re right here with me. Right here in midlife, we’ve accomplished great things.
But now, here we are.
I started 2020 with a whole slew of goals. Guess what? A day after New Year, they all started slipping away. My plans for the year focused around #2020Vision and #2020Clarity, and absolutely none of what I had planned came true.
Guess what? That’s okay.
Because I learned a skill long ago, one that makes it easy for me to pivot.
I recognize when I’ve reached a plateau. I know when change is staring me in the face. I ask the right questions, make the right changes, and gladly welcome an entirely new way of thinking.
I do it intentionally. Change happens with or without your acceptance. The world makes sure of that. If you fight it, your life becomes worse. If you recognize it, ask how you can move towards it, the answers are more freeing.
What am I supposed to learn? How can I move forward? How can I be my best?
To do something intentionally means you move forward, recognizing it’s the only way you can become who you’re meant to be.
Treat every day as something shiny and new. Yesterday’s concrete, but today can be morphed and changed. If I didn’t like something about yesterday, I put my thinking towards ways I can make it better. Just because I didn’t write yesterday, doesn’t mean I can’t write today. Past misgivings are no longer a care, because the only thing that matters is today.
Be the me I want to be. Actions speak louder than words. So I focus on what I do each moment of the day. Writers write. Vegans cook plant-based meals. Healthy people exercise. Business owners find ways to serve their customers. It’s that simple.
When you fall down, you get up. Because we’re always going to fall down. ALWAYS. All you have to do is look at this year to know how true it is. But I believe tomorrow will always be brighter. We’ll always move forward to better our world. It simply has to be. So when something doesn’t go right, when you fail, when devastating news hits you over the head, when you can’t bear to make it through the day, just know that tomorrow gives you another chance to start over.
Live it. Feel the emotions. And start over.
The new you is also meant to change
People often assume that once you’ve found the “new you,” it’s impossible to take a step back and enjoy things you’ve always enjoyed. Not so.
Be flexible. Find new ways to continue building the new you.
I’ve met a lot of very rigid vegans in my life since I’ve moved down this path. But that doesn’t serve me well.
It took me over twenty years to become vegan. It all started after losing my father to a massive heart attack at fifty-four. Yep, I’m a work in progress. And I realize anyone else taking this journey is going to have slip-ups too.
Rigidity holds you back. It freezes you into one moment of time. It doesn’t allow you to grow and see things differently as the world changes around you.
Shifting is where it’s at. Pivoting based on current life situations, and making the most of it today, in the now. That’s what serves me well.