Last Updated on May 6, 2020 by Alex
How do you change everything to transform your life?
First, create a vision of the life you want, and the person you want to be.
Second, ask yourself how much you are willing to change in order to have the life you envision.
Ask yourself if you are willing to move to a new city, state or even country. Ask yourself if you are willing to give up your job. To leave friends who drag you down behind. To change your diet, your morning routine, your reading and computer habits.
Most importantly, are you willing to change yourself internally? Your thoughts, beliefs and the standards to which you hold yourself.
Are you willing to stop fighting against yourself and just go for it, day in, day out?
Change everything .
Really. Change everything.
You will begin to transform your life when you become willing to let go.
No, it’s not easy. But when you know, deep down, that you have to transform your life in order to fulfill yourself in this one life you have on Earth, then there is no more urgent task.
You meet your destiny by changing everything.
You shed old, dead skin.
You find your courage, creativity, inspiration and intuition.
What have you got to lose? Just your life.
First Let Go
The name of this blog is Let Go and Change because before you can change you have to let go. Of a lot.
We are all attached, to everything from people to possessions to ideas and beliefs.
It isn’t very difficult to identify what you should let go of but haven’t because you’re attached. Just consider the elements of your life—both the external and internal ones—and see how each of them makes you feel.
I used to be deeply attached to an intimate relationship that I held onto for years, despite the fact that it was highly conflictual, confusing, painful and disappointing. Instead of letting it go I kept working at it and working at it.
Until, finally, after yet another painful disappointment I stepped back and just let go.
That relationship made me feel heavy, depressed, anxious.
After it was over, the anger and resentment I harbored also made me feel wretched. I had to let that go as well.
The external and the internal both had to go.
Letting go left me feeling light, full of possibility and happy. Not coincidentally, not very long after letting go I started seeing the love of my life and married her just over a year later and have been blissfully, happily in love ever since.
Identify what you have to let go of by how these internal and external elements make you feel. Then start letting go.
Sometimes people as how to let go. This isn’t tricky. You let go by letting go. It’s really that simple. If you don’t let go, it’s just because you are still holding on. You are holding on to holding on, attached to attachment.
So go back and ask yourself what you are willing to do.
Face the Pain
Releasing pain is essential for you to transform your life because doing so removes old chains and unleashes energy you never knew you had.
Human beings are in pain. It is a part of our condition. Even if we have wonderful lives as children, we still grow up with pain. No one avoids it.
Everyone has emotional injuries.
Some people have profound, deep scars.
Trying to heal them can be a lifelong quest for some, one they may or may not complete.
Whether we can heal our pain or just live with it in a healthy way, there is one task we all have in common: we have to face and deeply, directly experience it.
I have never executed a successful major change in my life without confronting deep pain and fear.
Facing your pain and deepest fears means bringing them out into the open to yourself. Feeling them deeply, and sitting with them, without trying to change or suppress them.
Just let the pain be but be very conscious of it. Let it move through you. Pain has a way of moving like energy in the body when it is left to roam freely.
In time, at its own pace, it self liberates. Meaning it dissolves. Left to its own devices and without you making an effort to hold onto it, pain is transient, even if the transit takes some time.
I have found that there is a point in the process of bringing pain out and letting it run freely where the intensity with which you experience it is matched by the strength of the energy it gives. You become more alive, more conscious, more capable.
You have the experience of being in emotional pain and yet being more decisive, active and sure of yourself.
There are any number of ways to bring up pain you have been carrying around, from therapy to meditation to reliving certain incidents in your memory. You can also begin a journal, and complement it with a dream journal if you are going through an intense period of emotional purging.
One of my favorite methods of bringing up and releasing issues is emotional freedom techniques. Developed my Gary Craig, it’s a weird but surprisingly effective means of getting to what’s buried deep inside, feeling it intensely and dissolving it.
Master the Moment
How much of your life do you spend living in the past or the future, and giving the present moment only a fraction of your attention?
If you set yourself a goal of running a marathon, when you’re out on a training run, are you fully present or already thinking about the next day’s training? How you’re going to do this or going to do that.
Or you’re learning a language and are discontent with how little you know, frequently thinking about how great it will be when you are fluent.
Being discontent with and distracted from the present and the task at hand is debilitating in two ways.
First, it sets up false expectations. Happiness will not come when you complete the marathon, are able to speak fluently in the new language, or have written the book, or gotten the promotion or the bigger house, and so on. It really does not. No achievement is inherently fulfilling, at least not for very long. Just as no new possession is inherently fulfilling. The fantasies that you have about how life will be when you have this or that, or have done this are that, are just that—fantasies.
Second, you are cheating yourself of happiness right now. In the present. The present is the only time you will ever be alive, the only time you will ever experience directly.
You transform your life from the predictable and distracted to moving relentlessly into new possibilities and growth by integrating your attention and becoming fully present to flow with the life you have in this moment, exhilarated, energized and profoundly conscious.
If you notice yourself drifting into the past or fantasizing about the future, just bring yourself back. Start to master the present moment. Focus, be aware, be present. Everything you experience will be more vivid, everything you do will be meaningful, purposeful and of higher quality.
Start Small, Start Big
When you have decided to bring about major changes in your life, do it all, from the smallest to the biggest changes.
There is an incredible energy that comes with building momentum in every area of your life. Clean out the closets and get rid of the clothes you never wear, hit the gym for the first time this year, put the house on the market and quit your job and buy the ticket to Thailand where you’ll spend a year in a monastery.
Do it all, and do it simultaneously.
Yes, I know there are only so many hours in the day. But once you have the vision, once you have confronted what weighed you down and let go of what held you back, use every ounce of the new energy you have to move, move, move in every conceivable area that needs to change.
Momentum will build quickly.
Perhaps it’s 10 o’clock at night for you as you read this. Start now. Now, now, now. If a physical transformation is part of what you need, get on the floor and start doing pushups or leg lifts. Or go out for a run in the night. Go. Now.
If you want to write a book, open a blank document or get a notebook and begin.
Whatever it is, just start.
There is no time like now. Starting now changes you—immediately. It begins to rewire your brain into believing that I am really doing this.
Nothing even come close. No analysis. No plan. No theory. No preparation.
Welcome the first obstacle, and find a way to get past it. Stay focused on the task, master the moment, keep going.
Start now and your transformation has begun.
How Long Will It Take?
One answer to this question is that there is no end point—you will change and evolve until you die. Depending on what happens after you die, the process may continue.
Another answer to this question is, it will take six months to two years to transform your life and change its direction profoundly.
The first three months are crucial in developing new habits and shedding old habits, stuff, relationships, living arrangements etc. in order to build the foundation to transform your life.
After three months of intense effort, there is momentum. After six months changes can be profound. Within two years your life, including your inner life, may bear little relationship to what you have today.
Within three months the average person is capable of going from the couch to running at least a half marathon and losing 30 pounds.
Within three months a person with two hours of time to spare each day can have written 60.000 words—the length of a typical non-fiction book.
Three months is also long enough to reverse many cases of diabetes on a plant-based diet, to end a toxic relationship and start a new life, or to explore a good part of Peru and undergo a Hiawaska ceremony or to learn how to meditate in a Buddhist monastery.
Six months to two years takes you much farther down the road to the point where you and your life draw gasps of wonder from those who know you best.
You have to transform your life–now or eventually. We all do. The time comes calling.
My first complete life transformation occurred when I let go of a relationship that I was deeply attached to. This led immediately to traveling in South America, working in Alaska, losing 40 pounds and getting into the best shape of my life, excelling to the top of my class in graduate school (from having been just above average my entire life) and launching a successful academic career. All the while I was agonizing over the loss, feeling it deeply, and feeling keenly alive and on the edge of my seat as a result, with more energy than I knew it was possible to have.
The second life transformation is ongoing and also began when I let go of the toxic relationship I already mentioned. Within two years I was married, had a new son and am now on my way to becoming an ultra-marathon runner, leaving behind the academic career I began after my first transformation, and launching myself as a writer. My wife and I have also begun to plan moving countries and founding a meditation retreat center in the mountains of Transylvania.
Without a doubt, life is unpredictable and you can’t control what you can’t control, from the economy to novel viruses to climate change. What you can get a handle on is you. Change that we direct ourselves is right there in front of us. There is so much low hanging fruit that you can start just about anywhere. You can begin to downsize, to plan to move, to plan to leave your job, to start running today. You can start where you know you need to start, right now, keeping focused on the task at hand, watching over time as your life transforms from the predictable and perhaps mediocre to the exhilarating and extraordinary.