These days, a lot of gurus like to talk about the power of “self-transformation” – the idea that you can completely change who you are.
But what does it mean in practice? How do you get there?
In the West, we’re used to the idea that we’re one fixed person for life. We tell ourselves that we like chocolate and dislike broccoli, that we love sports but hate fashion, or that we are a proud person.
But in the East, such clear definitions of the self don’t exist. Philosophers over in Asia prefer to think of the self as a “mess” – something that doesn’t remain consistent over time.
You can probably think of instances in your life when it became obvious to you that you weren’t just one fixed entity. Perhaps you consider yourself a conservative person but found yourself doing the cha-cha last time you went dancing. Or maybe you’re a “serious” person but decided to jump in puddles last time it rained.
The point is this: transforming your life probably isn’t as challenging as you might think. The seeds to do it are likely already there.
Don’t Assume You’re A Particular Type Of Person
The stories we tell ourselves have a nasty habit of becoming reality. Telling yourself “I’m an anxious person” is more likely to reinforce your anxiety. Saying “I’m a shy person” is likely to make you less outgoing. You get the picture.
But what if you didn’t assume that you were a particular type of person? What if you just let your brilliance and skill guide you?
There’s a lot of wisdom in “going with the flow.” Allowing life to unfold emotionally can often be the key to moving forward, changing your life, and becoming the person you actually want to be.
Make A Big Move (Perhaps To Another Country)
Moving to another country and becoming a naturalized citizen totally changes your perspective on the world and gets you out of your comfort zone. It opens you up to new possibilities, helps you escape conflict, and, importantly, better life for yourself than what you have right now.
Whatever your motives, try to include the idea of living somewhere else in your long-term vision, even if it seems utterly unattainable. Having a focus in the background providing context for everything you do changes how you approach each day.
Make Your Emotions Work For You
The mind is an ancient survival tool. And because of this, it doesn’t care whether you’re happy. All that matters is that you stay out of danger long enough to pass on your genes – one of the reasons mental health is so poor at the moment.
But the mind is also something we can use to our benefit. Instead of living with this oppressive force all our lives, we can create an ally out of it. The mind can actually be a reinforcing tool that provides us with positive emotions that inspire action.
Think about inspirational people you know. Their drive doesn’t come from their intellect. Instead, it comes from their passion. Raw emotion is what makes them put in the effort to make their lives work.
Bring Constructive Daily Habits To Your Life
How many people do you know who don’t take care of themselves, mentally and physically? Nearly everyone, right?
Unfortunately, those people are going to struggle to transform their lives. For change to happen, you need both the mind and body to be healthy. If they’re not, every step you take will feel like a drag.
Smarter daily habits mean finding ways to inject a little wellness into everything you do. It could be eating berries for breakfast, spending 10 minutes meditating in the morning before you do anything else, or going for a walk at lunchtime.
Small changes like these have a habit of snowballing. And, eventually, you can achieve a sense of emotional wellbeing you never thought possible.
Start With The Manageable
Lastly, start with manageable changes.
We often imagine that we have to make big changes in our lives to transform them. But they can be overwhelming. You say to yourself “I can’t do that.”
But when you focus on something small, the narrative changes. Suddenly, you get the emotional confidence you need to see it through. For instance, perhaps you can’t see yourself speaking to a stadium full of people. But, maybe, you could speak to a room of people.
See the difference?