When we think of change we tend to think of the outcome, the end goal. For example, if I were to say, ‘I want to lose 20 pounds’, my loss of 20 pounds will be the change I seek to make. However, my question is how? How did I end up getting to that place of being lighter? When we hop in our car, let’s say we begin in Florida, and our destination is California, is our focus simply on making it to California? Most likely not. We probably mapped out places to stop and explore, noticed the beautiful change in scenery, took selfies of an interesting artifact in the background, or we could have just stayed true to GPS and focused simply on the destination.
Change is actually a combination of a million different decisions that lead to a different noticeable action, perception or way of life. Just as the travel along the East to West Coast journey is filled with stops, turns and souvenirs, so too is a change in our habitual pattern. Back to our original example, losing 20 pounds consists of millions of small decisions made from the time we stated to ourselves, “I want to lose weight”, or what I like to encourage people to say, “I seek to become healthy”.
At first, these decisions are recognized and even magnified in our minds. Decisions like should I eat these chips or a handful of berries? Should I take the stairs or elevator? Should I get up a few minutes early and make my lunch for work or order out? And the list goes on and on, until eventually these thoughts no longer become conscious thoughts. Instead, they are now habitual patterns that we have trained our bodies to respond to. We begin to not even notice an elevator because our focus is on the stairs. Then we might move into thoughts of what kind of exercise should I do? When should I exercise? I think I want to ride my bike to work today. What would life be like if I filled my mind with healthy thoughts just as I’m feeding my body healthy food?
The point is, just like our coast to coast drive opens up new opportunities to experience new things at each progressive turn, change occurs the same way- one decision after another. Eventually, we reach our destination. Once we are at our destination in California, what do we say? Two things pop in my mind- ‘This is beautiful’ and ‘I made it’!
If you take nothing else away from this, please take this piece. Change is hard. It is a long, sometimes lonely, journey that requires continuous focus on changing the thoughts from preprogrammed ones to those that will serve in our journey. Sometimes it feels as if the journey will never reach the destination, and that’s because I believe you never do. Once you are “there” (your original outcome/goal), new goals pop up that are bigger than you originally could even imagine. Kobe Bryant told his daughters that their dream is actually the work put into achieving their perceived dream (goal). Seth Godin suggests that we should detach from the outcome and focus on our Practice (the things we do continuously in our day-to-day that lead to the outcome we desire). Wayne Dyer said that if we want to change what we are looking at (or going through or want) then change the way we look at it and the things we look at will change.
The journey, whatever it is you are changing, is hard. There is no way around that. And the journey is actually the path to whatever it is we seek. However, along the way, stop and take a moment to recognize the awesomeness that is you! Identify the beauty in the newness that you have created. Celebrate the small, yet powerful, new decision you made today. Give yourself permission to feel the joy that comes with accomplishing new things. Say out loud, “I made it!” and celebrate how incredible you really are!
Celebrate with others. If you are unable to find others to celebrate you and the magnificent human being that you are, let me know because I would love the opportunity to celebrate you! Here’s to becoming who we are, one decision at a time!
Be well, Be love,