When I Hoped Things Wouldn’t Change, They Did and It Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me

Brian Solis
Nov 15, 2018 · 3 min read

This is a picture shot by Mike Shane in New York as part of a series to promote my (at the time) next book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design.

I stumbled across it online recently and even though it was taken five (wow!) years ago…I was abruptly flooded with memories (and emotions) of my season in New York and my life in general during this time. It’s strange. I remember exactly what I was thinking the moment this picture was taken.

At the time, I was in New York so often, I seriously considered renting a small apartment to maintain a bi-coastal presence and with it, a bi-coastal lifestyle.

In this picture, I was actually savoring the moment. I remember thinking, “I love this time right now in New York so much that I hope it doesn’t come to an end anytime soon.”

But, it did. Suddenly. And, thankfully.

I needed a reset. I needed a new beginning. I just didn’t realize it.

This picture represents a version of me minus 15–20 pounds (7–9 kilos) and minus a productive, happy and healthy center of reference.

I wasn’t taking good care of myself even though I thought I was living my best life. I lost so much weight from the constant running around and honestly, not eating right…all in the name and glory of “the #hustle.” I was, in reality, racing toward a false state of relevance and success. I bought into the fallacy of busy as a means of staying visible and connected.

I worshipped and valued the wrong things. I confused abundance with indulgence and happiness with pleasure.

With change, sudden change, though came perspective.

It led to a series of life-changing events that I am excited to share with you in 2019.

What I wanted to share now is that you don’t need to wait for life to happen to you to take back its reins and shape your own happiness and destiny. You have more control than you may realize.

The truth is that many of us are probably not living our best life even though we may feel happy and even though hundreds or thousands of Likes and followers tell us that we’re on the right path.

Just do you!

Be happy being you because no one else can be you.

Be best.

Love yourself.

Live your best life!

I know these platitudes all mean well.

What I learned and am still learning is that to become the best version of ourselves, to live our best life, means that we have to know the difference between the shades of grey that separate the worst and best of life as we know it and life as we could know it. To do so, asks us to question what we think it means to be happy. We have to question the meaning of love and self-love. We have to question who we really are, what we stand for and who we’re trying to become. And, I don’t think that really ever stops.

It’s surprisingly simple to be distracted and led astray to the point where you’re so far down a new path, that it feels normal…that it feels right…that it feels rewarding…because it is where you are and your biases protect you. It is a version of normal. But where we are, what we do and why and what we value isn’t always where we need to be, what we could be doing and why and what we should value.

Life is a journey. Sometimes we veer off course. Sometimes we’re on track. But knowing what it is we truly value, who we really are and who we see ourselves becoming, without vanity, without unproductive distraction and without meaningless influence, we form a strong center of reference. This guides us. And, it is us. This is our “best self” now and throughout our journey…to enjoy and grow truer to the real you and not someone else’s idea of you.

This moment reminds me of what I valued versus what I now value and who I was versus who I am and now becoming.

I wanted to share this moment with you.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Brian Solis

Written by

Brian Solis is a digital anthropologist, global keynote speaker and the author of the new book, Lifescale: How to live a more productive, happy & creative life!

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