An Aptitude For Change

In mid 2013, I was physically at my heaviest and mentally at the lowest point I have ever been in my life. I remember staring into the mirror one morning, not recognizing the face that stared back. It wasn’t the physical transformation that shocked me. Rather, it was the mental one. I did not know the person in the mirror. She was me, yet was she really me?

Brain: The Story Of You, by David Eagleman, explains the inner workings of the human mind and the brain. It is a fascinating book, to say the least. He asks: “When you are angry with yourself: who is really angry with whom?”

Have you ever thought about it, actively? How does our mind cordon off parts of our rationale in a way that allows one part to be upset with the other, engage one side in active debate with the other, make one part question the other?

So when I looked in the mirror and asked myself who was staring back: in a way, it was my old self (and the memories that composed it) asking my current self, if we were indeed the same person?

And that’s the day I decided to change. Actively. Inside out.

There are so many aspects about us that demand updating. Just like our smartphones that get software updates every few months, our bodies and our minds are in constant need for improvement.

A physical upgrade might seem like a shallow example in this regard. And those who haven’t experienced it, would never believe the ginormous impact a physical change can have on the psyche. In all honesty, the psychological benefits of a physical change greatly outweigh the more obvious ones. Yes, you can run faster without gasping for breath. You fall ill less often. You look better. But much, much deeper than that is the way it changes how you perceive yourself, your ability to achieve, and your ability to live.

The best part of such a victory is how it impacts the rest of your life from that point. When you change an aspect of yourself considerably, you change the very fiber of YOU. We are pieces of clay, that can be constantly molded to our liking. We are bars of steel, being bent and reshaped with intense heat. We are built to be broken, and rebuilt. Stronger and better.

And the same thing that pushes us to succeed is also what pushes us away from it. So in a way, it’s a battle of you against you. And only YOU can choose the winner. The question you need to ask yourself is: who’s winning today?

If you’re unhappy with your life choices. Change.

If you’re unhappy with your job or career. Change.

If you’re in a toxic relationship that is sapping your energy. Change.

If you’re unhappy with an aspect of society (that you can influence in some way). Change.

If you have compromised your ethics and sense of self because it was what everyone else was doing. Change.

If you’re being treated with lesser respect than you deserve. Claim it. Change.

If you are unhappy with the way you look, feel, behave, judge, treat others, treat yourself, think, dress, talk, ARE. Change.

An attitude for change comes from developing an aptitude for it. The only thing that stops you is you.