Change Becomes You
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Change Becomes You

A Message From My 8-year-old Self

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When I was eight years old, I discovered skateboarding; that summer, I spent several weeks hanging out at the local skatepark without owning a skateboard.

Every day, I would return home with a carefully crafted plan to convince my father to buy me a skateboard.

Everything I had planned in detail came out all wrong, and I spent several nights going to bed knowing that I still didn't have a skateboard for the next day.

As fate would have it, after three weeks of torturing my father at the dinner table, he finally gave in, and the next day I was the proud owner of a brand new skateboard.

My happiness knew no boundaries.

After a couple of days, the initial excitement wore off, and I had new torture plans to execute at the dinner table.

This time I needed a new pair of skate shoes.

That summer, I managed to check off several skateboarding items on my wish list, but when school started I felt like an imposter.

I had spent my whole summer collecting skate items without doing much skating.

Skaters have a term for this; they call them posers.

I had all the things that made me look like a skater, but I didn't skate

Twenty years later, I found myself browsing the internet, buying one self-help book after the other, not taking any practical action, and therefore not achieving any personal transformation.

Once again, I had become a poser, or I was until my eight-year-old self kicked me in the face and corrected me.

I heard his voice loud in clear in my head; this is just like that summer when you got all the skateboard equipment you desired and didn't skate more than 30 yards.

I have an excuse. I am eight, but you are twenty-nine years old, what's your reason? He asked me.

Since that day in, I have honored my eight-year-old self.

I would like to share a shift in focus that helped me start practicing a few hours of deliberate practice every week, which eventually changed my life.

Foto av Huy Phan från Pexels

1. I Created A Good Evening And Morning Routine

It was really uncomfortable to realize that I had been reading about personal for years without practicing.

In my defense, I was so tired most of the time, that I lacked the energy to focus, with that said, I could no longer escape the reason I was so tired most of the time.

My evening and morning routines were killing me, I was utterly depleted and had no energy to practice any personal development.

So I started to develop a good evening and morning routine.

Without a healthy evening and morning routine, I always end my day and start my day on the wrong foot.

Personal development is not so much about doing more, it's about doing less, about the thing I am willing to give up.

This starts with my ability to take a step back and examine everything I cling to.

My phone, Snapchat, social media, Netflix, late-night snacks, destructive relationships, numbing behaviors, and everything that is destroying my energy.

If I have no energy I have No focus

If I have no focus, there can be no personal development!

I would even go so far to say, that most of my problems were linked to my lack of energy.

Foto av Sander från Pexels

2. I Got Rid Of All Clutter

Getting rid of clutter is the first step in personal development, no matter who you are.

It frees up mental and physical space.

I start to see the forest when I cut down some trees.

Mental clutter is not a sign of genius or creativity. It's a bad habit that takes away my energy and focus.

Nothing more is going to fit in the trashcan, if it is already full.

Foto av Erik Mclean från Pexels

3. I confronted one demon at the time

I don't care how strong you are, but there are limits to how many bad guys you can fight off at the same time, in the same fight — if you are not, Keanu reeves in the matrix, in that case; continue to kick ass!

If not, it's impossible to address everything at the same time.

I have to pick my battle, focus on that and do some serious deliberate practice.

Initially, I fell into the trap of buying too many books on a wide range of topics and never diving deep into the fires of my own created hell.

After a while, I started to confront one demon at a time, one day at the time.

To give you an example, in my case it was boundaries and communication, one at a time.

Foto av Akil Mazumder från Pexels

4. I started small

After I had identified my demon, I started practicing in small chunks and work on those chunks every day, step by step.

What's the point of reading all these new things in a self-help book if I don't make it practical for three minutes every day?

Time is something you don't get back to, so make sure you take ownership of it.

Start small — but start today.

Foto av Sebastian Voortman från Pexels

5. Disciplined is not found. It is a practice

Discipline is not a set of rules, regulations, or punishment. Nor is it conformity, obedience, or enforcement.

It is not rigid or boring.

Discipline frees up space, creates more time enabling me to be a creative and supportive human being.

No app, journal, or tool is the key to discipline.

When I started to design my environment, I no longer needed to rely on willpower. By the way, willpower doesn't work.

So, the aim is to create a supportive environment that supports the changes I want to make.

And working on achieving flow states in everything I do.

Foto av Tara Winstead från Pexels

6. I Focus On The Reason Why I Want Something

It can be tempting to jump into doing as many changes in my life as possible, but I learned the hard way that it is not about doing things.

It's about understanding why I do the things I do and starting to say no to the things that no longer serve me.

Getting clear on why I want to do something makes everything more accessible, especially when times get tough and I feel like giving up.

Foto av Anjeliica från Pexels

7. I Eliminate distractions

Distractions are one of the biggest barriers to most good things in life.

I'd attribute most of my success to what I gave up and no longer engage in:

— I don't have a TV

— I don't own a lot of things, so I don't waste valuable time cleaning or organizing shit I don't need

— I DONT interact on social media

— I don't say yes to things that don't make me a better person

It's impossible to get rid of distractions if I don't understand why I do the things I do and set boundaries to protect my way of life.

Remember, that most often the distraction is the medicine, not the problem.

Most often when life feels like a never-ending checklist, it is because we have too many distractions in our lives.

One of the biggest catalysts for personal change has been to make sure I understand why I am doing something and set boundaries for myself and others, to protect my energy and time.

Foto av Pixabay från Pexels

8. I Design My Life Around My values And Passion

If I don't know what drives me to do what you do daily, I will do what everyone else is doing, and that is a recipe for an unhappy life.

Especially in the time of social media, which brings out the worst in most of us.

Figuring out why something don't work, is just as important as figuring out why something works.

The way I welcome change usually dictates the tone of my conversations with myself, meaning that I have to identify where I experience resistance to change and why

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Lets Rap This Up

Just like I didn't need a lot of skateboard equipment to make me a good skateboarder, I don't have to read hundreds of books and attend weekend courses if I want to improve my life.

The focus of all personal development is to start developing the habit of making it very PRACTICAL:

— I have a good evening and morning routine, so Ihave the energy to do the work.

— I get rid of clutter to free up mental and physical space so I can digest new inputs.

— I confront one demon at the time- no more

— I start small — but start today!

— I focus On The Reason Why I Want something.

— I Design a life Around my values And Passion — not work or money

I hope I have, if not empowered you, at least got you thinking.

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