The future arrives one morning at a time.
Our futures are changed one day at a time.
Most of us do not perceive a significant change in our lives day in and day out.
It is only after hundreds of days have accumulated that we notice the dramatic change that has been occurring.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
In the beginning, shooting for “changing your life” is like walking toward the edge of a cliff blindfolded trusting what others have told you about the path and trusting that the leap off the cliff is actually the best thing that will have happened to you yet!
But you don’t really know how many steps it will take you to reach the edge of the cliff (each step representing a day in your life) and you have no idea what jumping off of the cliff is going to be like (the leap from the cliff representing the point when you achieve significant growth in your life).
You don’t know what you are doing because it takes hundreds of consistent steps before you can turn around and see that you have progressed a significant distance.
Before you can turn around and appreciate the distance that you have come, you have to travel that actual distance…which requires consistent energy applied over a good deal of time in a somewhat blindfolded state.
The blindfold and the faith.
So much of growth is accomplished in a spirit of faith.
Because you are striving to reach a point in your life that you are not familiar with, you will be acting on the words of others. You will be progressing under the faith that the sources of information you rely upon have told you the truth (this article could be considered one of those sources).
This can be terrifying (It was for me!).
To make matters more interesting, not only are you proceeding on faith, you also are blind to the change that is taking place and the momentum that is slowly building and you remain blind until a good amount of time has passed (it took me 365 days to realize how far I’d come).
The nature of a changing life is that it takes place one day at a time. It is incredibly hard to perceive your life as being changed when you’re only 2-days into your process of changing it.
It is even difficult 2-months into the process. For those who stick with it for a year, they have the immense luxury of turning around and admiring the long path of growth stretched out behind them.
The slow momentum.
Let’s say you are lost. Your purpose is unclear to you. Your goals are not your own, they come from examples others set and not from deep inside you. Your days feel the same day in and day out. You fall asleep at night thinking that there is something missing and you pray to discover it the next day.
You are in the absolute best position to begin to change your life.
In order to change your life you need to start building momentum. The beauty of feeling completely lost is that every single step outside of your comfort zone is a step in the right direction (no matter which direction you’re stepping).
You don’t need an all-encompassing purpose and a far-reaching, clearly articulated goal for your entire life in order to begin to change it. All you need is to change what you are currently doing because what you are currently doing does not satisfy your desires for the person you want to be.
This opens up allllll of the doors. Every decision you make — so long as it puts you outside your zone of comfort — is a good decision. Until you begin to put together some of the puzzle pieces and realize a more defined direction for your life, you have all the options in the world directly in front of you.
Questions you don’t even know how to ask.
Starting from square one will mean you may not even know the questions that you need to ask in order to get the answers that you think you are seeking.
Just start making things up!
Come up with questions for the sake of questions and as you receive answers you will begin to understand what questions lead you closer to the vague idea of a future you start to envision for yourself.
You also will make a fool of yourself again and again by sticking your nose into areas you know nothing about. But what a perfect way to grow thicker skin and to learn how to alter the questions you are asking!
Additionally, as you set out in any direction (because you feel lost and have no idea which direction to go) you will begin to cross things off your metaphorical list of life interests and pursuits. You will learn which things you don’t like which better informs the vague search for the things that you do like!
Changing your life consists of finding out which questions to even ask, then which questions to answer, experiencing experiences which give you invaluable experience, gaining brand new confidence, acquiring lots of new knowledge, building so much amazing momentum, and learning how to set and accomplish your own goals.
For those who have been growing for a good deal of time, I encourage you to stop and really recall all the steps you have taken to make it where you are today. Be proud of it.
You may not be as lost as you think you are…
Do a self-check. Where were you 6-months ago? Have you grown at all in the space of those 6-months? Look for small character changes or acquired habits (if they are good ones).
Perhaps you have already started building the momentum toward changing your life and you just have not given yourself the space to realize it yet!
A serious check-in with yourself is invaluable. Whether you have begun to change your life or not (or if you are unsure).
Sit down. Turn the music off. Shut the laptop. Put the phone away. Entertain your own thoughts and ask yourself:
- Have I changed?
- Are there things in my past that I should be more proud of?
- Is my life the same as it was last year?
- Am I happy with that?
- Do I feel like my life runs according to the desires and wishes of others?
- Do I feel like I consistently take the path of least resistance in life for fear of what could be if I made the hard choices?
- Do I want to change this existence that is my life?
- Do I want to change?
For those who want change but feel lost.
Consider the length of your life, the value of it and your level of satisfaction with who you are. Your life is short and already slipping away. No one can stop that. Everyone is affected by it. No one escapes the end.
You have been given the keys to the most beautiful thing you can possibly imagine, your own life! You have the freedom to experience love, happiness, joy, pain, sorrow, suffering, loss, great success and everything under the sun.
But greatest of all, you have a life capable of changing other lives. You have breath inside you that allows you to speak and affect change. You have the power to heal and to cause harm. You can bring joy or cause pain. You can lead or you can follow. You can save or you can ignore. You can love or you can hate.
You can grow or you can stagnate.
Choose growth. For the sake of all of those who will be changed by your marvelous life, choose growth.
Sure, it’s scary. Sure, it doesn’t even make sense at first. It takes a long time to realize the growth that has taken place.
But it DOES lead forward! And if you do not like where you stand today, forward is the only option!! (Other than standing still and never moving ever…)
What is 1-year devoted to something you can’t quite see but are told exists (growth and success)? I cannot encourage you enough to take the steps necessary to be able to turn around in 1-year and stand in awe of how much your life has changed.
But that only happens if you start now. If you start one day at a time and build. Then, and only then, can you turn around in a year and smile at all that has happened.
Sure, most of it will be done blindly and in faith. But if you are not perfectly happy with who you are today, if you have ideas for who you want to be in the future, the only way forward is through the fog.
The first step is the hardest.
The 365th step…well that one is just marvelous!!
Stick with it and believe that the best is ahead. You need only get to work to set the unseen change in motion.
When I read this quote, I thought it is fitting when urging others to begin to work toward marvelous change in their lives.
“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, not in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
— John F. Kennedy