Change Your Life By Changing Yourself

What does it mean to change your life? The way that I have come to understand this process is that it is based first and foremost on personal growth. As such it is a perpetual process that exists at all stages of development because we will always have ways in which we need to grow, thus there will always be aspects of our lives we wish to change and refine.

It is a process not of drastic outward remodeling, but dramatic internal transformation where we literally grow and transform beyond nearly all recognition of the people that we used to be, yet where we do not feel so much as if we have changed, but become more like what we were all along. This occurs through the accumulation of small changes, or punctuated by periods of comprehensive change – both of which are born of personal growth, self-realization and awakening. This happens naturally at every stage of our lives little by little when we dedicate ourselves to personal growth, mastery, and spiritual practice.

Change Your Life :: Standing on the Edge of a Dream [Image]

“If you desire to achieve something in and with your life, you have to cultivate yourself to be the embodiment of that which you dream. No matter what it is that you want to be, you require skills and knowledge first… That is how you will change your life.” [Image Credit: Pixabay]

These processes and practices are founded on the understanding that there is more to who we are than we are aware of; that there are deeper aspects of ourselves that we are intuitively conscious of as the merest hint of a possibility lingering on the periphery of our awareness, like smoke on the horizon. Yet somehow we know unequivocally that this vision of what we can become is who we truly are – a more total, holistic, and powerful expression of our genuine self. This also means that the people we are now are not genuine expressions of who we truly are, and in some ways they can never be because continuous growth has taught me that the next stage will radically transform my own self-image, as will the next stage, and the next… so which one is ‘who I really am’?

The answer is that each stage is who we are at that moment, a reflection of what we are working through, on, and towards at that stage. This is, however, only a glimpse into, a hint of what we are becoming on the deepest levels of ourselves – whether we are aware of it or not. Each is a layer, a phase of peeling away at all that obstructs us and limits us until we are gradually revealed at last to be what we were all along. And yet even that is a transient and illusive identity, because from there another cycle of growth begins as we proceed deeper.

We are not fixed beings, and we are capable of radical growth, change, and transformation. What it truly means to change your life is to engage in this process of continual growth and transformation consciously, discovering over time what you are with the right practices and the right approach. Gradually learning along the way with each subsequent discovery, and with each phase of growth and transformation, how to better express that part of yourself clearly and creatively in your life, until your life reflects that part of you too.

Change Yourself, Change Your Life

To change your life, you must change yourself. This is where the majority of apparent external transformation in lifestyle and quality of life originates. The life of an individual is a reflection of the individual. In other words, everything from our habitual thoughts, emotions and quality of our internal state, to our patterns of action and behaviour, conditioned emotional responses, and how we deal with challenges and adversity, are all reflected in our lives. Thus any way that you want to change your life and anything that you want to create in its place, all have their roots within you, which you must therefore change and grow from within yourself.

Changing your life is a process of personal development, personal mastery, growth and learning. Therefore it is the refinement not necessarily of who we are, but of our understanding of what we are, and the subsequent expression of ourselves. I am the same person that I have always been, and yet how I express myself has changed dramatically over the course of this lifetime as I have learned more and been able to articulate what I am more clearly through a combination of spiritual practice, mental and emotional cultivation, and the process of mastery of all the arts, disciplines, and subjects I am intrinsically drawn towards because they satisfy the expression of that which I am.

The first step once you have realized that you desire to change your life, is to accept that by extension, the true heart of the matter is that there are things that you desire to change about yourself. The process then born of this shift in perspective is to figure out what it is that you desire to create in your life – precisely how you want to change your life, what you want it to look like, what you want to achieve, what you would like your daily ritual, routines, practices, and work to be, and, most importantly how you want to be. The next phase of the work then entails figuring out what habits to build and develop, what to learn, and what daily practices to master and engage in so that you may cultivate and grow that future lifestyle right from your most fundamental habits and the core of your life: you.

Cultivate Your Dreams as Habits

Most of us have no shortages of dreams and desires. However, how many of us are actually getting what it is that we want out of our lives? How many of us are achieving those things that we desire and covet? And if we are not, then why not? First of all, desire is not in and of itself a negative thing. The desire that I am speaking about here is not the desire for a new car, or a bigger house, or to crush your professional or political opponent. Those things mean almost nothing to me. The desire that I am referring to is the fundamental desire of a human being to express what they are creatively and professionally in their lives. The desire to tailor their lives as a perfect expression of who they are so that they can be what they are, and so that they may work towards the highest expression of that which they are emotionally, mentally, spiritually, creatively, and physically (if one is so inclined), therefore moving towards the fullest realization of their potential as a human being in this lifetime. That is the only type of desire that I am talking about, thus that is what I will discuss how to achieve.

With those desires conscious in our minds, how is it that we can realize this ideal state? Moreover why is it that the majority of humans do not realize this highest of ambitions, or even appear to be moving in this direction? This is a fairly complex question, and there are many variables which differ uniquely for each individual (which I will ultimately address over time within the full spectrum of my personal mastery and spiritual writings). Yet, the general answer is fairly simple:

We don’t realize this desire because we are not focusing on the growth, development, and refinement of ourselves, knowledge, skills and abilities, in the direction of that which we desire and on a daily basis.

We want these things in life, but we are not actually working on ourselves to achieve them. Instead we are merely stuck in a cycles of whining and pining for these things or for the opportunity to achieve them, yet without ever actually doing anything about it with our daily actions and habits. It literally doesn’t matter what it is that you desire to be – an actor, historian, chef, personal trainer, someone who designs cars, or an astronaut – regardless of what you want to be, I can assure you that you have more to learn and more skills to develop than you can cultivate working ten hours a day for a decade. Such is the nature – the joy, the wonder, and the struggle – of learning and of mastering any art, or achieving anything. Yet, are you actively engaging in any of that work on a daily basis?

If you are, then you are on your way and it will not be long before you see a change in your life. Yet if you are not, then your desire has no foundation in reality and you are not going anywhere. You are not making progress and growing in the direction of that which you desire, thus those precious visions of the life that you desire and the person you want to become are relegated to fantasy, pure fictions of your imagination. This is the hard truth of the situation. Most people do not realize their dreams, life purpose, or ideal lifestyle because they are not actively growing or cultivating them. Even though the majority of knowledge and skills you require can be developed with almost no money, except whatever it costs to purchase a few books, or a library card, or a few rudimentary tools and equipment which, while they may not be ideal or amount to everything you’ll need in the end, they are more than enough to get started if your resolve to become that vision of yourself and your life is true.

Therefore, focus your attention on yourself. If you desire to achieve something in and with your life, you have to cultivate yourself to be the embodiment of that which you dream. No matter what it is that you want to be, you require skills and knowledge first. You will never be finished developing these skills and knowledge throughout your life no matter how hard you work, or how much time you put in, because there is no end to this process of learning. The journey is infinite because there is always more to learn, but that is also what is so exciting about this process, because this means that there is unlimited potential for how much you can grow.

Therefore put your attention on growing new habits, behaviors, skills, knowledge, and ability in the direction of your dream in order to become the embodiment of your dream and that which you desire to become. That is how you will change your life.

Taking Responsibility For Your Life

This understanding that who we are determines the quality, substance, and appearance of our lives has to be understood, because that understanding will blossom into a radical shift in taking responsibility. For if our lives are the extension of ourselves, then within reason the problems, challenges, and obstacles that we face in our lives – whether they be in the form of people, obstructive habits, or maybe circumstances like financial trouble – can be viewed in some way as being created by our previous choices, actions, and who we were in the past. This is the case, which also means that we have the power and ability to change the quality and substance of our lives in the future because we have the ability to change and transform ourselves.

Changing the external appearance of our lives is not the point. You will get nothing out of it if you just change how your life looks, because you – the creator of your old life – will be the same. And soon enough you will just create the same problems as you had before. You have to change the person that you are from the foundation up, starting with habits, knowledge, and skill. I would also in this case (and in virtually every case…) suggest meditation so that you can cultivate the self-knowledge, awareness, and objectivity which are necessary qualities to see yourself and your life as they are so that you can begin moving in the right direction for yourself. Meditation also helps you to gradually distinguish between your true self and your false self – or your ego and your spiritual nature – so that you can begin eliminating those obstructive and destructive behaviors, patterns, and feelings and grow into a fuller expression of your highest potential as a human being, but also as an artist in whatever profession, discipline, or field you have chosen to dedicate a part of your life to.

Out of the foundation of your present self, anything can be grown. You can choose to grow in any direction. And if you take the right steps, you can change your life in any way that you desire, crafting and fashioning it with your efforts as an artist would fashion an image out of clay. However in this case, you are both the artist and the work of art that you are crafting, and your life is merely the canvas where all of this takes place. Change yourself, and you will change your life.

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