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Life-Long Success: Be the Person You Want to Be - NOW
WAKE UP! It's time to quit mindlessly living your life. Recognize that you are not happy with the person you are, and become the person you want to be.
Oftentimes, people don't wake up until they experience a tragedy in their life and the epiphany hits, and the questions come: "What am I doing with my life?" "How did I get in this position?" "Did I choose this life for myself?"
You don't have to wait for that tragedy; you can start being the person you want to be right now.
Cast aside your fear and doubt, and consider these areas of your life:
- Your Goals
- Your Health
- Your Education
- Your Job
- Your Religion
- Your Personality
- Your Relationships
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are the goals I set for myself at age 18 still working for me?
- Are they getting me or have they gotten me where I want to be?
- Did I actually set those goals, or were they expected of me?
- Do I need to set new goals that will let me live the life and be the person I want to be now?
- Who did I always dream of being? Why did I cast that dream aside?
- Have I just settled?
Spend some time mulling these questions over. Look at your life from a new perspective, and start jotting down notes or journaling your inner truths. This may take a significant amount of time. Don't rush.
Ask yourself if you are as healthy as you want to be. If not, why not? No excuses - be honest. Are you really too physically tired from work? Or, have you just settled with the status quo, are you depressed with your life in general? Have you just given up?
The reality is: If you love your life, you will have energy to be active and you will want to fill your body with healthy food so that you can live a long, enjoyable life.
Here's what worked for me: Physically become the person you want to be.
I was not happy with my weight, my appearance (because of the weight), and my lack of energy (which kept the weight piling on). I kept comparing myself to thin people and the thin person I used to be.
So, many years ago, I decided to just be the thin person I wanted to be. I quit looking in the mirror, and I quit weighing myself. I started eating the amount of calories I would eat to maintain my ideal weight. I quit hiding on the couch, and started acting like a thin person who was completely unashamed of my appearance, and started doing all the things I would be doing if I was thin. Over the years, I became that person. I've dropped 55 pounds as of today, and am quite active.
- Why didn't I get the education I needed/wanted? (Again, be honest, don't say you couldn't afford it - people from every income bracket can afford college, with grants, loans, work, help from family, etc.)
- Did I decide on the degree I wanted to pursue, or was a certain degree field expected of me?
- Did the education I got lead me to the life path I really want to be on?
- If not, why haven't I gone back to school to pursue the degree I really want?
In my situation, I was in a religion (more on that later) that discouraged college. So, again, making one change encourages you to make others: I left the church and enrolled in college at the age of 30. I pursued a degree in the field I had always dreamed about: Writing. College opened up a whole new world to me and kept me active, helping me achieve the goal of improved health!
Then again, at age 47, I needed a change and wanted to learn more. See: Back to College at 47???
Your job may or may not bring home enough bacon, but after some years, you've got to realize whether it's fulfilling you or killing you. This could be closely tied to education. Did you get enough education, and did you get a degree in the field that would lead to your dream job?
Either way, your health and happiness are more important than staying in a job that is ruining your mental and physical health.
Ask yourself (whichever applies):
- Is making a lot of money really as great as I thought it would be?
- Is not making enough money making me unhappy? If so, why? If you like your job, can you adjust your lifestyle to live within your means? Or, maybe you can re-examine the education issue discussed above.
In my case, as crazy as some people found this decision to be (in this economy), after putting myself through college, my career took off (technical writing) and I started making more and more money. But after 8 years, I realized the stress was killing me, mentally and physically. Also, it was not the kind of writing I had always wanted to do. I was a technical writer (boring!) not a fiction writer (creative!) So, I quit my job, and am pursuing my dream. I'm poor, but happy.
Again, all of these life changes feed the others.
- Why am I in the religion I am in?
- Did I choose this religion, or was I expected from childhood to be a member?
- Does it feed my happiness or incorporate unreasonable expectations, fear, and guilt into my life?
In my case, leaving my religion was a very scary prospect, but the rest of my goals would never be achieved if I stayed in it. So, I chose to leave, thereby freeing my soul and my creativity and unleashing my first feelings of true happiness. I was now able to get a college degree, get a good job (it served its purpose at the time), get true friends, and ditch the abusive husband.
Besides what you do in your new life, are you happy about who you are?
- Am I real, or am I faking it?
- Do people admire the person I really am?
- Am I afraid to show my real self? Why?
If you're not being real, if you're afraid people won't like the real you, then you have two choices: (1) if you're a bad person (and you know if you are), knock it off. Making other life changes that make you happy and fulfilled could very possibly fix this issue; or (2) if you're a good, well-intentioned person - maybe quirky, maybe weird, maybe uncool - quit faking it. You will be amazed at how many people you attract by being your genuine self - and they, too, will be relieved to give up the facade.
I personally used to be an uptight, judgmental, self-righteous b****. But, leaving the religion and going to college fixed this, and now I'm genuine, open-minded, and am continuing to relax and improve myself in meaningful ways.
Ah, relationships. Some we are born into and the others we choose. But, ask yourself:
- Can I be honest and open with my friends/relatives, and they will accept me for who I am?
- If not, why am I hanging out with them?
- After being with a friend or relative, do I feel better about myself or worse?
- Did I marry the wrong person? (This could take many years to figure out.)
In my case, I married at age 18 (not in college due to the religion). What a disaster. But, the religion said that divorce was a sin (even though he was abusive) and God would judge me adversely for it. So, I stuck it out for 19 miserable, wasted years.
The decision to leave the religion and get an education gave me courage, showed me other ways to live, and made the separation possible (in my mind). I did have a young child at the time, but knew years earlier that having her dad around was doing no one any good and was, in fact, damaging her, too. So, don't even think you're staying in it for the kids. Talk to any expert (not your pastor, not your elder), and they will tell you that, in an abusive situation, staying together is only harmful for everyone involved.
On the other hand, if you're just bored with your relationship, try changing all the other factors discussed in this article and maybe you'll see your partner differently. People who are generally happy with themselves are happy with others.
All Together Now
As you've seen, a lot of these elements go hand-in-hand and feed into each other. Each of the above decisions I made, prompted further changes, which in turn, helped me achieve ALL of my goals.
I do, of course, continue to set new goals and am becoming prouder and prouder of who I am - being the person I want to be.