ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lifestyle Choices: Changing Your Life: Part Two

Updated on April 2, 2013
A satisfied seeker of truth
A satisfied seeker of truth | Source
Where my writing career began.
Where my writing career began. | Source
With change comes benefits like peace of mind
With change comes benefits like peace of mind | Source

I wrote an article about a month ago titled, “Lifestyle Choices: Saying Good bye To A Life That Wasn’t Working.” It was a summary of steps I had taken to change my life for the better, steps that were necessary if I was to enjoy life the way I had always wanted to enjoy it.

To my surprise it became my hottest article, consistently staying near or at the top of the hot and best lists for weeks now. I say it surprised me simply because I did not suspect that there were that many people out there who could relate to my struggles and subsequent solutions and judging from their comments they wished they could take similar steps to change their lives.

I have debated for weeks now whether to do a follow-up to that article or just let it stand alone. Finally, as is usually the case, I listened to Bev (the love of my life) and considered her counsel and eventually decided to take one more look at the topic of lifestyle change.

SETTING THE STAGE

For those of you who did not read the previous article allow me to quickly set the stage for you. At the age of sixty-three I quit my full-time job as a teacher and began the life of a freelance writer. I had no experience in that field and eighteen years of experience as a teacher. The decision, I guess, was a lifetime in the making. I had reached a point in my life where working full-time chasing the almighty dollar no longer interested me.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Freelance-Writing-It-Really-Is-A-Job

I had no back-up plan. I was giving up a guaranteed income with full benefits for an iffy proposition at best but I knew it was necessary if I was to find peace within myself. I had worked for forty-five years at a variety of jobs, always looking for better pay, a bigger house and more possessions and none of those had given me happiness. It was an endless cycle that needed to stop for my well-being.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

As a recovering alcoholic I knew something had to be done for my hard-earned serenity to continue and so I acted.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Alcoholism-My-Personal-Story

CHANGE IS AN INSIDE JOB

You can list the obstacles to change until you are blue in the face but the bottom line is change has to begin within yourself. It begins with a visualization of what change you desire and from there a mental list of what needs to be done in order for that change to occur. A change of the magnitude that I brought about is not easy; in fact, it is damn frightening, but so too was the thought of continuing a lifestyle that was not bringing me happiness.

All too often I have heard in AA meetings those who constantly relapse say that if we had their problems we would relapse too and of course that is just so much hogwash. I have no patience with whiners nor do I have patience with someone who uses their problems as a convenient excuse for not changing. Our favorite response to those who use that excuse is that they can find sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary. I have no sympathy for someone who refuses to change when they are unhappy. I have empathy for them certainly but sympathy I save for the hundreds of thousands in Africa being slaughtered in the name of ethnic cleansing.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Its-All-About-Perspective

WHAT CHANGE DO YOU SEEK?

What is making you unhappy? A bad marriage? A terrible job? Buried in dept with seemingly no way out? Perhaps you have incredibly low self-esteem or you are a victim of abuse. Whatever the case may be I know for a fact that there is no solution in hiding your head in the sand and hoping things will magically change for the better. I know for a fact that change will not happen if you are not willing to try to affect change.

A dear friend and mentor was fond of saying that if you are going through hell don’t stop to smell the roses and enjoy the scenery. I would add that you might like to plant some daisies because those roses are never going to make you happy and perhaps a change of scenery is in order.

I am sure there will be some who will write and tell me that paraplegics have very few options when it comes to changing their status in life nor do others with crippling diseases or other circumstances they have no control over. I understand that, I truly do, but I would also add that even those who are so afflicted can choose to be happy or miserable. It really is an inside job.

I have two people in my life right now who suffer from hideous diseases and I have never met two more positive people in my entire life. I am humbled in their presence and I am honored that they call me friend. Because of the nature of their physical ailments they have every excuse imaginable to be miserable and hate their lives and yet they have chosen to change that which they can change, namely their attitude and outlook.

SELF-PITY IS CRIPPLING

There may be no more crippling disease than that of self-pity. Wallow around in it long enough and you will actually begin to feel comfortable within its loving embrace. I know because I did at one time. For an alcoholic the refrain goes something like this: “Poor me….Poor me….Pour me another drink!”

I am reminded of an accounting course I had in college; one day the professor was talking about the importance of correct entries in accounting and he had an acronym that described the result of incorrect entries; the acronym was GIGO and it stood for “garbage in garbage out.” This can correctly be applied to those who prefer the safety of self-pity. If all you feed your mind is negative thoughts then that is all you will produce in your words and thoughts.

Change requires a desire to change. Without desire the change, if achieved, will be short-lived.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-A-Matter-Of-Priorities

BUT WHAT ABOUT….?

Yes, I know, there are people in the world who simply cannot change their lives. They exist in such an oppressive situation that it is literally impossible for change to occur. I concede that fact for sure, but this article is not about those poor souls who have no choice. This article is about the hundreds of thousands who go about their days miserable, unsatisfied and unhappy with their status in life and yet will not do a thing to bring about change. For those people I simply say best of luck and I truly wish you well in the future, for if they are not willing to embrace change then nothing I can say will make a difference.

SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE

For most of my life I have felt like I was battling a rip tide, that no matter how hard I stroked I continually lost ground in my quest for happiness. With a rip tide the only way for survival is to quit fighting, allow the tide to take you out and then swim parallel to shore until you are out of the strong pull. So it was with me. Once I quit struggling against a force that I was powerless to defeat and just allowed my life to simplify I finally found the safety that is inherent in happiness.

It is not my job to make other people happy. It is not my job to make other people change. I can only talk of my own experiences, make suggestions based on those experiences and move on with my life. If you are truly unhappy then it is my experience that change must happen. Life is just too damn short to live it in a state of unhappiness.

I wish you all happiness. I wish you all peace. I wish you all love.

2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • savanahl profile image

      savanahl 5 years ago

      Hi billybuc. What an inspiring piece. You have such great wisdom. I truly believe that the only thing that holds us back from living the life we want is ourselves and you're right, it all starts from within.

      There's a saying that goes something like "your thoughts become words. Words become action. Actions become habits and habits become your destiny" so if you think you can't then you're absolutely right.

      Your story reminds me a little of my father. He suffered a stroke about 5 years ago and is now about 98% paralyzed. He has limited use of his left hand and has speech problems. Instead of being mad or depressed he is always full of smiles and laughs. He spends everyday reading and writing down things he wants to say. He is tenacious in his recovery and although he will never speak right or walk again he is happier than he's ever been and my parents have the best relationship ever. It's inspiring.

      Anyways, here I go again rambling on. I can't help it. Every time I read your writing it just stirs up so much inside of me. It really makes me thing about things. It's awesome. Thanks again for our awesome story and for brightening up my day. Take care. S.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Billy... Bravo to this hub... well done and an excellent follow up to the first. For many the what if's are scary but the results are amazing when you step up the challenge as you have done and are willing to write about them.

      Far to often people get stuck in a rut which I refer to as nothing more than a grave wit both ends kicked out. If one chooses to sit in the mire of self pity it is exactly where they will stay. There is great hope in any struggle if you choose to take the steps needed.

      Great article and hats off to you for finding your way to happiness, joy and great peace I read in your words. Give that girl of yours a hug from us all.

      Hugs from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savanah, if my writing does that for you then I am the lucky one. Writing is something I have always wanted to do and I have wanted to write because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people. To know that I actually do that is just wonderful. You are a kind woman and I thank you sincerely. By the way, your father sounds like a wonderful man with true courage.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, you paint a great picture...a grave with both ends kicked out...love that and may just have to borrow it. :) I will, indeed, give Bev a hug and I send my appreciation on to you, my friend, for your kind words.

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 5 years ago

      I will remember GIGO in reference to my thoughts. It has only been recently that I truly could feel and appreciate the addage that happiness is something that comes from within us. The way I was living my life and thinking about my life was keeping me negative and preventing me from finding any true inner happiness. I desire to change and desire to change and simplify my life-- and, I am striving towards it. It is hard. I like your article because it reminds me that change is possible and that it is up to me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mags, today can be the best day of you life, and tomorrow can be the next best day of you life, and so it goes. It is up to you and if I can do this you can. If I can ever help you on your journey I will but the willingness to change comes within you. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us who travel a similar path.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      It seems like every time I see a new hub title that catches my eye, it's yours!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that was sweet Natasha! Thank you; I hope you liked this one!

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Billy your articles are an inspiration to many! Thanks for offering up the wisdom you have to share.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlava, I see that word "wisdom" and I wonder who you are writing about? I'm not sure how wise I am but I do know that our experiences in life can be helpful to others if we share them. It has been that way since our ancestors sat around a fire and shared stories and lessons and I suspect it will always be that way. I appreciate your words very much.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Bill, your hubs are wonderful! I am going through some changes in life, job related, mentally, etc. You inspire me and others! Voted up!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      Another marvelous piece of writing with a very relevant message. Most people do realise that they are paralyzed by fear and that is the main reason they imagine that they have no choice in their lives. It takes a very special kind of person to look fear in the face and make the changes you speak about. You are a role model, a hero and for that reason hubs like this are so popular.

      From me to you - http://youtu.be/FRDGisAKo4g

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, if my hubs do that for you then I am a happy man. Wait a minute! I'm already happy! Well, then I am a happier man. Best of luck with your changes and when in doubt always go the way of happiness and serenity.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xavier, your support is most precious to me. I am sending you gratitude from across the ocean. It really is not that large a world now is it?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xavier, what a wonderful video...thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Hi Billy, another wonderful hub! Your writing flows directly from your heart. You put it all so simply, making it easy for everyone to understand. You know how to hold the reader's interest. Your life's story with all its struggles and also positive achievements is such an inspiration. I like your positive attitude, your outlook on life, and your determination. Well done. Blessings :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, your words mean a great deal to me. Isn't that interesting, that the words of someone I have never met would be important? But they are, perhaps because through your writing I have come to know you as a person of depth and compassion. Thank you!

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      I bid you all the same billy!

      Another strait forward, and to the point. Letting everyone know , that it's your life and where ever you need it to go, it's willing, able and ready to do go there with you.there is promise, and there will always be enough time to start, that effort to move away from the stagnation and excuses which never ever work .

      This approach works every time for those who know where they want to be, and need the stimulation from different sources .

      Someone with that no nonsense type of approach with truthful and inspiring twist, to get them in the standing up position!

      Great work.

      Bless.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Change is the only thing that never changes. Like the song says, you have to see the obstacles before you can clear them.

      Good advice, and of course well written.

      AD

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I like that...which song is it? Amazing how many people do not seem to see the obstacles in life yet wonder why they aren't moving forward. I know this to be true because I was one of them. Thank you for always being in my neighborhood.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sky, the stand up position is fairly important if we plan on walking to the next level; if not then the crawling position works too. What is important is that we are moving and not, as you point out, in stagnation. Excellent hearing from you my friend. Thank you and may peace be your companion today and always.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      billy, thanks for the motivation, we all need a kick in the rear every once in a while. next time warn me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cleaner3, I will indeed. What people don't seem to understand is I write these reminders for myself as much as for anyone else. Thank you sir and I do believe I owe you a read and comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Truly spoken, billybuc, life is too short to spend "weeping under the juniper tree." You have to decide what you want out of life and go for it. Sadly, I have very close friends who just can't seem to pull themselves out of a rut. They know what must be done but they lack the vision and drive. Great motivational hub and voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, you are as faithful a follower as I have; my next installment of faithful followers (not the one tomorrow) will feature you front and center. Thank you for your comment and I wish for your close friends peace of mind.

    • profile image

      Sandy 5 years ago

      Part two is just as useful as part one was ! Truly believe that you are making a difference to the people who are reading you hubs. I know itis helping me to make positive changes in my life and hopefully the lives of those around me. I am inspired to make my life better because of you. I love you,

      Your niece

      Sandy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I love you Sandy and I can only hope that what you say is true. If I can make positive changes in the lives of people then I have come a very long way in the right direction. Thank you my dear!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Billybuc! This hub and the previous one is just the kick in the butt I needed. Change starts now. Thank you for indirectly helping me to see it. Yes, thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, it is my pleasure. It is always a thrill when my writing actually resonates with someone and causes change. Thank you for this wonderful comment.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Your usual excellent standard Billy. It is so incisive and as you mean it to do, it makes your reader look within themselves. First class. A pleasure to read.

      Best Wishes.

    • picadilly profile image

      Priscill Anne Alvik 5 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

      Yay..an awesome addition to your first article. After being layed off from a high pressure job 4 years ago I reinvented myself and am doing what I love making less. I have learned to live with less, and embrace my mantra "The Simplicity" of life!

      You only get to take what your soul has reaped from this journey to the next dimension everything else is extra baggage left at the gate. There are no banks in the next dimension, so why not learn to live where the true richness of life exists in your heart!!!

      Love your thoughts..xoxo

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Old Albion, I appreciate you dropping by once again. I am gratified if my hubs do indeed reach that lofty standard. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Picadilly, you have said it much more eloquently than I; my best to you and yours as you continue your journey. I think you might have a hub there based on your adventure.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      billybuc, I was referring to the song by Johnny Nash, that you posted above. I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE RAIN IS GONE...NOW THAT ALL OBSTICALS ARE NOT IN my WAY.

      That's one of my very favorite songs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, of course! Duh! I have always loved that song...obviously!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hey billybuc! Thanks for the coming highlight (really, no need to do so but it's so nice of you!). I just enjoy the community, writing and reading hubs (also it's helping me to perfect my writing skills online). By the way, I love the song and played it again for just a smooth "jive" time! It says so much to encourage people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, it is always nice to see you drop by; I know you are busy and it means a lot to me that you are so faithful in your following. Glad you liked the song; many more where that came from. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      This one seems to be a brilliant read;however I am going to return tomorrow and read the first installment before getting to grips with this one.

      I want to give them the attention they deserve and you write so naturally and this makes your hubs so inviting to follow.

      So very soon this computer will be switched off till the morning and I will then commence with some serious reading.

      Take care my friend and have a wonderful weekend.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a pleasure Eddy; your support means a great deal to me. Have an enjoyable weekend in Wales as I will in the U.S. and we'll visit tomorrow.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Another true gem billybuc;and I relate to each word.

      I understand where you are coming from and the miles may part us but I know from each word you wrote that you are a winner and your tomorrows paved in optimism.

      I reckon here that it takes one to know one.

      My story I share with all in the hope that someone will find solace and hope in my words.

      This is why I am also writing my first novel;a story to be told to help others !!!

      Just as your story ;your honesty and your care for others will also help others.

      I wonder here if maybe a book may be in mind here; Just a thought;and who better to write than someone who has travelled the road and came out victoriouly.

      My life would be very different if I hadn't come across HP almost two years ago now;this coming about due to have had to give up work due to two back operations.

      Although I am still 'working' when I first began to write it didn't feel like work I felt I was wasting time at home when I should have been out working.However due to my wonderful partner and best friend Dai I have now moved on from those thoughts and the writing world will now be my world also forevermore.

      Thank you again for these great hubs which I vote up and bookmark in to 'My Special Hubs' slot..

      Take care and enjoy your weekend.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A novel my dear? How exciting is that? I trust you will let me know when it is published so I can buy it? Perhaps I have another book in me, or two; I have more ideas and I'm just resting up after finishing my first six months ago. We shall see! I am more impressed with you every day so thank you for your kind words and may you have a glorious Sunday in Wales.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      letting go may be the hardest but the most rewarding part of rewriting the scripts of our life...you're doing an awesome job Billy...i'm with you all the way...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raciniwa, I love the way you stated that...rewriting the scripts of our life...who better to do that than us? Thank you as always.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I was trying to find the hub you wrote about being positive but all of your hubs talk about that.. I love everyone of them.

      God Bless you

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you too, Debbie! Thank you!

    Click to Rate This Article