Three key questions for people intent on change
When I say “people intent on change”, I mean people who are genuinely willing to take matters into their own hands. People who are willing to make conscious changes in their lives and take control of the changing process, rather than becoming overwhelmed, then surprised when they find that they lack the necessary strength or energy.
Stagnation, when it seems like nothing is happening, is the greatest illusion. Stagnation does not exist, nor does the so-called “plateau”, when life goes in a flat line with no apparent progress. This is self-deception – don’t fall for it! Time is always ticking, regardless of whether you are marching forwards or hanging back. It doesn’t stop. The process never stops. You are either climbing or descending. Either expanding or diminishing. There may be times when you cannot perceive any changes occurring, but that doesn’t mean that you are not growing older even now as you read these lines. The minutes are passing, and so too are the years…
The question is how to enjoy yourself throughout this process. And whether you are able to take control.
One of the most widespread phenomena of our times is the grown-up child, or, more accurately, the childish grown-up. This is not just a touch of playful spontaneity; it is a blatant lack of responsibility for one’s own life (blaming everything on circumstances), spoiled whims (I should get whatever I want), demanding love from those around you (if he loves me then I’ll love him), and – the main proof of maturity being limited to the biological – acute and soul-destroying self-pity, with or without reason. I repeat: with or without reason. True adults don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves even if they do have cause.
The good news is that recognising this unhealthy childishness in yourself (not in others!) is the first sign of a glimmer of mature consciousness. That is what gets the ball rolling. This is precisely how I started.
The process of growing up is a solo task that generally begins as soon as you understand that you haven’t really begun it yet (despite the number of candles on your birthday cake or intellectual books on your shelf). Only at this point does the answer reveal itself: yes, it is possible, or rather necessary, to take control of the changes in your life, otherwise they probably won’t go the way you want them to.
If you have reached this stage in your life, it is time to create yourself anew. In order to be free to do what you like with whom you like, and, most importantly, to be happy, there are three key questions you must ask yourself before you embark on the journey to changing your consciousness: where, what and how.
First question to ask yourself: WHERE?
This is a good starting point.
Where are you right now? Who are you at the moment and what baggage are you carrying from your past?
In terms of all key spheres of life: body (physical shape, health, well-being), mind (relationship with yourself), business (work, money), relationships (love, family, the company you keep).
These are the points to plot on your personal graph. The trouble is that very few people are capable of defining themselves in any kind of objective way, without illusion or self-deception.
It is impossible to start moving if you don’t have a point of departure.
In order to map out the path to your desired destination, the first thing you must do is understand your present situation.
- Where are you in terms of financial freedom?
- Where are you in relation to your loved ones?
- Where are you in your physical development?
- Where are you in questions of spiritual harmony with the world and yourself?
And so on. Do not be afraid of harsh answers, zeroes, minuses. Don’t feel sorry for yourself! Look the truth straight in the eyes.
Just be careful not to lie to yourself, because the wrong mark on your graph could mess up your entire future trajectory.
Let me stress that these questions do not concern your goals. Don’t think too much about what you want for the time being. This is about your current situation. Here and now. No diagnoses or verdicts – just facts.
How much you earn, how much free time you have, your relationship to your environment, with your family, how far you are from self-realisation (according to your current awareness), how you look, how you feel, how much energy you have.
What problems do you face right now? How long have these problems gone unsolved? Just how many years have you been struggling with problem X? Write down all the details. You will realise that some issues have been hanging over you for 5-10 years already. What problems keep coming up? Explore your negative patterns.
Who are you here and now? What unresolved problems do you have here and now? What difficulties? What joys? Are you at peace with yourself? How often do you beat yourself up? How often are you annoyed with yourself? And, conversely, when was the last time you asked yourself some uncomfortable questions?
Do you feel happiness and joy every day?
Do you believe that you can feel happiness and joy every day?
What do happiness and joy mean to you and how can you find them in your current situation?
This is like your personal astrological chart, and it is only logical that it should be as accurate and relevant as possible. The objective is to map out your current situation: thoughts, activities, surroundings, problems, tasks, achievements, joys and sorrows. The whole package.
If the measurable parameters – money, relationships or lack thereof, being in fit or flabby physical shape – are all more or less straightforward, then it is important to dig deeper; to explore your character traits.
Who are you by nature, here and now?
There is a simple and very enlightening method of exploring this question. Or rather, to explore how you are perceived by your loved ones.
Ask a minimum of 3 close friends to write down the 3 best points and 3 worst points of your character.
I should mention that close friends will be reluctant to tell you your bad points. But you must insist – no one is perfect, right? And it is the people closest to you who are in a position to reveal your shortcomings to you. You could also ask them to write you anonymous letters so you never know exactly who sent what. Be prepared not to take offence (this is a just a form of self-pity). They probably won’t tell you the whole truth, but some curious information may emerge.
I, for example, was very surprised that the people I asked responded with a common negative trait:
Who could possibly think so? I was under the impression that I’m the kind of girl that divulges her life experiences to (let’s not be “secretive” about it) thousands of people!
After clarifying what they meant, it turned out it to be more about a lack of openness in personal communication.
Another important point: despite the fact that you are asking your friends to define your qualities as positive or negative, you must not distinguish them in this way yourself, if you follow me. Your goal is to gather information about yourself, including how your friends see you, but not to judge yourself. From our G-spot (Good starting point) – the point from which we can create ourselves anew – there are certain coordinates that you need to understand, but mustn’t value or judge. If you’re already on the train, it makes no difference if it’s raining or sunny outside; all that matters is your chosen destination.
Growing up is not about labelling things “good” or “bad”; it is the ability to look at a situation soberly: without blinkers, or rose-tinted glasses or a magnifying glass.
Obsessing over your so-called shortcomings is as infantile as not observing them at all.
The next two questions that will be essential on the path to creating your life anew are what and how. These will be discussed in later articles.