I have always wanted to be someone different.
In grade school, I wanted to be my neighbor who had a room full of Legos.
In high school, I wanted to be the jock with a good body or the witty guy that everyone was always trying to hang out with.
In college, I wanted to be the life of the party, the biggest drinker, and the most popular with women.
In the Marine Corps, I wanted to be the next higher rank.
In my working life, I wanted to be the leader with all the answers, or the project manager that could keep all the details straight in my head.
The funny thing is, I always thought becoming what I wanted could happen overnight. Like Peter Parker’s spider bite, some extraordinary event would befall me. I would wake up one morning and I would be all the things I ever wanted to be without ever having to lift a finger.
Not so surprisingly, change doesn’t happen like that for 99.99999% of the people in this world.
Life-long, permanent, healthy change has two essential parts. First, establish a vision for yourself as the best version of who you want to be. Second, with that vision clearly held in your mind’s eye, wake up everyday and do the work of consistently finding one small area of your life to make more like the future you, the best you.
Looking back, I realize I missed both essential parts. First, my desire to be someone different was misguided. Trying to be something because I am jealous of the benefit it gives someone else can never lead to the best version of me. Second, yearning for change without physically doing anything about it is a lousy way to actually make that change happen. What I wished would happen overnight with very little effort on my part has taken years of patient repetition to make even the slightest gains.
So, can everyone change? Yes. Without a doubt in my mind, I believe anyone can change. But for any change to be effective and last a lifetime, it has to be for the right reasons and it has to be done with patience.Home