This is to all the people who said “I tried it and it didn’t work.” … Also me.
One meditation won’t give you lasting peace or help you know yourself. One visit to a therapist won’t heal your depression. One epiphany won’t change your life.
I’m sorry to break the news to you, but doing something once isn’t going to fix most of the issues in your life. It’s no different than believing one oil change on your car will keep it lubricated for life.
Commitment Is The Key To Everything You Want In Life
It Takes Commitment To Truly Change Your Life
It’s all a lifelong process zeroing in on what you want and then working toward it. There are those that say that your life can change in an instant, that all it takes is for you to want something bad enough or be ready to change. I’d say I while I agree with that and it also takes a commitment in that instant as well.
Yes, when you are ready you can change your life. You can heal something, you can move on from a painful experience. It’s true, it takes but one instant to change and the next day you can either keep that change or go back to your old life and your old results.
Commit To A New Way Of Being
The other choice is to commit to a new way of being. That’s right, every day you make a choice in the present; to keep that change or revert back to being the old you. Each day you decide on the you that exists.
It’s a commitment being who you want to be, just like one first date between two people isn’t a deeply connected and committed 30-year marriage. Sure, it can turn into a 30 year marriage, but it doesn’t become that until you make a decision every day for 30 years and it’s not totally up to you either. The thing is, each individual on that date has to decide to see each other again and again and again in order to develop this relationship.
Don’t Just Try Something Once
What does this have to do with trying something once and then leaving it?
For many people life is a series of random unconnected events — or at least we treat it that way. I believe every day of your life is connected, from the family you are born into to the random stranger that decided to help you one day when you were in need.
A world class chef might not have become a chef if they didn’t develop a love for cooking with their Grandma. A successful comedian may not have made someone laugh if they didn’t feel ignored as a kid and use funny impressions of people as a way to get attention.
Your friend might not be the most amazing monopoly player of all time if their Dad wasn’t always teaching them to make deals with everyone he worked with. You may not have gotten stronger, moved to a new town, gotten a new job, met the girl that broke your heart and then found the life of your dreams if you hadn’t committed to something.
Your Past Does Not Define You
Your history and every other moment in your life has brought you to who you are right now. I want to make it clear though that your past doesn’t define you.
Just because you work as an electrical engineer today doesn’t mean you can’t become an actor tomorrow. Nothing precludes you from making new decisions or starting a new path. These things may not all happen in an instant. It takes time to deepen your commitment.
Our bodies and minds need to be shown and made to believe that this is your new way of being. We need to give ourselves time to adjust and deepen our skills. Some people more or less time than others.
Your Body And Mind Might Rebel At First
If you sleep in late 10 years and then one day you have to start waking up at 6am, your body is going to rebel at first. It’s going to tell you that you can’t do it. You might hear excuses in your mind like: “this isn’t good for you”, “you can’t do this”, “humans weren’t meant to be up this early”, “mercury is in retrograde”, “I’m disturbing my dog’s sleep” …insert lame excuse.
It’s going to take some time to let your body and mind know about this new reality. Eventually, this will happen and it will be the new normal for you. This could be your new reality if you remain committed to it.
Each Day Is A New Opportunity
Each day is a new opportunity to renew your commitments to who you want to be. It’s a new chance to really be open to the possibility that this new thing can work for you. Every new instance can bring a new change. It’s up to you to grab that change and install it as part of your life or cast it aside.
I didn’t develop a more calm, less reactive, broader outlook on life by just meditating once. I do it everyday and now I feel it more than makes up for the time that I’ve spent on it. The first time I got back into meditation I could barely last for 2 minutes. I felt irritated that I had to do it. My body and mind rebelled. Then, I made excuses why it wouldn’t work.
It was hard to take that first step. That first step is usually the hardest and it will get easier as you keep going. That’s true in many cases. That doesn’t mean you won’t have challenging days later on where you’ll want to quit and take the easy road.
If you give everything that you want a fair chance and are committed, you’ll find a lot more things that work for you. You’ll also get to find out what really works and what doesn’t because you’ll have given it a fair shot. This usually happens once you’ve gotten beyond all of those BS excuses.
Give Things A Chance
Give everything a chance, your first impression isn’t always what’s going to be the long view of things in your life. When we try something once, it’s almost like judging a book by its cover.
I don’t know about you, but I am still trying to learn that lesson. Not so much for people, but for experiences. It comes up so often in my life. I think something that will bring pain, loneliness and hardship will often bring the opposite. I realize in the end that it brought me so much strength, enrichment, love and freedom. This is also true of this travel blog.
I wish you all of the best in your life, the deepest joy, the most bottomless love and most life-satisfying commitments.