How to make sure nothing changes
Ten things not to do
Do you ever wonder why you want to change something, but it never seems to happen? Maybe you’re making one of these mistakes. Trust me, I’ve made them all.
Assume it can’t change. Self-fulfilling prophesy. Enough said.
Talk to people who tell you it can’t change. Unless your hope is to fly unassisted to the moon, these people are not doing you a favor. Most people are complacent, or maybe just too afraid to make changes themselves, so they will try to convince you that your dreams can not come true. Avoid these people. Pretend they have COVID before the vaccine.
Associate with people who exhibit the exact behavior you are trying to change. Sorry, but if you want to lose weight, your fat friends won’t help unless they are on a weight loss journey themselves. If you want to save more money, the people you meet at the mall (do they still have malls?) won’t help. Hang out with the people who have what you want. If you want more cats, hang out at a cat shelter.
Over-censor yourself. If you don’t make bold moves, you won’t make big changes. I’ve done some pretty crazy things, and sometimes I’ve looked silly. But as Billy Joel once said, “I have been a fool for lesser things.” Just write it. Just say it. Just invent it, paint it, whatever.
Don’t prepare your environment. If you want to be a work from home writer, you need a desk, a computer, and a quiet place to work. Make those changes and some miracles may follow. Stay in the same environment and your brain will read: “Do the same things,” no matter what you try to tell it to the contrary.
Don’t ask for what you want. I’m a good fundraiser because I’m not afraid to ask people for money. People usually like to help you, especially if what you want is information about their expertise. It’s flattering to be asked for advice. Just ask. Unless you’re asking for the head lion at the zoo, in which case you may have an awkward conversation ahead of you.
Don’t take care of your physical health. It’s really important to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, all that. Change doesn’t happen in a body that doesn’t feel worthy of better.
Focus on the means, not the ends. Focus on the ends and the means tend to create themselves. Some people get so focused on the how that they forget the why. There are many ways to get where you’re going, and things are always changing. Stay focused on the goal, but be flexible about the path.
Refuse to cultivate a focusing practice. Whether it’s meditation, running, mindfully creating art, walking in the woods: everyone needs to give their brains time away from the day to day grind in order to change.
Focus on the immediate needs rather than the long-term goals. For instance, I could take a full-time job now and stop worrying so much about money. Then I’d have no time to achieve my real dream of becoming a full-time writer, and I’d end up miserable and probably dead. No exaggeration.
I said ten. But be open to adding options as they come up.
Please enjoy this flower.
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