7 steps to shift from outer to inner stability
I change a lot. I change everyday. I find every day, every moment as an opportunity to grow. This frightens people especially my family. So, how do you explain change to those who are unable to understand?
1. Change is just me making a few additions and deletions:
Every day, I add something new to my life, remove what doesn’t work and retain what I am not sure about. I do this so I can make my today happier than yesterday. I am a work in progress and happiness is a journey. I am a dish that is being cooked all the time, and yet its flavors keep changing as I add new ingredients.
My flavor is what you see. The dish is what I am. Deep down I am the same (a dish), yet on the surface I have changed.
2. Change is me choosing the life I want, based on who I am today
People find it difficult to perceive inner power and choice. Your family and friends find it easier to change when they can find excuses based in the outer world—
- “ I had to move, the house was leaking” sounds better than “I wanted a new location that resonated with my new self”
- “I have to travel tomorrow, the boss has asked me to” sounds better than “I asked for a travel assignment so I could see a bit of the world”
- “My wife will kill me if I don’t leave now” sounds better than “I just want to be alone for a bit and am fed up of sitting in this bar”
Change based on inner choice is oddly considered abnormal. Change based on helplessness is even more oddly considered normal. We live in a world of cross-purposes.
3. Change is me getting bored of what I am and what I do
Yes, you can get bored of who you are. You can take up new hobbies. You can give up all your hobbies as well. But, you might face resistance if you give something up. You give up a friend that no one likes and people applaud. You cease contact with a family member who no longer resonates with you and people question your every rationale.
People are resistant to what they don’t agree with. Not all change, only change that goes against their values. People may applaud you for giving up alcohol, but will question your every move if you quit your job and start your own venture.
4. Change is about you discovering what you value…every moment
We are surrounded by people who have no idea what their values are. They absorb others’ convictions and beliefs in the hope they will be accepted. When you express the fact that you are aware of what your values are (today), people get frightened. Individuality is frightening to those who lack it.
Further, telling those very same people that your values have changed because you have discovered new ways of being happy, induces more fear.
Your values are not intended to be fixed. The values you have as a 16 year old are not the same values you will have at the age of 25 or 32 or 47. Your happiness comes first- you use your values to explain your happiness. Tomorrow’s happiness should never become a prisoner of yesterday’s values.
5. Change is a journey, not a destination
You might find yourself surrounded by people saying happiness is a destination and you should stop growing once you are happy. But this seldom works- you will discover new things to be excited about, you will get bored with old things. You will find new priorities and discard old ones. Change is not a means to an end, it is a means to a means.
Change is never about reaching a destination, it is about knowing that you still have a million more choices and destinations to choose from, even if you have already tried a million things.
6. Change is achieving personal power
When you decide who you want to be, you gain inner personal power. You achieve the power to say yes…and no. You realize that you cannot control what others say, feel, think or do. The only person you can control is yourself. When you realize this, you shift your energy from outer influences (and blame games) to inner power (and choice to change).
Change is a two-layered thing. It is not just the power to change, it the power to choose that change.
7. Change is about realizing your purest primal identity
When you stop blaming external circumstances, your power shifts:
- You cease to change because of others and external circumstances
- You choose to change because you have to, compelled form within
- Then you choose to change because it makes you fulfilled
- Then you choose to change because it is a way of life, to avoid the suffering that results from attachment to a false stability
When everything is changeable around you, your friends, family, community, your body, your thoughts, your emotions, your priorities and your values, you come to realize the deepest part of yourself — the unchanging self.
Your deepest self (or soul) is just an observer, couched in silence. Everything else about you is not your true self, and will constantly change. You can choose whether to consciously accept this fact and experience joy, or be dragged through life kicking and screaming in misery as you are taught these very lessons.
Change begins with wondering what others may think, then moves to convincing others of your helplessness, and eventually evolves to finding your inner power and true self. By choosing to be a new person every moment, you begin living in the present, accept external chaos but achieve inner stability and peace.