Today begins my series called Start Life Over. In the series, I’ll talk about 5 things necessary to re-start our lives. The hope is that, together, we can have the most meaningful year we’ve ever had.
In the series, I’ll go through the 5 principles I learned that helped me lose a ton of weight, grow my company and even get married. I’ve never been helped by trite goals or feel-good formulas. It was the big paradigm shifts that helped me create a framework for change.
The first principle is this: You were designed to change.
A couple years ago, I wrote a blog about how I’m glad I’m not the same person I was when I wrote Blue Like Jazz.
For those of you who don’t know my writing, Blue was my first breakthrough book. I wrote it in my late twenties and it spent many weeks on various bestseller lists. That said, when I wrote the book I was 150 pounds heavier, lonely, codependent and emotionally isolated.
I only say that because over the years my writing has changed. Hopefully I’m still vulnerable, but I’m not as messed up as I used to be.
And you know what’s strange?
People miss the old, messed up me. They say, “I miss the old Don.” Well, I have to tell you, I don’t. Things that stay the same aren’t healthy.
These days life isn’t perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better. I’m down 150 pounds, I’ve built an amazing community and my business has quadrupled. I even got married. I’ve changed. And I’m glad.
For years, though, it was hard for me to change. And one of the main reasons (there are 5) I couldn’t improve my life was because I didn’t realize I actually could change. I thought people were just people and we were stuck as we were.
But that was a lie.
Here’s a principle that has everything to do with becoming somebody different: Every healthy thing God created changes.
If something doesn’t change it’s dead. God designed the world so that it is in constant motion, never sitting still, always dying and being reborn. Everything is changing, all the time. Even you.
Physically, you will regenerate several times before you die. The skin you have now will not be the same skin you have in 7 years. What this means for us is we get to let go of the mistakes we’ve made in the past. We also get to let go of the identity other people want to trap us in. We get to change.
We get to become somebody different.
One of the ways God encourages us to change is by constantly starting things over.
He created you to sleep, so every night you lie down and go into an odd kind of coma for about 8 hours and then you wake up and start another day. Think of it like a do-over. And it’s not only you. The whole earth is starting over every morning.
And it’s not only days that start over, it’s the seasons, too. Soon it will be spring, again, for the millionth time. But it will be all new to us. And then summer and then fall, always changing, always starting over, always inviting us to do the same.
I meet people occasionally who think of themselves the way I used to think of myself when I was so unhealthy.
They think of themselves as fixed beings.
That is, beings who cannot change. But this is a lie. We can change and were designed to change. Still, though, even if I can convince them they were designed to change (as is obvious) then they believe change is hard.
Really? Why should something so natural, so ingrained in our design be hard?
One of the most freeing realizations I’ve ever had is that I was designed to change. Once I realized that, I was able to let go of the old me so the new me could get created. I didn’t have to be scared, lazy, or controlled by fear anymore. That me could die away and a new me could start growing out of the ashes. I could be somebody different.
Of course nobody changes over night.
But nobody changes at all if they don’t believe they’re supposed to.
So here’s the question: Do you believe you were designed to change? And if so, what’s stopping you? I mean that literally; what’s stopping you from changing?
In the next entry, I’ll talk about the second thing I believe stops us from changing and what we can do about it.
For now, let’s start the year by meditating on the idea we are all designed to change. At the end of 2016, none of us have to be the same person we are now.
That’s not what we were designed to do. I’ve changed, and I’m glad. God thinks it’s okay for you to change, too.
If you want more help changing, pick up Michael Hyatt’s program called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. Every hero needs a guide. Choose one today and get on with your story!