Want to Change Your Life? Stop Reading About Changing Your Life

The dawn of my 50’s threw me into the Universal dryer — tumbling me around and around, causing excessive sweating and removing all sense of direction. I decided I was ready to change my life, and change it drastically.

I started down that yellow brick road of change the way I start everything . . . I went to Amazon.com and spent at least $200 on books about change. I have worked with corporations for years on change strategies, but was rusty on the personal side.  I forgot how expensive planning can be.

Ready Aim, Aim, Aim

The best part of change is when you are preparing for it but don’t have to do it yet. To prepare for my life change, I purchased the following:

  • 23 books on change
  • 14 spiral bound journals for writing
  • 5 leather journals because I wasn’t using the spiral bound journals, and was sure that if I purchased prettier, more expensive journals then I would write non-stop
  • 17 books on dieting
  • 1 set of new weights, 3 new yoga mats, 2 TaeBo videos, 1 membership to Bikram yoga

Going With My Gut

A new direction requires well-made decisions, so I read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. His theory that most gut-based decisions are accurate changed my way of thinking. So, during this gut-wrenching time of introspection, I decided to let my gut trump logic. This resulted in some impulse purchases that were a little disjointed, including:

  • An old, dirty Raggedy Ann doll purchased from an antique store. Even the store owner looked surprised that I was buying this doll. The dust in her hair gave it a grey hue that somehow appealed to me.
  • Some plastic gloves for the occasions when I might want to pick up my really Raggedy Ann.
  • Pottery from the local Native American Tribe, which was cool, except my gut made me choose pottery that I’m pretty sure was created by a Native American who graduated at the bottom of her pottery class.
  • A painting of a crow standing in front of a pumpkin. I walked in a store around Halloween and my gut said “get it.” Today, my gut says, “What the hell were you thinking?”
  • Books on being a psychic. I did not see that one coming.
  • Clothing that reminded me of my early teen years. This resulted in a closet filled with peasant blouses and lime green pants that were ugly even in the 70’s.

All of my gut decisions haven’t been bad. I did trade in an expensive car for a Subaru Forester, and that was a wonderful decision. Kudos to my gut on that one. But I encourage you to listen to both your brain AND your gut when making decisions during times of change. If you don’t believe that is important, send me your address and I will mail some of my best gut purchases to your doorstep. Be ready to look very peasant-ish.

My Change Lesson

[quote button_text=”Tweet the Quote”]Here’s what I have learned — sometimes you need to stop reading books about change so you can actually change.[/quote]  And, sometimes your gut is as misguided as the rest of you. Following it blindly might not always be the best choice. Believe me, I ended up in some lousy situations by following my gut. Perhaps that’s where the term “gut-wrenching” came from . . . the attempt to wrench something out of your life based upon a ridiculous gut feeling you trusted.

I actually made a trip out west that I could not afford because I was sure my future would come to me in a mystical vision of some kind. I did have a mystical vision that led me to buying a very expensive purse, but that was about it.

Once I quit preparing to change and started following a new path, I’m realizing that my future is where it has always been — with the people who I love. And how did I come to realize that they were the best part of my journey? Because they went out to eat with me when I was wearing my peasant blouse. They passed on the chance to comment on my lime green pants. They didn’t leave me when they saw Raggedy Ann propped on a shelf. And they endured my psychic attempts to divine what they wanted me to hand them at dinner, causing their food to be cold as I guessed incorrectly. Repeatedly.

Am I sorry for my miscues along the way? No. I’ll just chalk them up to flying monkeys that, eventually, gave me the determination to start my journey and find my way back home.