Transformation is possible. The foundation of any type of transformation is self-knowledge. Recall one of your defining moments—a time when your true colors came through. What can you use from that moment to fuel you today?
Based on your responses, it appears as though you are not yet living the life you’ve imagined and I’m guessing you already knew that. The good news is: it’s never too late and never out of reach.
The first lesson I learned after my car crash was this: You’ve got to know your make and model. In other words, to really live, you must know yourself. You need to know what you’re made of, how fast you can go, and what kind of storms you can weather. You must have clarity about what makes you come alive, what drives your creativity, what your non-negotiables are, and where your power comes from. You must know what feeds your soul and drains your spirit. It’s this ability to look yourself in the eye and tell the truth that allows you to connect to the very foundation your world is built upon—whether at home, at work, at school, at church, at play, relationship-wise, or anything else.
Easier said than done, right? I understand that. But once you know your make and model, it unlocks everything else. To help spark this self-knowledge, consider these three tips from my book Crash! This is your starter kit for living the life you’ve imagined.
1. Recall one of your “crash moments”
A crash moment is a defining moment in your life—a moment that demonstrated your true self and changed your perspective. For me, this moment was a literal crash. I came away from my accident realizing that if my life had ended that day, I would’ve died not living the life I’d imagined. This realization sparked my transformation.
For you, it doesn’t need to be so physical. It could be a change at work, a conversation with a family member, the end of a relationship, or a personal accomplishment. These moments are transformations in disguise. The key is identifying these moments when they happen, and taking what you can learn from the moment to help identify your life’s passions and purpose.
2. Stop living two lives
One of the first steps to living the life you’ve imagined is not only identifying your true self, but starting to be that person in all phases of your life. There’s an incredible amount of vulnerability and risk in living a wholly truthful life. The thought of being so vulnerable makes many people shy away from doing this, but you will realize that when you hide your true self, too much energy is spent on living two lives. All that energy could be better spent if it were concentrated on simply living the best life possible.
Share with others your thoughts and observations about what you are going through. Share your stalled-out dreams and frustrations. Drop the pretenses and let others into who you truly are. You will find that most people will embrace you the same as they do now.
3. Put yourself first
I read a quote from Tolstoy recently. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” In the years before my crash moment, I wanted the world to change, but I never started with myself.
What are you doing for others that you’re not doing for you? What are you paying attention to in other people but not in yourself? Stop for a moment and focus on yourself. Determine what you will and will not tolerate from people around you, at school, at work, at play, and in life. When you know who you are and what you want, others will stop being greedy and using you up. They’ll recognize your boundaries, and they’ll start to see you the way you see yourself.
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