“There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”- Victor Hugo
Each of the following 7 ideas has the power to initiate a paradigm shift, that is, a significant change from one view to another. Without further ado, here they are…
1. You Are Free to Choose
One of the most powerful realisations that you can have is you, through your choices, determine the direction of your life. Nature (genes) and nurture (upbringing, environment) will have a very powerful influence, but they do not determine your destiny. Your destiny is self-determined through your choices.
Further to this, you have the freedom to choose how you respond to whatever happens to you. Stephen R. Covey talks about a space that exists between stimulus and response. It is in this space that your freedom to choose exists. This space will vary in size depending on the occurrence, your biological makeup or your upbringing, but it always exists. That is, you always have a freedom to choose your response.
2. Think for Yourself and Question Authority
Many people blindly accept what they are told by those in positions of authority (political, religious and educational). You should always use your own brain and reason to determine whether or not something is true. I don’t think I can explain this point any better than Timothy Leary does here:
“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.”
3. You Could Die Tomorrow
Many people have dreams and desires that they put off until some unspecified future date. Examples include getting fit, having kids, changing occupation or traveling the world.
The big question is: what would you do if you had only 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year to live? It is more than likely that whatever it is, you are not doing it or are not doing as much of it as you would like. Remember that life is short, so why not live your best life today.
4. One Person Can Make a Difference
One person who is truly passionate about his or her mission can make a difference in the world. When we look at successful people who have changed the world – Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Richard Branson, Bono, Steve Jobs – we often forget that once upon a time they were unknowns with little more than a dream.
You don’t need to become world famous though to make a difference. As Stephen R. Covey puts it, become a trim-tab. A trim-tab on a boat or plane is the small rudder that turns the big rudder that turns the entire ship. People who are trim-tabs act in such a way that their entire organisation is positively affected by their actions.
5. Life Is A Miracle
Take a moment to close your eyes and take a big, deep breath. Now consider everything that just happened. You used your eyes to read a series of words on your computer screen. Your brain interpreted these words so that they meant something to you and you sent a signal to your body to close your eyes and take a deep breath. The human body, and life in general, is an amazing thing that so often we take for granted. Take a moment each day to appreciate the miracle that is life.
This idea is summed up this quote from Albert Einstein:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”
6. The Poor Work for Money, The Rich Have Money Work For Them
Most people have the mindset that to get richer, they need to work harder. This is wrong! Sure, working harder will increase your income, but taxes and expenses usually increase at the same time to eat away the benefits. To get rich, learn to have money work for you.
What do I mean by this? Well it’s not always necessary to trade your time for money. Instead you can accumulate assets such as investment properties or stocks that will pay you an income whilst often increasing in value. Even better, you can create a system that has the potential to earn you money 24/7. Examples of such systems include starting a business, building a website or creating a piece of art that can earn you royalties.
7. The Power of Belief
There is no more powerful directing force in your life than your beliefs. All too often we limit ourselves by not believing in our ability to succeed. How often have you looked at an outcome – for example being fit, being rich, having lots of friends, or being a successful blogger – and decided, whether consciously or unconsciously, that is it too hard or that it will never happen.
Rather than being limited by your beliefs, you should be empowered by them. What sets the people apart who get to world class is that they have a dream and they believe in themselves. They may not have achieved their desired outcome yet, but they can already envision themselves there, and this is what drives them on.
Photo by Joey Gannon
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13 thoughts on “7 Life Changing Ideas”
Great post. I truly enjoy your site and appreciate your drive to help others through your own experience.
I wondered, are you a fan of Tool? A live version of their song “Pushit” was the first time I heard the Timothy Leary quote you mention above. It’s something I hold dear to this day. It might sound silly to some, but a band helped me open my eyes and think for myself more than anything else I’ve encountered.
Cheers, and keep up the inspiring work! I plan to return
I’m a big fan of Tool and, like you, I would say they have heavily influenced my thinking. The live version of “Pushit” on Salival is amazing and when I think of it that is probably the first time I heard the Timothy Leary quote I used in this article.
Peter, my spiritual journey started the day that I realized that I had choices, that I had some control over the way my life was going. With those choices comes responsibility. When you know that you have choices, then you can no longer blame others if your life doesn’t turn out the way that you want it to.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the idea “You are free to choose” is #1 on this list. Like you, I think this idea is what started me upon this journey of personal growth.
The power to choose is very important, hence it being at the top of the list, but realizing that you always have choices is monumental. Everyone can probably recall a time when they were zipped-up in the sleeping bag of fear and could only see one way out. Only later, they realized that there were other less drastic options they could have chosen. At the time, though, they chose to do what they felt they had to do, sometimes what they felt was the only option. It is so important to remember in life that there is always more than one option even if it is not immediately obvious. The only tips I can offer for discovering these hidden options are don’t procrastinate and use the old unrestrained and uncensored pen & paper brainstorm method where nothing is too outlandish to write down.
Wow. Great post and I like the picture as well. When I read #1 – you are free to choose – and I see that picture, it makes me realize the importance of taken the right path. I keep waiting to arrive at some destination, but I know it is more about the journey. I have bookmarked this site and look forward to reading more on this site! Marly
Very inspiring. Thanks.
Excellent article. Very inspiring.
Hi Peter, Superb, inspiring article!
One really life-changing idea for me was learning to give myself lots of little encouraging rewards as I made progress.
For example, if you’re tackling a large task which seems daunting, such as losing a lot of weight, writing a book, or creating your own business, it’s very helpful if you break it down into very small steps, and then give yourself a nice little reward each time you achieve one of those milestones.
It’s good to have far away goals, such as “Become your own boss,” but it’s also very helpful to set goals you know you can achieve easily.
Rewards help make you feel good about yourself, and about the sacrifices you’ve made to get where you want to be. They lock in good memories. They reinforce good behavior.
Rewards don’t have to be expensive. One might simply be a celebratory meal at home, or a celebratory walk in a park, in a forest, or on a beach – just a simple pause while you enjoy yourself and reflect on the progress you’re making.
What a good idea mentioning here. As life is short, to succeed in small steps of it needs to be rewarded. It helps entertain your and activate your energy to the next successful steps.
What an awesome article!
I am blessed most especially by 1#. There will always be some space for choice.
We make choice every morning when we make up: where to live, with whom to live and what to do for living.