Personal Change

Who Says You Can’t Go Home? — I’ll Take Bon Jovi over Thomas Wolfe Any Day.

home

If you grew up and went to school in Western North Carolina back in the ‘70’s as I did, you couldn’t seem to escape Asheville NC writer Thomas Wolfe and his haunting admonition that “You can’t go home again”. It was one that seemed to threaten an unavoidable and ominous loss, turning up everywhere from lit classes to libraries to shelves in not a few homes.

Thomas Wolfe’s ghost haunted me all the way to my new college as I left home for my freshman year. Following career and family choices led me away from those same beloved mountains about which Wolfe wrote. His whispered doom came to tea a time or three over post-college years spent in the mid-west.

As life took me away, I assumed that the loss was part of the price we pay for simply moving forward through the days and years, another angst-ridden negative talisman hung about the bowed-down neck of life. In those days, it seemed smart and hip to be depressed and cynical. This old set of habitual thought ran head-long into my on-going quest to build a positive life and it demanded a reassessment.

Why You’re Staying Where You Are (& How to Move On)

unhappy

Have you ever been in a situation in life where you weren’t happy with where you were at – but you somehow couldn’t get up the motivation to change? I don’t mean cases where there are good reasons (such as financial ones) to hold back from change, but when there’s not really anything stopping you except yourself.

Here are a few, very very common, examples of where you might be stuck.

The Difference Between Change and Growth, and Knowing Which You Need.

change

Two words that get bandied about a lot in the personal development sphere are “change” and “growth”. You’ve probably noticed, for instance, that this blog is called “The Change Blog”, and that Peter describes in his personal mission statement a commitment to maintaining a “personal growth blog”.

It’s tempting to use “change” and “growth” in a woolly sort of way, meaning “living a better life”, but in fact, they’re quite different concepts:

When The Price Of Change Is Too High

price of change

I’m a big fan of change, as you can probably guess, since I’m writing on a blog called “The Change Blog”. I’m very much in favour of growth: people finding their path through life, taking the next steps, learning, discovering and doing new and fulfilling things.

Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to hold back from change. Sometimes, you might be tempted to implement a big change in your life – but a nagging feeling warns you against it. Not all changes are appropriate for everyone, and even if a change is right for you, you may need to be cautious about implementing it at the right time.

Over-hasty change can exact a high price. At a minimum, you’ll probably end up wasting some valuable time – and quite possibly some money. In worse cases, you could lose friends, spoil relationships, make yourself ill, or even suffer a financial set-back which takes you years to recover from.

7 Ways and 7 Days to Renew Your Life

renew your life

To renew and reinvent our lives we need a plan. Here it is: a seven-day process to work with over and over. This plan incorporates physical, mental and spiritual work. Use the whole seven-day process, or choose any one of the days to work with as you create the life you want.

DAY 1: RE-CHARGE A Day of Commitment

Focus on changing your mind-set: This is the day to change the thought patterns playing in your mind. Get rid of phrases such as “I can’t.” “Why does this happen to me?” “Things always seem to go wrong.” “After three bad things happen, life will change for the better.” Insert thoughts such as “I can do it.” ” There are creative solutions to any problem.”

Watch Where You Point That Finger

There is a saying that when you point a finger in blame at another person, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

The recent hoopla surrounding the bailout of the Detroit Big Three reminded me of this saying. It is obvious that the bailout is hugely unpopular, and there is understandably a lot of anger being directed at the management of these car companies for the many, many poor decisions they have made over the years that have contributed to their current state. But are they solely to blame? I think not.

The sad truth is that the car companies have been producing big stupid gas guzzling super-trucks for a good reason – people have been buying them! And the reason people have been able to afford these gas guzzlers is because of the low taxes on gasoline in the US compared to the rest of the world. Why are taxes so low? Because there would be an uproar if politicians tried to increase them!

The Winding Path: How I Started a Lifetime of Personal Growth

winding path personal growth

Update from Last Month: I told you last month (when writing about “How to Grow Outside Your Comfort Zone”) that I was going to send out five magazine pitches every week. I’m happy to say I’ve done it, though I’m going to take some time now to try to build up a portfolio of printed clips from student press, as the response rate to my queries wasn’t very high.

I’ve also made a real effort to be less shy in my first couple of weeks at Goldsmiths; I’m going to a graduate event this afternoon which I’m a little nervous about, but I’m already starting to feel more confident striking up conversations with strangers!

7 Lifestyle Changes that Will Help the Environment

help the environment

Over the past few years, most people I’ve spoken to have become (or already were) environmentally conscious to some degree. What often begins simply as saving money – such as reducing the amount of electricity you use – turns out to have quite a positive impact. If, however, you want to do even more; there are several things you can do. Here are just 7 lifestyle changes which will help the environment.

1. Use the car less. This is perhaps the simplest change in this list – reduce the time you spend behind the wheel. In addition to the environmental benefits of doing this, you’ll probably find that you become slightly fitter; and have more money in your pocket at the end of the week. In short, there’s no downside. How do you do this? Here are a few suggestions.

Why a Strong Foundation is the Key to Change

strong foundation

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gives some brilliant insights into living a truly effective life. The key is, before anything else, you must have a good foundation. This foundation is a ‘private victory,’ a self-mastery which comes before the success we aspire to achieve in our interdependent social environments – our work, our business, our family. This foundation is twofold, consisting of ‘habits’ which constitute the cornerstone of our lives. Without practicing these habits we build our life on quicksand, on the shifting, uncertain tides of a complex and ever changing world.

When we have mastered ourselves, when we have this foundation, we need not fear change. Indeed, we can embrace it and use it creatively, integrating new learning and insight into our lives, building greater synergy and reaching higher peaks of personal and social achievement.

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