What’s more secure, a fortress with high walls, or the freedom to roam and adapt? The fortress can be assaulted, laid siege to, and must be defended and provisioned. If we are free to move and evolve to the conditions around us, then we can thrive anywhere.
By cultivating a mindset of openness, and actively challenging our beliefs, we can transform past adversity into advantage. Change is a positive feedback cycle: when we envision change, see ourselves through change, and see the positive results of change, we become more skilled at change. Change is living; things that don’t change are dead. Learning to love change is a key part of the path towards living well.
Selling my business in 2015 was a life-changing event for me. I was finally free of the creation that I had birthed in 1999, and I had an open field of possibility in front of me. I was proud, excited, happy about the accomplishment of having gotten the deal done—and still very unhappy in a much deeper way. It had been increasingly clear to me in recent years that, in some very important ways, my business was not in alignment with my self. While I was very happy to have created an authentic, vibrant and meaningful professional community, I was sick at the thought that I was associated in any way with advertising, and I was simply done with the repetitive process of conference production. I was also still drinking alcohol on a regular basis, and while I had been putting more energy into my health, I was still not feeling very well very often. The message I got that day—literally the day that I sold my business—was “change everything”.
This message gave me the freedom to allow myself to change, in whatever ways presented themselves. It wasn’t that I had to change every single thing about myself or my life, but that I felt free to leave behind anything that served the past, but not my present or future self. Since then, I have changed many, many things about my self and my life. Just a few examples:
- I no longer drink alcohol
- I moved from with city of San Francisco, first to Sausalito, and now more recently to live mobile and #homefree
- I became an athlete and professional adventure guide
- I became 99% vegetarian, and lost about 20 pounds
- I became a paraglider pilot and a frequent trail runner
- I became a writer, and started my this coaching practice
Looking back, my life with that business seems like a previous life. A good life, but another, different life. Me, but another me.
That message of “Change Everything” set me free to become who I am today. We all have the capacity to live quite different lives in a single lifetime—and to do so we have to give ourselves the freedom to change.