7 Dramatic Ways To Ignite Change

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It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – C. S. Lewis

Sometimes, our deliberation isn’t about how to change but “what” change(s) to make.  We all grapple with a nagging question: What’s my purpose in life? Radical change has the power to embolden us to seek our calling and to be fearlessly authentic. Here are some resolutions that can profoundly affect one’s life.

1. Become financially free.

Financial freedom is more a mental process than a material one. Most of us are aware of how to educate ourselves on money matters. Few of us invest time in dissecting/correcting our relationship with money: reasons for spending habits (e.g., peniaphobia – an abnormal fear of poverty), its real value to us (e.g., ability to make calculated choices), or its influence on us (e.g., avarice or generosity). Real financial freedom requires introspection along with a study of wealth-building. Growing wealth is a product of repeated smart financial decisions. Being financially free is a deliberate choice to break the mental money chains that bind you.

2. Get off sugar for at least one year.

Sugar is to the American diet like white rice is to the Chinese diet. We’re addicted. Processed and natural sugars come in so many food label guises. Most of us aren’t aware of and/or interested in researching them. Who’s going to recognize hidden sugars like diastatic malt, panocha, or treacle? There are countless health problems related to or involving excessive sugar consumption. Here are some that have been studied/reported by physicians: hormonal imbalance, premature aging, gallstones, obesity, learning disorders, memory loss, heart disease, food allergies, cataracts, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, dehydration, constipation, IBS, decreased libido, etc. Consider how a sugar hiatus could healthfully alter your body health/composition/image, which would positively impact other parts of your life.

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3. Love your body.

Loving one’s body is less automatic, for many people, and more a purposeful wrought-out process. Body-hate (and face) psychology is a deep-rooted phenomenon that may require heavy dismantling, with the help of a professional. There are a myriad of reasons for this dysfunction; the effect of media on body image and self satisfaction is not the least. Loving the body is a formula of acceptance and appreciation. Beauty-enhancement is not necessarily a function of body-hatred. Rather, having full agency over your body is about the decision to accept it (by “wearing” and dressing it proudly) and to appreciate it (by making it healthy and fit). Our scars, stretch marks, skin disorders, knocked knees, unwanted breast size/penis size, undesirable hair texture … These are “imperfections” of true beauty—being gloriously human. Embracing your body is a learning curve. Treating your body with love can start now, one day at a time.

4. Make a legal name change.

A person’s name may influence his/her behavior, personality, and character, according to some social psychologists. I think that our name (our connection to it) sways our multidimensional personality. Pen names, stage names, business names, hyphenated married names, monikers … What we call ourselves is our desire to be meaningfully appreciated. This is your one magnificent life. If you think your name doesn’t suit you, a legal name change may be the beginning of the life path that you’ve longed to pave. You walk into a bar and everybody knows your name—the real you. *George Orwell, pseudonym of Eric Blair; Snoop “Doggy” Dogg, pseudonym of Cordazer Calvin Broadus; Google was called BackRub.*

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5. Marry someone of a different nationality/race/ethnicity.

Sure, we love who we love. We have a physical preference and a list of non-negotiables/specific expectations by which we measure our marriage potentials. Thing is, our ideal (character-wise) life partner can come in a spectrum line-up. What more interesting way to broadly appreciate humanity/become a change agent than to grow with, dream with, and learn to communicate with a beautiful “Martian” who can give you a polychromatic view of the world.

6. Move abroad.

No amount of travel or reading books/blogs can rival an in-the-flesh experience of living in a different country—the food, adventures, language, wonders, customs, romance, music …  Aside from the cultural stimulation (and major financial gain in some countries), life abroad is a powerful tester of self awareness. The shock to your system will bring impurities to the surface and cause tremendous growth, so that you can redefine self and your purview of the world. If this has been your backburner goal, remember this: you’ll more likely ask why you didn’t do it—than why you did. *How can you move abroad if you’re broke? Your native language is your instant passport*

7. Sell/donate all of your belongings.

How much does your stuff have you? Many of us have mused over this pop psychology. But have you considered it? Minus the sentimental stuff that we’d never purposefully part with, everything can be replaced. Stuff detox purges the soul. You can pad your savings or help someone needy. At the end of it, you get to have a mental/physical space do-over to reflect how you’ve uniquely evolved. Yesterday’s hoarder. Today’s minimalist. TC Mark

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