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5 Ways To Transform Your Life In Less Than One Year

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5 Ways To Transform Your Life In Less Than One Year

Everybody wants to transform their lives and achieve all of their biggest dreams, but how many will actually stick to that idea and do everything possible to make it happen?

Below I have listed 5 Ways to do just that:

 

1. Quit your job

This may sound dramatic, but unless you are in a job you 100% want to be in for the next five years, you should quit immediately. There will always be 100 reasons to postpone. But no matter how long you wait, you’ll never feel ready. It will always be a leap of faith. There will always be unknowns.

Leaping before you look involves high risk. The bigger the risks you take, the more likely you’ll enter a state of flow—which is the optimal conscious state where you feel and perform at your highest level. When you take huge risks, you’re required to think in innovative ways because the consequences of failure are high.

Quitting your job will be the best thing you ever did. It will free up mass amounts of energy and time. You’ll be startled by the inflow of insight you’ll get almost immediately. By quitting your job, you’ll be making a personal proclamation that from now on, you’re going to live life on your own terms.

For example, Pat Flynn, a professional blogger on the topic of creating passive income was working a 9-5 job back in 2008. Then he got laid off. Although he loved his old job, he immediately started creating a business online. He was forced to think creatively as the bread-winner for his family. In a very short time, he was making more money in less time doing something he loved even more. Now, he makes millions of dollars online. This money is automated, meaning, he makes money whether he works or not.

What if he would have quit his job a few years earlier?

“We’ll never be ready if we keep waiting for the perfect time to come.” – Mat Kearney

2. Sell everything you don’t need

Most of the possessions you own, you don’t use. Most of the clothes in your closet you don’t wear. Get rid of them. They are sucking energy from your life. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.

Getting rid of unutilized resources is like injecting motivation and clarity into your bloodstream. While all of that untapped energy gets removed, a new wave of positive energy comes into your life. You can use that energy in more useful and productive ways.

 

3. Uproot your current routine and get away

If you need a transformation in your life, it’s because you are not fully congruent. According to identity theory, before a person fully achieves their ideal identity, they need to spend a lot of time exploring. You need to see the world, meet new people, have new experiences, and experience new worldviews and ideologies.

Until you’ve challenged your current paradigm, you’ll never know if you really believe it. Without conviction and passion, you are without identity. Just a reflection of everything around you. There are several cheap ways to travel and experience the world. A primary difference between well-traveled people and non-traveled people is that well-traveled people are willing to go wherever is cheap at the present moment.

There are always incredible deals going on. You just need to be flexible. If you’re willing to go wherever is cheap, rather than an exact location, you’ll be able to see a lot. My wife and I were able to take a 20 day tour of China with airfare, hotels, food, and tours included for less than two grand each. China wasn’t exactly on our radar, but we saw an insane deal getting ready to close and jumped on it.

Another option is wwoof.net. Wwoof is an acronym standing for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a marvelous program that allows you to live and work on farms all over the world. Want to live in Hawaii for free? Work on a Pineapple farm 5 hours a day. Want to live in Greece, or Chili, or New Zealand for free? Work on a farm. Generally with wwoof, you get room and board. Also, depending on the farm, you can get weekends off to go explore.

My wife and I spent the entire summer after graduating college wwoofing in Ireland. We lived on a remote island called Cape Clear Island (officially known by its Irish name: Cléire) at a blind goat farmer’s house. We only worked like 3 hours a day. We milked and fed the goats. Then we led them to their grazing area. Our only other duty was to go get them at the end of the day and put them back in their pens.

So, we had all day to do whatever we wanted. We walked all over the island eating European gummies. Listened to 3 Ender’s Game audiobooks. Laid on the grass looking at the ocean and clouds. Read books, wrote blog posts. Whatever we wanted.

While on this trip, I had so many eye-opening experiences. I broke out of the shell I created during college. I was able to let go of all my prior pursuits and re-examine what I really wanted in life.

Go see the world, explore. It is necessary to eventually reinvent yourself and achieve your ideal identity.

Confucius

4. Write down your one year, five year, and 25 year plan

The 25 year plan is basically your bucket list for life, your vision. The five year plan is far enough out that you can literally do anything you want in that time. The one year plan is right in front of you.

This is how you create your ideal vision for your life. One of Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.” It is based on the principle that all things are created twice—there’s a mental creation and a physical creation to all things.

If you’re building a house you plan every detail with architects drawings, builders and landscapers according to what you want to create. Only then does the physical work begin. This is how we must live our lives. You’d be utterly shocked at how much your life can change in one year of intentional creation. You are the architect of your life. You get to design it.

Fill your days only with those things that build toward your ideal vision. Get rid of everything that pulls you away from that.

 

5. Start a blog or write a book

No matter who you are, you have something remarkable to say. There is someone out there who will resonate with your worldview and experiences. Even if no one reads your blog, the process of writing your ideas and experiences will transform you.

You don’t have to write your story if you don’t want. You could dive into a topic you are interested in or passionate about. You could become an expert about what you love.

Brian Tracy, one of the world’s leading experts on success, explains that in today’s world of business, books are now what business cards used to be. Everyone writes books now. We all have our unique stories to tell. The internet allows us to tell those stories, publish and market them.

This is the future of business in general. You need a platform. The internet isn’t going away. It’s only becoming more relevant and fundamental.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic and power in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe

Conclusion and a few extra ideas

You absolutely can change your entire life in one year. You could be living in a different part of the world. You could be doing a completely different line of work. You could completely reinvent yourself. You could be a millionaire or a monk. Whatever you want.

A few extra ideas:

  1. Start Writing A Journal Daily
  2. Read One Book Per Week – this will change you
  3. Join New Social Groups
  4. Launch A Small Company Using Crowdfunding
  5. Move To A New Culture And Simultaneously Learn A New Language
  6. Sign Up For An Exercise Event And Get Into Amazing Shape
  7. Do A 20, 30, Or 60 Day Juice Cleanse – if you’re overweight, you won’t be for long
  8. Meet With Missionaries Or Ministers Of Different Faiths To Learn New Worldviews
  9. Get Really Good At Social Media And Learn How To Make Money Using It
  10. Decide Two Or Three Habits Your Really Want And Master Them – don’t do too many
Thank you for reading my article! Everybody will see things in their own way but I hope that everyone understands the main point. Transform your lives!

Benjamin Hardy is the foster parent of 3 children. He’s pursuing his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. He’s the author of Slipstream Time Hacking. You can connect with him on Twitter @BenjaminPHardy or visit his website: http://www.benjaminhardy.com/

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. sim hendricks

    Jul 30, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Waooo thanks wonderful article.

  2. Jo

    Jul 8, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    I loved this post! Thankyou so much! So spot on 🙂

  3. Jonathan

    Jul 6, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! As someone who is almost 20 and at the beginning of adulthood complacency and doubt can get the best of me if I’m not careful. These are great ideas I can put to use.

  4. 4OSUkids

    Jun 30, 2015 at 1:55 am

    GREAT article and so are your others. Very inspiring. Not quite ready to do ALL those things but you’ve got me thinking in that direction and I’ll be 60 this year!

  5. saugat

    Jun 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    good one

  6. saugat

    Jun 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    really awesome idea

  7. Lifestyle Accountant

    Jun 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    This is such a great list! I already started crossing things off by starting a blog, quitting my job last month, selling my house and downsizing to a studio apartment while getting rid of many things, and traveled to Mexico for a few weeks to explore. It’s amazing the amount of mental capacity that opens up when leaving a 9-5 job behind. I too am trying to break out of the shell that I created for myself in college. I’m now stepping out of my comfort zone as I am focused on creating an accounting business. Things I didn’t think I was capable of doing are easy now. It all starts with just starting and changing your mindset. Great reminder to re-read 7 Habits again. Thanks!

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

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Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

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Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

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