The Moment Of Change
04.18.06, 6:00 PM E
Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.
You have the power to reinvent yourself. The difficulty lies in the objectivity and honesty you need about a very subjective topic–yourself. You’re fairly objective about improving or upgrading things, like your car, or your stereo, or your golf clubs. Reinventing yourself requires a similar objective assessment of the most important thing of all. Your life. Buying a hybrid car, or a cutting-edge computer or communication system, or changing investment choices, or even trying out a nontraditional style of sexual relationship, are often unconscious substitutes for the inner signals urging you to change something about your life. It just seems easier to do something in the outer world. When you’re aware of inner messages about your life, there’s a far bigger payoff than any worldly thing or activity can return. You increase your options by being aware of the reasons you’re choosing what you do, but more importantly, you are able to distinguish between a moment of pleasure and a moment of quantum change. Reinventing yourself, in my book, is more than just possible, it’s a lifesaver.
For example, if you’re an ex-smoker today, the decision to be a non-smoker was preceded by thoughts about reinventing yourself. You incorporated objective data about the health dangers of smoking cigarettes and subjectively examined the things you disliked about being a smoker, which may have included a health scare. In all likelihood, you went through moments of knowing that measured maintenance is more difficult than total abstinence, to paraphrase the Greek dramatist, Aristophanes. While your mind may convince you that change is a gradual process that involves long, painful steps toward the achievement of a new you, the fact is that change, like life, takes place in moments. Years or months of thinking about giving up smoking, while the habit persists, even if gradually diminishing, were lived moment to moment as a smoker, until a breakthrough moment of becoming a non-smoker. That quantum change moment is when the reinvention of your life occurs.
Yes, you can go from being introverted and fearful to a robust risk taker in the quantum blink of an eye. Yes, you have the ability to go from pushy and arrogant to peaceful and kind. Yes, you can shift from the acquisition of wealth and power as a top priority to feeling your work has meaning and value, and enjoying your wealth and power as secondary benefits. Yes, you can be in business, or politics, or anything else for that matter, and still be the real you.
The shift that happens in moments when we reinvent our idea of how and why we’re living our life is available to all of us. I’ve had these shifts many times during my life. Here are some examples of how I’ve implemented this process.
One year ago, I made the decision to reinvent myself by removing many of the stressful factors that occupied so much of my life. The decision occurred in a moment. However, it was preceded by the objective honesty and subjective awareness that a way of life that I’d enjoyed for 30 some years was no longer fulfilling. Then, in a quiet moment of contemplation, I was transfixed by a wave of energy and a clear mental picture of what I needed to do. Closing the door on an office that had 30 years of accumulated books, clothes, manuscripts, photographs, files and furniture, and walking away from three decades of one way of life to enter a new world when I was 65 years old was a decision that happened in one quantum moment. It is still vivid, and somewhat surprising, and has been benevolent and endures.
Another example from my personal life is the day that I took my last drink of an alcoholic beverage. The day began with a surprise awakening at 4:05 A.M., 17 years ago. I awoke feeling a wave of energy encasing my body, the bedroom was filled with light, and I literally heard a voice saying that I was about to embark on a journey that involved leaving alcohol behind. That morning remains vividly in my memory. Prior to that day, I had consumed a minimum of two or three beers every evening for two decades. That quantum change has endured, with never a moment of wanting to return to being a person who enjoys alcohol.
History is full of stories of people who’ve experienced these quantum changes in many startling ways. St. Paul, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther, Florence Nightingale, Joan of Arc. These quantum moments aren’t only for heroes and well-known people. We all have access to this life-changing process. Suddenly, in a speck of time that is overwhelming in its authenticity, you know that today is the day that you are reinventing your life. Here are my suggestions for accessing all the moments of your life and implementing quantum changes.
1) Have a mind that is open to everything
Open to the possibility of quantum change and begin to recognize it. An open mind, free of judgment, permits you to notice what you’re thinking. Our powerful mind causes us to get what we think about, whether we want it or not. With an open mind, you can choose which thoughts to entertain. Believing that quantum change is possible, and wanting the experience, sets in motion an internal shift in energy that matches a corresponding higher force in the universe. Any medical doctor will tell you that a strong will to live and expectation of recovery, though immeasurable, are potent forces for patients facing serious illness or surgery. Your will and expectation to experience a life-changing moment, along with your self-honesty and objectivity are key ingredients to facilitating a major reinvention of yourself.
2) Don’t die with your music still in you
You are here to fulfill a destiny. You can sense the inner pull toward playing the music that is within you. That inner yearning is your cue. You may have ignored it to pursue other goals, such as the accumulation of wealth and status. The inner voice to be what you came here to be intensifies when you move away from your destiny. Vow to not die with your music still in you. Take the necessary steps to implement a life that has plenty of room and time to fulfill a destiny that only you can feel within you.
3) Notice what you really want in your life
Take the time to notice the moments of your life that make you smile, laugh, feel happy, meaningful and valuable, the times you look forward to, the times that you are so lost in a project that time vanishes. These are the daily moments that nudge you to follow that path of bliss. When you’re noticing what you really want in your life, you have the option in that moment to balance your outer life with your inner desire. Should that be too difficult at that moment, make an appointment with yourself to create an environment where and when it is possible. Any of these moments could be the quantum change moment.
Profound, life-shifting change occurs when you notice and respect the emotional and physical messages that you have in your body and thoughts. Notice them and opt for a life that is your highest calling. Vow to avoid being like Ivan in Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. He died wondering, “What if my whole life has been wrong?”
4) Stay inspired
In my book, Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling, I make the case for living an inspired life, by understanding that the word inspired means being in-spirit. Feeling fulfilled isn’t about gaining more power or accumulating more stuff. Feeling fulfilled is about remembering where you came from and deciding to live as a spiritual being having a human experience, rather than a human being having a spiritual experience. By returning to your source in your thoughts, you regain the power of your source; the power to be your destiny, the power to attract all of the right people and the perfectly timed events to fulfill your calling.
5) Get back into balance
Think about your highest desires. What is it about yourself that you would most like to reinvent? To have a happier marriage? To lose those excess pounds you’ve accumulated over the years? To get your body in perfect shape? To be free of stress and more at peace? To feel lighthearted rather than dragged down by work? These, and many others that you can enumerate, represent exceptionally high energy desires. Now ask yourself what percentage of your thoughts and your subsequent actions match up with those high energy desires? Objectively and subjectively assess the balance sheet of your life.
Reinventing yourself involves change. Now. And the change I am suggesting is a matter of realignment. Begin the practice of aligning your thoughts so that they are balanced with the you that you desire to be. Thoughts and behaviors that don’t balance are the items that need your expertise to balance them. Desiring a stressless tranquil life while thinking, “I can’t be peaceful with so many demands being placed on me,” is a misalignment. Instead, think something along the lines of, “It is my intention to be more peaceful and I will take the time to meditate today for 15 minutes.” This is being in balance and reinventing yourself, at the least, in the moments you’re meditating. This is how radical shifts evolve. Move into balance by aligning your inner creative energy, your thoughts, so that they match perfectly with your desires.
At one time in my life, I would spend endless hours on the phone making business decisions and planning an over-full schedule. Now I spend a minimum of 90 minutes every day doing yoga, and another hour either walking along, or swimming in, the ocean. I am at peace, my life is balanced, largely because my thoughts and behaviors are in alignment with how I desire my life to be lived. And I did it in that quantum moment I described earlier. The change occurred in the moment that a force beckoned to me to live my life in harmony with my highest desires. Always keep in mind that this force is something far greater than your ego.
You are responsible for any imbalance between what you dream your life is meant to be, and the daily habits that drain life from that dream. You’ve invented the you that you’d like to change. Now reinvent yourself with the words of the famous Danish theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, to motivate you. “The majority of men live without being thoroughly conscious that they are spiritual beings.” Then tell yourself, “With spirit, all things are possible.” Now what does that leave out?
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is the author of 29 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. His books–Manifest Your Destiny; Wisdom of the Ages; There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem; and The New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, and Inspiration–have all been featured as National Public Television specials.
The original article as seen in Forbes Magazine’s web site: www.forbes.com/blankslate/2006/04/15/wayne-dyer-reinvention_cx_wd_06slate_0418dyer.html