Do you want to be different tomorrow than you are today?
Is it really possible to change? Do you want more out of life? Are you ready to step outside your current comfortable boundaries?
How to change your life is a burning issue. Many people go to sleep at night existing in a very dissatisfied life. They feel that they are accomplishing much less than they are capable of accomplishing. They feel that they have something locked deep inside, something that inspires them and drives them, but they can't quite catch a glimmer of what that something is.
I believe that change happens in an instant. I believe that you can be different tomorrow than you are today, and I believe that the ability to change your life begins with one simple decision.
You change your life when you DECIDE to change.
When you are really ready to change, when you are ready to move from talking about change to living a life of embracing change . all it takes is making a simple decision to DO IT.
You want to be in better shape--stop talking about exercise and DO IT.
You want to be more productive--increase your daily activity
You want to do more business--ask more people to do business with you
You want to be more rested--go to bed
You want to be smarter--read the books
You want to be thinner--eat the right foods
You want more energy--focus on ideas that fill you with energy
You want less clutter--throw it away
Whatever you are dissatisfied about in life, take responsibility and ownership of it and decide to change it. Then, take the necessary steps to DO IT.
You can change your life with one decision--decide to change.
A Woman's Decision to Embrace Change with One Jump
Elizabeth (not her real name) is tall, very well educated, and incredibly reserved. She is definitely not the type of person you would expect to go sky diving without being pushed out of the plane. About a year before her 50th birthday, however, she decided that she wanted to experience this once-in-a-lifetime thrill. She felt that her life had been rich in so many ways, but somehow she wanted to experience something a little different. She wanted to take on one big adventure in life. She wanted to face fear and embrace it.
Her birthday present to herself was a tandem skydive in Bolivar, Tenn. On Elizabeth's 50th birthday she loaded up the car and drove two hours with her family and a few of her closest friends to go to the skydiving school.
Here's a firsthand account of her experience:
"We first arrived at the airport in Bolivar and I was much more nervous than I thought I would be. As we were walking up to the hanger I was surprised by how professional the operation seemed, but now I was very uncertain if jumping out of a plane was really such a great idea," she said. "But, I had wanted to have this once in a life time experience and my family was here to support me, so I paid my money and they gave me 15 minutes of ground school."
I asked, "What did they tell you in your 15 minutes of ground school?"
Elizabeth said, "They told me we would get on the plane and it would happen very quickly. The plane would take off and it would get to the right altitude. Once we reached 14,000 feet the instructor told me that he would stand up and we would be harnessed together. The instructor shared with me that when he stood up, the door of this tiny plane would be open and a burst of cold air would rush in and he said at that moment it would take your breath away. Next, he would begin to walk me step by step--closer to the door. And, he said it would be very loud in the plane, so just as we reached the door, he would yell in my ear 'Elizabeth, CROSS YOUR ARMS ACROSS YOUR CHEST' and I was supposed to cross my arms across my chest. Then he said once we reached the door, he would yell, 'PUT YOUR TOES OUT THE DOOR' and I was supposed to put my toes out the door. And, he said he would immediately grab the doorjamb of the plane and yell, 'ROCK 1, ROCK 2, ROCK 3' and we would be out the door."
I said, "What did you do?"
Elizabeth smiled and said, "It all sounded like a really good idea while we were standing on the ground!"
We laughed and then she continued, "But Allyson, when you really want to do something in life isn't it worth the risk? I was turning 50 and I wanted more. I truly loved my life, but I wanted to feel my heart pound with excitement. I wanted my palms to sweat. I really thought skydiving would push me to a new edge of adventure. So I got on the plane and it all happened really quickly.
"There were 10 or so of us on the plane. The plane took off and within minutes we reached the correct altitude of 14,000 feet. With that, the door of the plane opened and the first (and, more advanced) skydivers walked confidently to the door and simply jumped out. My instructor was now attached to my harness and we stood and walked slowly toward the open door. As you can imagine, my heart was pounding and my mind was racing. I couldn't even think straight, but I kept walking. As we reached the door I could see the ground 14,000 feet below and everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I heard my instructor yell, 'Elizabeth, CROSS YOUR ARMS ACROSS YOUR CHEST!' This was followed by, 'PUT YOUR TOES OUT THE DOOR!' Then, he grabbed hold of the doorjamb and yelled, 'ROCK 1, ROCK 2, ROCK 3' and on three we were out the door."
She continued, "We were in a free fall for about 50 seconds and it was not like what I had envisioned, really it was absolutely terrifying, but the moment he pulled the shoot and I felt it catch the air, then it was something slightly less than terrifying, but still quite unforgettable and definitely life-changing."
Allyson's Lessons from Elizabeth's Life-Changing Decision
1. Stop talking about it . DO IT!'
For so many of us, we know what we need to do to make our lives better--richer--more purposeful and more fulfilling. We know what we need to do. Now we just need to go out and do it. We need to decide to stop talking about what we want to have in our lives and we need to start living a proactive life of doing the right things.
2. Make sure you are teamed up with the right people
Elizabeth chose to jump out of the plane harnessed to a professional skydiving instructor. In business and in our personal lives, we need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with people who encourage us and force us to live at the absolute limits of our very best.
3. Get on the plane
In order to go somewhere new in life, we have to "get on the plane." Adventure and change require taking a first step of commitment. Depending on the change you are hoping to embrace you may need to: sign up for the exercise class, read the book, find the mentor, or get the certification. Now is the time to "get on the plane."
4. Get to the right altitude
Equally important to achieving life-altering change is to make sure you get to the right altitude. Great success always includes great inspiration. When you decide to change, why not decide to change in a BIG way?
5. Put your toes out the door
Even as I write this article about change, I cannot begin to grasp the emotions during the three or four seconds when Elizabeth was asked to "put your toes out the door." I try to comprehend the sensation of the cold air taking her breath away, the gripping fear, the excitement, the shock of stepping outside a tiny airplane 14,000 feet above the ground. And at the same moment I am somehow envious of her courage and willingness to choose to live on the very edge of existence.
Change is that moment when you are standing with your toes out the door, with your arms crossed across your chest hoping there is someone standing close behind you, but realizing that in order to "feel life" again you have to be willing to jump.
You change your life with every decision you make to move from thinking and talking about change to taking action.
You can watch a 3 minute video of this amazing adventure at the bottom of my home page. I am not recommending skydiving.
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