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June 19, 2023

The Change Yourself Chain

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I don’t mean to assume but I’m guessing that the reason you’re reading this is because you want to positively change your life. You know that you need to become something different in order to have something different, with that something different being more joy, purpose, impact, fulfillment, peace, bliss, or whatever it is for you.

But doing the right things to evolve into the next best version of ourselves is a daunting task.

Where do you start, what do you focus on, and how do you know it’s going to work?

There’s no one right answer to that, but I do want to offer a perspective that might be different than anything you’ve ever heard before that could give you a new thing to try.

Fundamentally we want to change ourselves. With improved mindsets, emotional intelligence, physical fitness, habits, and routines we become capable of more than we were before. We want to make improvements to how we operate at our core. People call this your identity.

So how do you change your identity? Aristotle says that “We are what we repeatedly do.” This suggests that what we do, our behavior, is the vehicle for transforming who we are in our identity.

The truth of this philosophy is confirmed through the validity of expressions like “consistency is key” and “the compound effect” and “take imperfect action”. They all make the same argument to emphasize how critical our behavior is in our personal development.

Now let’s take it one step further, and this is the step most people miss. What is required to take consistent action? You might think it’s will-power or motivation. Those are both unsustainable sources that might work in the short-term but won’t last in the long run. The most enduring, effective, unrelenting influence to your behavior is your environment.

Surround yourself with people who are fit and you’ll find yourself working out more and getting in better shape. Immerse yourself in the wisdom of successful business people and you’ll learn the right actions to take to make your business succeed yourself. Use accountability and commitments to encourage you to make better choices that lead to healthy and productive actions.

If you want to change your life, change your environment and everything else will flow from there.

This is the change yourself chain: New environments lead to new actions lead to new identities.

So change up the layout of your office, work at a new coffee shop, boldly share an ambitious goal that you have to make you feel more accountable to pursuing it,  or make a pact with a friend. Try doing things that change the physical, emotional, and social environment around you, and see how it goes.

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