Recent Read: Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul – How to Create a New You

I’m currently working through an amazing book by Deepak Chopra on how people can essentially reincarnate in real time by making small adjustments to their thinking and being. It’s something I’ve believed is completely possible (see previous blog: My Theory on Reincarnation) but it was great to actually read it from someone else!

Change is difficult. The body fights for stasis, whether or not it’s bad or good. By humming along at the status quo, people don’t achieve what they aspire to. Just know that you can take small steps and change your thinking to achieve this.

Here’s a great snippet on the connection between mental activity and ability:

The researchers were elated with their findings, because this was the first time anyone had shown that mental activity alone can alter the brain. It was already known that the brain could be trained in its physical performance — athletes, for example, get better the more they practice. We praise them for having talent, will, and courage. All of that may be true. But, to a neurologist, the greatest runners, swimmers, and tennis players have highly trained their motor cortex, which is responsible for coordinating the complicated movements needed in any difficult sport. Now it could be shown that the mere whip of desire — in this case, the desire to be compassionate — trains the brain to adapt in the same way.

Early in the book, Deepak discusses that the nonphysical aspect of life is stronger than the physical. “Once you stop clinging to the idea that your body is a thing, you realize what should have been obvious: your body is the junction between the visible and invisible worlds.” The way to affect change is to take subtle actions. He lists five ways for people to make this happen:

  1. You go inside and make your intention known.
    i.e. I’m going to swim/bike/run the LA Triathlon…and survive. 
  2. You believe in getting results.
    i.e. I will make a tri training schedule and hold myself accountable. 
  3. You don’t resist the process of change.
    i.e. Everyone in my life gets annoyed that I can’t hang out as much because I train in my spare time. I deal with it. 
  4. Your body shifts effortlessly at the physical level.
    i.e. My sleep regulates itself. I have more energy and am overall more cognizant and alert of my physical being.
  5. You repeat your subtle action until you have mastered the change you desire.
    i.e. D-Day (well, I suppose it’s really T-Day) is only 72 days away!

By quietly encouraging the change you really want, you are able to achieve it.

How are you trying to change your life with subtle action? Is it working?

Dealing with Derailment

Often times things don’t go quite as planned. Actually, let me rephrase that — most times, things don’t go quite as planned.

 

Sometimes you’ve been incredibly meticulous at laying out your schedule and things get in the way. It happens…it’s life! Sometimes, though, you get in your own way, or worse, you allow other people to get in the way. You might make excuses for them or over-rationalize  motives or actions, but what’s the best way to deal with derailment?

1. Being forgiving: Sometimes acceptance and moving on is the best move. If you’ve missed two months of workouts or ten years of brotherhood, sometimes it’s best to forgive yourself, move on, and vow to do better tomorrow. You can’t control what has happened in the past but you can control how you deal with it from now on.

2. Making a plan: What happened that allowed this problem (the inability to deal) to fester? How will you ensure it won’t happen again? And, what will happen when you  inevitably slip up again? (See #1 for that answer.) How will you stay accountable to others, but ultimately, yourself?

3. Seeing it all the way through: Giving yourself a reasonable timeline proves commitment and the responsibility to yourself to stick to something long enough to make it work. Whether it’s a new workout routine, retraining for a new career, learning a new language, or managing your time better, taking incremental steps towards achieving your goals will result in a sustainable (read: maintainable) change in your life.

4. Being patient: You probably won’t see results overnight, or very quickly, for that matter. Know that everything and anything worth having is worth fighting for. Things that come easy are fleeting. Most importantly, remember that a lot of people make their accomplishments look easy. Know that it’s never as easy as it seems!

I think as a whole, I get more annoyed by myself and others because I have been trained to tell the difference between an excuse and a reason. When I find myself in a losing battle, I come to accept that I played some hand in doing something that caused the failure. I then accept my responsibility and move on. Usually what happens is that I find myself making excuses or rationalizing my unacceptable behavior. Most of the time I think before I speak so I don’t blurt it out, but instead recognize it in my thoughts and communicate my apologies and my suggested course of remedy. If I catch myself doing that in an email or over chat, I just delete it.

Excuses are crutches. They are the lazy man’s way of dealing with disappointment, derailment, or failure. How do you deal with derailment? What are you looking to improve on?