The Purpose of the Book
Changing our behavior is challenging, especially long-term sustainable change. Many of us start off well. We get motivated by social media posts, attending a motivational lecture or distant retreat, a new year, or even when we fall in love. We feel as though we are on top of the world and that we can do anything. Then... we go back home to that all-too-familiar environment, and sooner or later, we end up going back to our old patterns of habit. A few months go by, and we start to wonder what happened, or worse, we don't even think about it at all. We are no longer on the dopamine "high" and feeling euphoric from being motivated. Reality sets in with daily responsibilities, a regular work schedule, monthly bills, and unexpected challenges. Another year passes. At some point, we get reinspired, and we repeat this cycle without really reaching our dreams or living the lifestyle we thought was easy enough to create.
We may also think that we are changing when, in fact, nothing of significance has changed. We slowly plug away month after month and year after year, making some concerted effort to attain our goals, but when we look back over time, we see that little has changed. We have the same unimaginative or cynical friends set in their ways, always talking about the "good old" days, the same weekend gatherings or events that don't inspire or challenge one's thinking or behavior, and the same dull activities that aren't even on our bucket list.
It's as though time has stood still, but it hasn't, because one thing is for certain: every time you look at the face staring back at you in the mirror, your reflection says it all. You may find yourself saying, "I have changed." "Time has passed." "There is no doubt about it." My skin vividly reveals the age spots. The cute and once sexy fine laugh lines are now deep wrinkles, and much more evident. Whenever I rub moisturizers that promise endless beauty and subtle skin over my body, my skin continues to grow rough, bumpy, and loose. Rather than feeling like soft velvet, as it once did, my skin now feels like rough linen.
Looking at your self-reflection and acknowledging these changes is not about judgment. This is reality. You can see clearly by your reflection that you are aging, and that is the realism of life. The realism that your time is limited here on Earth...
...There is an end period for me, for you, for everyone. We all die at some point. Looking at our reflection in the mirror is not only about recognizing that our time is limited here on Earth, though. What we typically forget about as we age is that our bodies break down, our reflexes become slower, and our senses diminish. We "may” acquire chronic health conditions such as heart or kidney disease and diabetes as we age. We have wonderful technology to help keep our youthfulness with stem cell regenerative surgery, plastic surgery for mini- or full-face lifts, and, of course, all the wonderful treatments we can get done at a medi spa using various light therapies to improve skin color and texture. But the fact is, even though we may add a few years to our lives, and we may look a little bit younger, our bodies are still going to tell us that we are getting old. We will no longer feel like we did when we were twenty, thirty, forty, or even fifty years old. Our energy levels will diminish. We will be forced to slow down. With that in mind, we won't be able to accomplish as much as we used to.
If you are the type of person who likes to put things off for another day, week, month, or year and thinks that life will last forever, you've got a huge surprise coming to you: death. If you are living in your head telling yourself that "One day, I will do it," you are living in a fantasy. It's not going to happen. Not concretely measuring your changes, your goals, and your pursuits means that you cannot measure how much you are improving...
...So, if you are sitting on the sidelines feeling as though you are watching your life pass you by, this is the time to break free from those shackles holding you back and create greater self-understanding about what you want this second stage of life to look like - more chaos or more peace of mind. It's time to get out of your mind and into your heart and live a life you truly desire. It's not too late to leave a legacy inspired by your calling.