Why Change Is POSSIBLE! (PERSONAL)

😱 4 YEARS!!! 😱

This afternoon I took a look at my calendar 📆 and my eyes started to water.😭 I couldn’t believe it! 2 weeks from now it will have been 4 years. 🥳

It’s hard for me to still fathom it’s really been that long! 🤯

The song “Seasons of Love” asks: ‘How do you measure a year?’ 🎶 But my mind is still trying to wrap around how to measure the past 4! 😅

🗣️ “What are you talking about Donald?!” 🗣️

I should probably explain! 2 weeks from now it will have been exactly 4 years…🔎

…since I was under 25. 😱 I was so young then, but 4 years later I’m now just a grumpy old man! 😭

🤣 JUST KIDDING!!! 🤣

Seriously though, 4 years ago I was That Guy on the left in the photo.

📌 4 years ago I was That Guy who binged on junk food every day.

📌 4 years ago I was That Guy who drank 3 to 4 cans of soda every day.

📌 4 years ago I was That Guy who refused even substituting his drinks for Diet Soda.

📌 4 years ago I was That Guy who was so picky about eating vegetables he’d literally gag trying to swallow them because of his fear of textures.

And where did this inability to change bring That Guy? 🤔

To weigh over 234 pounds. ⚖️ To have junk food and soda as his addictions and closest companions. To feel tired and sleepy more often than not. 😴 To never like being in photos because of the way he looked. To always feel the need to lift his chin up so his double chin didn’t show. 😔

That Guy really didn’t like how he looked or how unhealthy he ate. But regardless, him holding onto his comfort zone outweighed any inspiration to try and be thinner or be happier. 🤷‍♂️

If any of you can read this and relate, you’re not alone! ❤️

I don’t necessarily mean with weight but with our general unwillingness to change things in our lives a small part of us really wants to change. While there’s that part of us that really wants to change, we nevertheless don’t change. 😕

🚬 You know quitting smoking would benefit your lung health. But you don’t.

🍔 You know eating less junk food and more vegetables would help you lose weight. But you don’t.

🚴 You know exercising would help keep your muscles strong. But you don’t.

But why? Why don’t we change? If it’s really as simple as doing or not doing something, then why don’t we do it?! 😵

Because we as humans…are complicated! 😅

For one thing, we are creatures of habit. It’s easier for us to break an old habit than it is to build a new one. 👍 You’ve probably heard the term: “Old habits die hard.” It’s very true, and I’ve experienced it before too! 😝

Building a new habit requires a lot of focus. 👀 It requires consistent effort. Until it becomes a full on habit in your daily life, it’s going to continue feeling difficult. 😓

But don’t be too hard on yourself either! Think of it like this: say you’ve smoked for a decade and then decide to quit. 🚭 You will then be faced with a smoking habit decades old all while you’re building the new habit to not smoke. Of course this won’t be easy! It’s an uphill battle with your Habitual Brain! 😊

As much as I’d love to tell you new habits are built overnight, they aren’t. 👎It’s why most people don’t succeed doing it. If building a new habit was so easy to build, everybody would do it! 👍

But again, you’re not alone! ❤️ That Guy in the photo wasn’t willing to either! Sure, he wanted to be thinner and healthier, but why would he substitute that for all the short-term pleasures he experienced from junk food and soda? 🤷‍♂️

He even told himself: “I don’t have to worry about my health until the doctor says I have to.” 😱

So what happened 4 years ago that set That Guy down a path into who is now, Me present day? 🤔

🌟 His desire to change had to become stronger than his desire not to change. 🌟

⚠️ The problem was That Guy was always focused on his short-term pleasure; he was not focused on the long-term pain.

⚠️ He was focused on the pleasures of junk food and soda; he was not focused on the long-term medical issues he’d have because of them.

⚠️ He was focused on himself; he was not focused on the people who were trying to help him and whose advice he kept ignoring.

So when That Guy saw the path he was heading down for years to come, it planted a Seed of Horror in his mind that he had to change NOW! 🛑

Like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”, it was his vision of a horrific future which pushed That Guy to say: “Enough is enough!” ❌…

So here I am now, after 80 pounds lost, a No Soda policy, and many vegetables consumed! 🥦 That Guy has evolved into Me on the right. I like to call him Ace. Ace has since let That Guy retire, because now Ace likes running the show! 😎

So there’s something you really need to know! ✋

👍 I’m not going to pretend like this physical transformation happened overnight. It didn’t.

👍 I’m not going to put on an act like it was the easiest thing to do in the world. It wasn’t.

👍 I’m not going to try and make you believe I never zig-zagged during my transformation. I did…many times!

But what I will tell you though is that it is indeed possible for you to change when you set your mind to it. ❤️

One of my favorite speakers Les Brown talks about the Power of Possibility: “Sometimes we can’t say ‘I can do that’. But what we can say is that ‘it’s possible’.” 🗣️

🌟 If you can allow yourself to visualize the possibility of a future greater than the one you’re living now, you’ve already provided an opening for yourself to step forward. 🌟

So with this post I want to plant the seed in your mind that it is possible for you too, in whatever it is you’re looking to change! 😄

I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m not saying it will always be fun. But when you have doubts come up, remind yourself why you started in the first place. 🤔

👤 Do something today your future self will thank you for. 👤

Lastly, I have to give credit to the most powerful visual exercise I ever experienced which sealed the deal for me to change all those 4 years ago. 👍

It was attending Tony Robbins’s “Unleash the Power Within” event for the first time that I experienced what is known as the Dickens Process. 😲

I’d love to tell you more, but I’d rather you experienced the event for yourself without spoilers. I can tell you how a candy bar tastes, but it’s a whole other thing to actually taste it. 🍫

I’m not saying attending the event is your only tool, only that it’s a damn fine one in your Arsenal for Change if you do! It was for me! ❤️

COMMENT below if you’ve attended UPW before or are interested in attending! 😁

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My Transformation(s) #TranscendLabels

We’ve all had moments where we ask ourselves the The Big Questions: Why am I here? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Is there a purpose?

But what if you had a darker moment, a moment where you wholeheartedly asked yourself these questions and you felt really shaken? What if you pondered these questions and started seeing holes in what you believed about your very way of life? What if you started feeling your identity starting to crumble around you, that what you once held so dear and tangible to you now felt “empty”? What if what you once felt so “true” now seemed “false”, making your beliefs meaningless? A hopeless endeavor. A lost cause. A pointless journey.

There are many terms for this experience. Mental breakdown. Existential crisis. Dark night of the soul. Depersonalization. Ego death. Identity crisis. It’s not pleasant. It can be scary, frightening, overwhelming, depressing, and all of them together at once.

I know because I’ve been there. As the philosopher Nietzsche may say: I stared into the abyss. What had once fulfilled my life had become a void. I was now stuck with way more questions than I had answers for. I felt lost. I felt numb. I felt anxious. I didn’t want to do very much other than to sit, think, and find out the reasons why I felt the way I did. At the time I really didn’t know what it was. But I know now what it was…

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Before I was diagnosed with any mental disorders, I remember as a kid reading an article online that talked about the definition of Depression. The article read almost like the results of a personality test. Was I feeling down for no reason? Yes. Did hanging out with my friends not feel the same way it use to? Yes. Did everyday things not seem to matter much to me anymore? Yes, so true! Well then you very likely have Depression and should see a doctor!

I self-diagnosed myself online. I was the one who told my mom “I think I have Depression”, and it’s why she ever took me to a psychiatrist. I wouldn’t have been diagnosed if I had never told her. And when I was officially diagnosed after a short interview with a psychiatrist, I hung onto these newfound labels. My newfound labels. I embraced their titles and their definitions as my own.

Why? Because I had discovered the answer to my problems. It explained exactly why I felt the way I did, the Ultimate Truth to my suffering. It wasn’t because I had lost my sense of self; it was because I had a “chemical imbalance” in my brain. It wasn’t because of any daily habits in my personal life; it was because I simply “couldn’t help it”. It was just something I couldn’t help except with some medication and therapy.

I hung onto these beliefs because I had my identity back. I had now found Donald again! Donald was suffering from these illnesses. Donald is the way he is because he is ill. It’s what others told me, it’s what I heard, and in doing so I inherited their beliefs as my own.

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But as I was asking before: why did I feel the way I did? The answer was because I accepted the opinions and beliefs of others about who Donald was: how I needed to live, what I needed to do, rather than discovering the answers for myself. The problem was I was living in dozens of other people’s dreams, rather than the one-and-only I could’ve created for myself.

I believe the answer is the same reason for why it’s so hard for any of us to change ourselves and our beliefs. I believe it’s the same reason why it’s naturally hard for many of us to be open to someone else’s ideas and perspectives. I believe it’s why so many people will fight each other for the sake of being “right”. Because being “wrong” invalidates our identity and challenges what we see as reality. Our existence. Our ego. Our sense of self. Our purpose in believing what we believe. If Donald’s beliefs are “wrong”, then who is Donald to even have these feelings? Does Donald’s voice even matter in this world if he’s “wrong”?

Dale Carnegie said it very well: “Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? You can’t win an argument, because if you lose, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior, you hurt his pride, insulted his intelligence, his judgment, and his self-respect, and he’ll resent your triumph. That will make him strike back, but it will never make him want to change his mind. ‘A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.'”

Now by no means am I saying I’m perfect or have mastered this skill. I’ve had my share of biases, mistakes, and letting my emotions dictate my responses. Nevertheless, I want to provide you all this because I believe this is one of the reasons why so many people are suffering today, why it’s part of my mission to Transcend Labels. We each have our own, unique identities. None of us sees reality 100% like another person, and no person is 100% the same individual. We’re going to meet cultures, religions, lifestyles, and people in our lives we won’t agree with. We will hear ideas and opinions that will challenge our very existence of our identity and character. And that’s okay; there’s nothing “wrong” about that.

The Bible talks about the Tower of Babel and how God disrupted the languages of the people building the tower so they would no longer understand each other. Everyone became divided and they could no longer build the tower up to Heaven. Regardless of your religious beliefs, the story provides great symbolism. Can anyone try and play God? Should we focus on becoming Gods ourselves? Or should we be grateful in what we already have on this earth? What if the people in the story found a way to communicate and work together despite their differences?

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I lastly want to let you know if you’re in the dark, if you’re feeling like your life lacks any meaning or purpose, I want to provide some very good news. Yes, it’s true! We can certainly look and focus on this emptiness from a pessimistic viewpoint. But I want to provide you another perspective: With this emptiness, you now have a room you can fill up with ANYTHING you want! You’re a clean slate, and it’s now an amazing opportunity to fill it with the things in your life that make it worthwhile!

Here are some additional strategies that have greatly helped me in lessening my stress and anxiety:

  • Acknowledging I’ll never know ANYTHING 100%. And that’s absolutely okay! We want to believe that somehow, some way if we keep searching for the answers that we’ll uncover The Ultimate Truth. I’d like to myself at times, as it seems like quite a reassuring feeling to my identity! But we also as human beings have been seeking to find it for thousands of years. I believe we continue to grasp towards it, similar to the story of the The Blind Men and the Elephant. But will we ever know 100%? Can we play God? And if we don’t, can we let it go and continue living our lives?
  • Set standards for yourself. Hold yourself to your word. These standards are for you to decide, not me or anyone else. Build up your identity, build up whoever You want to be. Because every time you don’t hold yourself to your standards or your word, you make a dent in the foundation of your identity. Who are You if you keep changing your standards or your word? Are you You, or are you what the Environment dictates you to be?
  • You can STILL hold onto your old Self. That’s right! You don’t have to do a complete 180 degrees on your identity! If there are beliefs that served you in the past, why not keep them?! The only difference now is that you see you have a greater awareness and understanding that you can change them. The world now appears bigger. The possibilities of who you are and what you can create seem more infinite. You can not only embrace your old beliefs, but now you see you can also replace the old ones with new ones that better serve you. With this freedom you have the power!
  • Change takes time to adjust. I know what some of you are thinking: “Well this is all easier said than done, Donald! You don’t know what I’ve been through!” You’re right, I don’t and I won’t pretend I have. I’ve never met you, I’ve never been in your shoes, or felt what you’ve felt. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. As with any habits in our lives I’ve observed it’s much harder to break one than it is to create new ones. But is it possible that we really can change and transform ourselves into the people we want to be? Is there far more fluidity to our existence than we know? Yes!
  • Don’t take life too seriously. I have chosen my mission to Transcend Labels. But am I to say my way is the only way? Not at all! I only wish to share with you what has personally helped me on my journey. You can take it or leave it. Look online and you will find thousands of people with similar or different beliefs than mine about life. You don’t need to take my beliefs, but you’re more than welcome to borrow whichever ones may help serve you until you can create your own. 🙂

Creation is about coming from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Instead of being what someone else is (outside), why not create your own beautiful, unique You (inside)?

“Life is not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself. So live the life you imagined.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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Want to know how to Transcend Labels too? My FREE eBook “Transcend Labels: The 5 Keys” is NOW AVAILABLE! Click HERE to get your personal copy!