Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Reflections on Personal Transformation
When you look into the mirror, who do you see? Do you see the person you’ve always wanted to be, or do you see only a shadow of the person you’d like to become? If you’re one of the majority of people, then my guess is that your reflection at times leaves you wanting, and you would still like to see areas of your life change. In fact, recently I read a study that as high as 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with their own lives. Now if you fall into the 20% that has obtained some degree of personal satisfaction, this may come as quite a surprise to you, but if you fall into the majority, this statistic resonates with your heart. This quiet dissatisfaction doesn’t mean that a man hates his life, but simply that when he looks at his life, he desires it to change.
Perhaps the even bigger problem than personal dissatisfaction is the inability to know how to change. As the statistics reflect, most of us want to change, but the greater question is “do you know how to change?” As it seems, most lack the skills necessary to become the person they want to be. We think that if we can merely change our circumstances (i.e. lose a few pounds, find a new job, highlight our hair), we might then find the life we desire. But after every change we make, the change we so desperately desire still continues to allude us.
Do you have areas of your life that you would like to see changed? Would you like to stop making the same bad choices time after time? Would you like to develop better relationship skills, or merely achieve all around greater success? Lasting change isn’t easy, but with a little faith and some forward motion, it can finally become your reality. Below are some points to reflect upon to help get you started.
Reflect on Your Desire
The desire to change is the greatest tool you possess to actually experience personal transformation. In fact, it is the presence of this desire that reveals that change is even possible. For some, the inner dissatisfaction and yearning to see their life change for the positive is the only witness that they have to testify that change is possible. This desire is your roadmap for true and lasting change. Follow its reflection and allow it to dictate the choices necessary to lead you to the life you’ve always wanted.
Focus on the Positive
There is a law of the heart that states, what we focus our attention on becomes our reality. Many would think the key to change is to focus on addressing their weaknesses, but this only perpetuates the habits and struggles. The key to change is focusing our attention on the positive. Do you desire to quit smoking? Instead of repeatedly telling yourself that you “don’t need a cigarette,” begin telling yourself that you are capable of living a healthy life.
Gaze into Your Heart
True change only exists on a heart level. Until your ultimate desires have changed, your life will continue to follow the same direction. Behavioral modification may temporarily help you resemble the person you want to become, but changing your exterior can never produce permanent results. Change must be led by the heart. The truest form of change happens first in the heart, and then overflows in our actions and behavior. Be honest with yourself about your desires. See the pain that your negative habits and tendencies are causing you and those around you and then meditate on how your life would be different if you were being led by a different set of motives. Write these things down and review them often.
As mentioned above, change isn’t easy, but it is possible. Lasting change doesn’t take place overnight, but as you begin to reprogram the way you see yourself, slowly your new reflection will begin to emerge, taking the form that you’ve always desired. (For those interested in going deeper on this subject, I would highly recommend, Dr. James B. Richards book, “Becoming the Person You Want to Be.”)