In October my project “Create yourself anew” had its two-year anniversary. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years already, but at the same time hard to believe it has only been two years. Two long years that have gone by in a flash. It’s bizarre: it seems surreal and at the same time completely normal. Ask as many questions as you like about the details of this process, I don’t know if I could ever explain how it is simultaneously incredibly, excruciatingly difficult, and magically simple.
Simple, yes. But easy? Never. And it all happens very quickly, if you dedicate yourself completely to one chosen direction for a couple of years. But at the same time, it is oh so slow…
The paradox of existence.
The trope that Rome wasn’t built in a day is widely quoted, and with good reason. However, there are still people who are so unobservant that they don’t find it worrying when several years of proactive activity in some or other chosen direction does not reap results.
But they should be worried.
If you see no tangible effect after a prolonged length of time, alarm bells should start to ring. It means that either you have not invested enough (you’re actually not doing enough), or you have chosen your tools incorrectly (question yours beliefs and methods).
If you truly believe that you have been actively engaged in something and yet see no noticeable changes after a few years, you are deluding yourself. And it is a dangerous self-delusion, because there is no worse illusion than that which hides behind truth.
Living in delusion, you might “dedicate yourself” to transformation your whole life without ever even coming close to what you truly want and love.
The first step is six months. Then a year. That is enough time to drastically change your appearance (any fitness trainer will confirm that six months if the first step for visible results), job status, social circle. Anything you like. I am not talking about achieving all your end goals, but it is possible to make noticeable progress on your path.
Changes don’t happen overnight. But they also don’t take that long!
In a few years you can alter the very fabric of your existence. You will not become a different person, or rid yourself of every one of your fears and quirks, or free yourself from all of your burdens and duties, but you can live a life of your choosing – this is a fact.
I regularly receive letters with the message: “It’s been 3/5/10 years since I started practising self-development, reading books, practising techniques, but I just can’t hit the bull’s eye.”
Ouch. Wake up and smell the coffee, my friend. If there is no perceptible change after 1/2/3 years, that means you’re not doing it right, or not doing it at all.
So what should you do?
For the more daring among us, the ones who do not hide behind our ego (often masked behind the euphemism: “personality”), there is one proven, but difficult and risky method: whatever your current approach, do a complete 180:
- If you’re waiting for a certain event that will help you take off (marriage, the right contact, ideal political or economic circumstances, moving to another country) – stop waiting, start acting here and now at full speed, without stalling or agonizing over long deliberations.
- If you are constantly active, and never give yourself a moment to breathe – take a break, relax, reflect, and allow unexpected events to enter your life.
- If you are a dreamy type who likes the idea of thought manifestation and positive thinking, but gets no results from it – wake up, set yourself a tangible goal and work towards it through actions, not thoughts.
- If you are constantly moving from goal to goal with a linear trajectory, and realize that grand-scale change doesn’t work this way – read about the power of thoughts on reality, practise techniques of affirmations and visualizations, and make them a part of your morning rituals along with your practices to advance towards your goal.
- If you find yourself going from one unsuccessful relationship to another, constantly heartbroken – you need to be celibate, both in body and mind. It’s ok to live without all these complications. Take a break..
- If you are mired in solitude, you fear love, you start to believe that you don’t need anyone, that it’s safer that way because you won’t get your heart broken if no one can ever get near it – you must immediately give yourself to people, to love, to risk, to relationships, no matter how dangerous they may be for your heart.
There is no one “right way” for everyone, but there are ways to readdress the balance. If the strings of a musical instrument are too tight they need to loosened, and if they are too slack they need to be tightened. When it comes to the strings of our hearts and minds, this is always difficult. It is easier to live in whatever state we are used to, even if it has not brought us happiness in a long time.
I was 28 when I realized that for seven years of my life I had been chasing an idea that brought me no beneficial results. I found it very painful to rid myself of my old ideas. I did a complete 180. I switched from Bali to Moscow. Dreams to action. Relaxation to working with all my might. A cheap lifestyle to an expensive one (thus constraining myself financially). The ocean to the metro. From the logical to the absurd.
I changed my faith. But this had nothing to do with religion. It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I questioned who I was, encroaching on the very foundations of the identity that I had single-handedly put together throughout my adult life. You see, I cut myself free from the rope that I had woven with my own hands – not from some horrible job I was pushed into by my parents or life circumstances. I cut myself free from what I had once genuinely believed, but which in fact had not led me to where I wanted to get to for over seven years.
Now I understand that it was precisely this (not this particular transformation, but any complete turnaround) that enabled me to create myself anew.
There are endless opportunities for change, but visible results can be seen within a specified period. If you focus your attention on something for a whole year you will get visible results. Whether it is about your physical fitness, work or relationships. I am not saying you will arrive at your destination point, but you will be noticeably progressing along the path. And if this really isn’t happening, then it will never happen within your current set of circumstances, beliefs and activities.
The most ridiculous nonsense in life is to expect change when you’re doing the same thing day in, day out
The website “Create yourself anew” appeared two years ago. Though, to be honest, it did not come out of nowhere; it was based on my live journal that already had a following of 3,000 people. Today there are around 130,000 readers (the total of subscribers across all channels) literally all over the world, offers from publishing houses, and real stories of change. Forty times bigger and on more platforms.
What has all this cost?
Constant balancing on a tight rope without a safety net; investing all my energy; a healthy indifference; a lot of work; a lot of rest; trust in people; clear priorities; regular mistakes; crippling fears; moving to Moscow; having to resolve technical difficulties; one pair of jeans to last a whole year; not listening to the people around me; faith in myself; marketing; a playful approach to life; affirmations and work with thoughts; hard graft; daily running; sun salutations; a lot of laughter and not taking myself too seriously; fresh fruits and vegetables in large quantities; good friends around me (though they did not appear at once); my mother…
And have I achieved great things? Yes and no, at the same time. Yes, in the sense that I am pleased with my own results and am not about to pretend otherwise, but no, in comparison to my current plans. It seems to me that the main thing is to always have something greater in mind, whatever that may be. Enlarge the scale, ignoring any limiting factors concerning your abilities, financial troubles, single status, state of health or any other excuse. Just do something.. Always know where your path is leading. Don’t even think about stopping. This is exactly what I wish for myself and for all readers of the project “Create yourself anew”.
Here’s to the changes! Thanks for staying tuned.