In my teenage years, I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. Looking back, the reason why is clear: I was seeking the attention that I didn’t get at home. Mostly that had to do with my father not being in my life from an early age. The result was that I sought recognition in unhealthy ways and built a reputation as a troublemaker.
I was fortunate enough to get a basketball scholarship to university, so I was able to leave my hometown and my reputation behind. I took advantage of the separation between myself and my old crowd to reinvent myself into a healthier young man. I didn’t have to be the troublemaker anymore; I could use basketball as a way to channel my need for attention in a positive direction. This was the start of a lifelong conscious process of reinventing myself to adapt to my current situation.
I’ve moved around a lot since those days, and each new location and phase of life has given me the opportunity to continue evolving into the man I want to become. I think the newness of a situation, travel destination, or the influx of fresh ideas I hear at Suan Sati encourage this process in me. I’m asking myself constantly, “Who am I? Who do I want to be?”. Sometimes the monotony of the daily routine lulls us to sleep and we don’t ask those questions on a regular basis. In turn, we aren’t the captain of our evolutionary journey, but rather a passenger.
How can we reinvent ourselves, or make major or minor adjustments to our lives as needed? I’ve compiled a short list of five tips to consider if and when it’s time to make a change.
- Regularly take time out of your routine for reflection. A yoga retreat at Suan Sati is a great idea to help with this of course! But even taking a day or two to yourself in a quiet location with a journal will do wonders for your growth.
- Do something for the first time. It could be trying a new hobby, a unique holiday idea, or even something as simple as trying a new cuisine. Might I suggest Ethiopian food if you’ve never had that before? Yum!
- Broaden your friend group. Don’t throw away your current friends, they’re probably fantastic! Instead, let yourself be drawn into more diverse interests or ways of thinking with fresh viewpoints from new friends.
- Prioritize learning and growth. This is a huge part of my happiness equation, and keeps me on my toes. It’s not so much about what you learn, but rather working out your learning muscles. We get stagnant if we’re not challenged, so keep your brain happy by keeping it stimulated in a healthy growth oriented way.
- Express yourself creatively. Pick any mode of expression, be it dance, painting, writing, singing, anything! Give yourself space to allow your desire to reinvent yourself flow through your art form. It makes no difference if you’re particularly talented, the act of expressing yourself can help guide you into a new direction.
A final word – We don’t always need to make major changes in our lives. In fact, most of the time we might be doing quite well. This list and this blog is simply a reference for you when it’s time to shake things up. And when that time comes, I wish you a beautiful transformation into the person you’d like to be.