Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Reserve the Right... To Change

This morning, I had breakfast with my friend Josh Shear (@josh_shear on Twitter). Josh is exceptionally well read and informed, has great insights, and we always have great conversations. Plus, he's a bit direct, so when he has something to say he tends to get to the point without a lot of fanfare.

For example, I noticed a couple of guitar cases in the corner of his living room, and I made an exceptionally astute observation, "Hey, Josh; you've got TWO guitar cases." Josh, in his Josh-like manner, said "Ya got two guitars, they won't fit into one case." That kind of direct (I smiled.).

When I walked into his kitchen, I was greeted by some very appetizing aromas. He'd prepared an excellent breakfast, timed to serve as soon as I arrived, so after some pleasantries he delivered this feast to the table and we chatted and consumed. I drank the lion's share of his double-brewed coffee, then after clearing away the breakfast dishes, we retired to his living room to finish catching up.

Having been duly informed regarding guitars, cases and the limitations of time and space, I asked whether he played guitar in any of the local establishments, and he said no. "I had a CD in 2003... sold them all and just have a few left." I held out my hand expectantly, saying, "well...what's up? I don't have one" and waiting for him to give up the bounty, and he stated quite matter-of-factly, "No."

"... that music is no longer representative of who I am."

I was stunned!
but not for the apparent reason. I was not stunned that he said "No." I was stunned by the elegant simplicity of his statement!

How many people are TIED to an identity that no longer reflects who they are? TRAPPED inside identities they feel they cannot change? How many people do you know who are stuck in "that's just the way I am; I can't change it" or "people know me; this is what they expect of me..." How many people are saddled with an identity that is "no longer representative" of who they are -- or more importantly, who they want to be? Are you?

If you are, perhaps this is your own personal independence day. Anthony Robbins says, "the past does not equal the future." Who you were is not who you have to be!

So, repeat after me:
  • "I reserve the right to change."
  • "I reserve the right" to NOT be the person I was years ago.
  • "I reserve the right" to be someone other than the person you thought I was back then.
  • "I reserve the right" to become different, stronger, learn more, grow more, and get better.
  • "I reserve the right" to leave behind an identity that does not empower me.
  • Dear self: I am not that old self-limiting person I used to be. That image of me is no longer representative of who I am."
What a powerful, incredibly freeing concept. The next time you start to doubt yourself or feel a pull to do something that's not you anymore, go to your mirror and look into your own eyes and say, "I'm not that person! That stuff is no longer representative of who I am." Then pat yourself on the back for noticing ;-)

That's your first step. Stayed tuned for more.

Have an awesome day.