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.



Michelle @ The Virtual Assistant said... put into words in such an eloquent way what I was trying to say to a friend last night via email in regards to his pending divorce.

(As I told him: I don't advocate divorce but we only have one precious life to live and it's not right that we spend it miserable).

People change, we evolve - hopefully into better beings than we were one year ago or five years ago.......and it's OK....

I really like your "repeat after me"....

As always, I love your posts and I'm glad you are in my circle of influence!

Michelle Mangen

Kelvin Ringold said...

Hi, Michelle:
Thanks for your comments; I very much appreciate them.

Divorce is such a complex thing, especially if children are involved. People should be able to grow together but sometimes they don't. Despite my history of 3 divorces, I don't really advocate divorce, and hold it as a last resort.

I've written only a couple of pieces on relationships. You might check out this post ( and the comments made in response. I'd also recommend this post ( and definitely the book it mentions.

I recommended this book to at least one person who was having serious marital issues, and they later told me that it saved their marriage. They were all but standing in the divorce court at the time, but are now still going strong 3 years later.

Obviously both parties need to want it, and I certainly can't guarantee it, but if there's anything at all worth saving, it might be worth a try.

Pass it on ;-)

Have an excellent day!

Ms. BlackBerry Pearl 404 said...

Not WOW But SHAM-WOW!! Why is happiness, change and personal enlightment so easy but yet so hard? Loved your article. Bravo!!

Rachel said...

I must say, this was undeniably inspiring. I'd say more, but suffice it to say your story was rich with color. Every sense (double brewed coffee) and instinct (your intimate knowledge of your friend's inner-being) was explored.

I like it ~ and definitely will be back to read more.

Thank you for sharing... by the way. "I reserve the right to change. And I do. Often."

Coach Charrise said...

Kevin - this is what my work is all about. You articulated so well the position I take regarding the lives we create for ourselves. It's my first visit here and I'm eager to spend more time reading your work. Cheers!


Kelvin Ringold said...

I am negligent in responding to your comments to this article. Please forgive. Thank you all -- Ms. Blackberry, Rachel and Coach Charrise -- for taking the time to read and leave me your feed back. I very much appreciate it. I was told recently that I wasn't a blogger, because I didn't post regularly.

My response was that I (generally) write when I am inspired to do so, and this was one such instance. Your comments confirm that inspired writing is not a bad thing :-) LOL. Thank you, and stay tuned for next.

Have an awesome day.

Steve Borek said...

Good observation however I have another take. I say, *don't forget what got you here.*

This might not be who he is today, however that music was on his path that led him to where Josh is at this point in time. What about his creativity and artistic ability embedded in that music. Doesn't that spill over into the person he is right now? Personally and Professionally? I think it does.

I struggled with this myself. I was a Sales Executive for many years and wanted nothing to do with it when I moved to executive and team coaching. But I realized that there are hundreds and thousands of people that could benefit from my sales and marketing expertise. It's what got me here.

Never forget what got you here and embrace every change along the way.

p.s. I'll wrestle you for that last CD. ;-p

Steve Borek, End Game Business