Thanks to guest blogger and author Robert White, author of Living an Extraordinary Life, for sharing his thoughts on what is perhaps the most challenging liminal threshold: change.
“In these times of drastic change, the future belongs to the LEARNERS—the Learned are forced to live in a world that no longer exists.”
I have eight children so I’ve celebrated a lot of graduations and noticed leadership lessons in many of them. When daughter Alicia – now in the combined Masters and Doctoral Program in Human Rights at Columbia University – graduated from High School the event was very special: Over 5000 celebrating friends and family, 865 graduates, military logistics and great fun.
I was struck by one of the skits written and performed by two of Ali’s classmates. The theme was “721 Days,” the number of days most of the grads were at Cherry Creek High School. They stressed the variety of experiences, the multi-faceted opportunities to learn and the many relationships formed with teachers, other staff and, of course, their fellow students. Like so many of us, they expressed delight with days so special that life-long memories were formed …. and regret that some days just went by in a blur. The conclusion: each graduate had many days ahead of them and one choice is to live them fully. In my experience, there’s a lot of change ahead for them and for all of us.
Excerpted with permission from Living an Extraordinary Life by Robert White:
“Continual change is the only constant in the universe, so you might imagine that we sophisticated human beings would by now be getting the hang of it. You would of course be wrong. People hate change. It demands discomfort and a leap into the unknown, and we do not like either one. Even for those special individuals who make a life of high adventure, stepping off the edge into the void is always a major challenge.
We will suffer all sorts of unnecessary and self-imposed agonies to avoid making deep and lasting changes in our lives. Why? Why would we continue to do things we know don’t work, or could even kill us? Why do we intelligent human beings continue to act so irrationally?
The answer is simple: making any significant change in our lives means changing not just our actions, but also our beliefs. As I’ve said before, you and I would rather die – literally – than give up our beliefs, including the ones that are limiting and self-defeating. As human history shows only too clearly, people everywhere will die for their beliefs, even trivial ones and even ones that conflict with other beliefs (like the sanctity of all life) within the same belief system.
Uncountable lives have been lost warring over the primacy, the righteousness, of the beliefs behind Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu and other religious faiths – all of which hold love and peace among people as central to their philosophies. Our beliefs are simply organizing structures we’ve chosen, many no longer appropriate to creating the lives we want, until we inject them with do-or-die importance.
So, if you want to make positive changes for the better, be prepared to give up some of your cherished beliefs, those notions that you took on board so long ago that you probably can’t even remember why. The incontrovertible truth is that you can change your limiting beliefs because …… you created them in the first place. Getting that truth and acting on it will change your experience of life from ordinary to extraordinary. Simple, and again, sometimes not easy.”
- Robert presents uncomfortable challenges for all of us: “be prepared to give up some of your cherished beliefs.” For more information, CLICK HERE.
- What is one limiting belief that’s holding you back?
- What will you do about it?
- What difference might that make in your life?
- Robert distinguishes between limiting beliefs and other core/foundational “beliefs.” How do you tell the difference?