Last post I told you that the nexus of the issue for reinventing yourself is the vision you create for your life. This vision is the intention for what “the new you” is going to look, feel, and act like. This is no time to play safe, but the moment to be seeking challenges at the fringe of your fear. The person you are meant to become doesn’t live in your comfort zone.
Nor is this the time to act normal. Normal is the last thing you need right now. In today’s world, normal equates to living a life of mediocrity and resignation. You’ve spent enough time here already. It’s time to move to a better neighborhood.
And for fuck’s sake, please don’t try and be “realistic.” What most people say realistic, what they really mean is downsizing your dreams to be safe and normal. (See above.) This is the time to be bold, daring, and imaginative. We live in the most exciting time in human history. Our access to knowledge, our resources for innovation, and opportunities for personal development are greater than ever before.
For many of you reading this, you will have the opportunity in your lifetime to buy an underwater condo with a view of a coral reef, have a nunchaku duel against Bruce Lee in a virtual reality holo-suite, and enjoy a vacation on the moon. For you to choose a monotonous life is an insult to the force that created you. Your desire for a life of adventure is the real you, knocking on your door, challenging the fake you to stride into your destiny. From here on out, there will be no more trying to find yourself, but a decisive approach to creating yourself.
You can become whatever type of person you want to be. Why not choose to become a healthy, interesting, fascinating, curious, joyful, sexy, harmonious, wealthy, successful, spiritual, adventurous, friendly, talented, happy one?
Your radical rebirth must be created twice. First in your mind (your vision), and then in the physical realm. Start by speaking the following affirmation out loud:
I have grown in consciousness and release the old me. I have gained wisdom from my mistakes. I forgive myself and accept my abundance.
That will be your working philosophy from here on out. But to ensure that you make a clean break from limiting behaviors of the past, you’re going to need to reboot the system. We want to make sure the “new you” isn’t being built on any of the old negative programming.
For you to successfully reboot requires three actions. Let’s unpack these three big picture actions first, then we’ll explore some of the specific ways to change the programming you’re receiving. We begin in this post with number…
1) Implement Learning Curriculums
I used to ask people I interviewed for my podcast to share something they had changed their mind about recently. I no longer ask this because the question stopped too many people cold and the point wasn’t to embarrass anyone. Remember in this post when we talked about how marketers never try to change buying habits of people over 40? That’s because by then, most people have become rigidly entrenched in their thinking and behavior.
This is why so many people feel their lives are meaningless by the time they reach middle age. They have stopped learning and instead, simply filter all experiences through their conformational bias to stay with all of their previously reached conclusions.
To recreate a radical rebirth for yourself, you’ve got to blow up the human tendency towards entrenchment and regain your neuroplasticity. That means developing learning curriculums that challenge you. At 59, I got serious about becoming fluent in Spanish. At 60, I took up French. Now at 61, I want to learn to play the piano. Maybe when I’m 85 I’ll take up mechanical engineering. Or tightrope walking.
As they pursue success, most people seek remedial fixes to fill gaps in their skills. I understand this process, as there are some good reasons for doing that. The problem comes when you believe you’ve effectively dealt with the issue by reaching a certain goal or performance result. A superior approach is creating a learning curriculum. Now you’re shifting the focus from accomplishing a specific task to working on who you become. You develop into the person who indeed does achieve the performance goals or accomplishments, but the accomplishment is not a “one of” thing, but a transformational development of you.
Here’s an example of what the distinction between the two approaches would mean. Instead of pursuing the accomplishment to crush the presentation with the Board of Directors – you actually are working to become a better communicator. Now instead of just achieving a goal, you’re truly creating a lifelong change, and improving yourself in a meaningful way.
What does a learning agenda look like and how do you implement it? Allow me to share how I have integrated this practice into my life.
I’m all for improving my faults and weaknesses. But I don’t want to do it at the expense of improving my strengths. Because eight times out of ten, you will actually get superior results by spending that time and/or effort increasing action in the areas you’re already great in. That’s not the case in every situation, but most of the time, you will get a better end result by increasing effort in the areas you already crush in, than focusing on trying to bring all your skills up to balance.
Example: As an author and speaker, the connection with my tribe is the most important part of my work. But my books are in 25 languages and I wanted to connect on a deeper level with more of my readers. I can employ certain strategies like having some of my most popular quotes translated on slides, posting some social media updates in foreign languages, and subtitling some of my videos. (I’ve actually done all of that with positive results.) But I couldn’t stop thinking about the difference it would make if I could speak direct to more people in their native language.
So, as you read above, I created a learning curriculum to become fluent in different languages, beginning with Spanish. To begin, I bought a Rosetta Stone course and began lessons. Next I discovered the Duolingo app and switched to that. Learning a language requires daily practice, so my learning curriculum included doing at least two lessons a day in the app, reading Spanish blogs, and watching Spanish movies and television shows. I went to more places I could practice Spanish, and supplemented my workout playlists with Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, and Pitbull.
So far, I’m about 90 percent fluent in Spanish. (Full disclosure: Frequently I still have to ask many Spanish speakers to, “Por favor habla más despacio!) Last year I delivered a keynote speech to 6,000 people in Perú in their native tongue, so they could read my heart. It was magical for all 6,001 of us. Now, not only am I better able to communicate with millions of people, but I’ve also developed a skill that enriches my life in countless ways. I’ve used this same process for learning to write better, winning softball championships, becoming proficient in social media, and numerous other areas as I recreate myself again and again.
Suppose your boss told you that you have to address 300 people and you’ve never given a speech before. You could concentrate on the goal of delivering that speech effectively, and not messing it up. Nothing wrong with that goal.
Or you could create a learning curriculum on how to become a rock star presenter…
Your learning curriculum to become a rock star presenter might look something like this:
Now you certainly will achieve your goal, which is to deliver an effective speech as your boss desires. But you will also be developing a powerful new skill that will help you in your current job, your future jobs, and many other areas of your life.
Let’s suppose you find out that what is really preventing you from becoming a better leader or having a more satisfying marriage is a lack of empathy abilities…
You could create an ideal learning curriculum for this by deciding to read one book a month on the subject and finding a couple blogs or YouTube channels devoted to empathy. Then you might really supercharge your learning by adding in some real-life experiences like becoming a coach for your daughter’s soccer team, and volunteering to feed people at a homeless shelter. When you do some critical thinking and construct a learning curriculum in this way, you craft a much more powerful end result.
Limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging behavior, and low self-esteem are actually the results of a paucity of knowledge. They come from ignorance; not knowing what you don’t know. (And shutting down your capacity to learn.) To create the highest possible version of yourself requires a commitment to lifelong learning.
You totally change the dynamic when you embrace this commitment to learning. You stop viewing life as something that happens to you and start seeing it is something you co-create. Structure your life so you are continually learning new skills, collecting more knowledge, and making your brain hurt. The second action you’ll need for your successful reboot is to...
Change Your Approach from Seeking Rewards to Creating Value
That’s where we’ll pick up on the next post. Until then, please direct your pretty little fingers to the comment section below. Do you use learning curriculums? Are you interested to start? Join the discussion.