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Change or Die : The Surprising Effects of Unplugging from the Matrix

Be who you want, Inspiring, Receive More Thursdays, Spiritual SignificanceChloë Rain
Change Or Die : The Surprising Effects of Unplugging from the Matrix
To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.
— Mouse

For those of us secretly wishing to live extraordinary lives....

I, in my button down shirt and grey business suit, found myself shuffling my computer bag, in the lines of other business travelers at the airport, waiting to identified, then validated, so we could stand in another line to get on board. 

We were all going some place important.

I was asked for my credentials to stand in the "premium line" at the airport...... Which I had earned. A strange badge of honor, on any other day, I may have been offended.

"Don't you know how hard I have worked for this?"

But today was different. It was the day after I gave my resignation. I had sent an email to the president of the company. It was very simple. After all that worry, fear, and self-doubt, it had become very simple:

I must change, or I will die.

The email read:

"It has become clear to me that I must resign."

The response that was received, minutes later. "As you wish".  

My career. That was it.  My career was over, and punctuated with a philosophical comment from the movie the Princess Bride?!

I didn't see it coming..... Even though I had resigned I was still standing in line at the airport, dragging my computer bag with all the other business travelers. Waiting for permission to leave.

I felt like I was in the Matrix and I was decoding it before my eyes. I could see all of us lining up in our grey business suits, waiting for validation at the "premium line" at the airport.  

All of us caged in our inner dialogues. We were secretly wishing to be living extraordinary lives, trapped inside our "should" programming, doing what we are supposed to be doing.  

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
— LAO-TZU

And then what happened, I couldn't have expected it. 

JOY poured in... Joy rushed over my body like submerging myself in a warm bath. 

AND then you'll never believe it! LOVE rushed in, LOVE FOR MY FELLOW HUMANS.  LOVE..... 

I felt a deep well of compassion for everyone who has been secretly wishing for something extraordinary, secretly hoping there was more to life than what appeared... 

We had been traveling somewhere important for years. But we had never arrived? How could that be possible?

Was that some strange glitch in the Matrix, meant to keep us looped in the same experience year after year.  So many of us caged.

Lovers, dreamers, poets, creatives, healers, kissers, huggers, partners, friends.... 

The Secret Clan, longing to be fully expressed in our lives, living in freedom and fully impassioned.

I knew:

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

There is a purpose for being alive, and a damn good reason to get out of bed in the morning.

You've been looking for you, your entire life. 

Don't give up the search.


Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
— Morpheus

A few years ago, when I was seeking for the Answer behind the Matrix, I read this book that utterly changed my life and what I understand about "why change is hard."

Alan Deutschman explicates 3 real life case studies that showed, even when faced with death, 9 out of 10 people could not change their lives, even when their lives depended on it!

This blew me away.

Even when faced with death and given education on how to save one's life, 9 out of 10 people could not manage to change their killing behaviors.

There are five behavioral issues that drive the largest part of the health care costs in the United States:

Too much

smoking,

drinking,

and eating.

Too much stress and not enough exercise. 

The good news?  The studies also showed that when three key elements were met,  people were able to change and create permanent lasting change in their lives.

What was the  #ONE KEY that saved peoples lives?

HOPE.

This portion of the article is excerpted from Change or Die by Alan Deutschman (HarperCollins 2007)

The First Key to Change

RELATE: You form a new, emotional relationship with a person or community that inspires and sustains hope.

If you face a situation that a reasonable person would consider “hopeless,” you need the influence of seemingly “unreasonable” people to restore your hope – to make you believe that you can change and expect that you will change. This is an act of persuasion – really, it’s “selling.” The leader has to sell you on yourself and make you believe that you have the ability to change. They have to sell you on themselves as your partners, mentors, or sources of new knowledge. And they have to sell you on the specific methods or strategies that they employ.

The Second Key to Change

REPEAT: The new relationship helps you learn, practice, and master the new habits and skills that you’ll need.

It takes a lot of repetition before new patterns of behavior become automatic and seem natural – until you act the new way without even thinking about it. It helps tremendously to have a good teacher, coach, or mentor to give you guidance, encouragement, and direction along the way. Change doesn’t involve just “selling”; it requires “training.”

The Third Key to Change

REFRAME: The new relationship helps you learn new ways of thinking about your situation and your life.

Ultimately, you look at the world in a way that would have been so foreign to you that it wouldn't have made any sense before you changed.

These are the three keys to change: relate, repeat, and reframe.

New hope, new skills, and new thinking.

We can use them to motivate change in our businesses, our relationships, and our own lives.

Enablers of Change: 

Deutschman discusses some important enablers of change, or rebellion, against our should so that we may follow our must:

  • Our beliefs, formed through repeated experience over time, can usually be reshaped only by experience. Change needs to be experienced and short term wins achieved in order to gain the momentum required to drive more significant and lasting change.
  • A great commitment to change. Meaningful change does not come easily. Be prepared to work in order to accomplish your goals.
  • Don't go it alone. The power of community and culture is needed for permanent lasting change. Invite others into your plans and activities. Leverage their power, knowledge, support and experiences. Involve yourself with those you trust and who can help you achieve change; not those who will hinder you.

So what's stopping you? What change do you hope to see in your life that you can start now? Whatever it is, begin today.

Further reading:

Trinity : Unplugging from the Matrix the Surprising Effects
 

This is still one of my favorite movies of all time. Smile. Wink... though it came out in 1999 and I was graduating college at that time, I watched it recently and the message holds, the inspiration flows, and the ambush scene with Trinity and Neo to save Morpheus is freaking bad ass. IN-JOY!

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