I wasn't expecting it... I didn't believe I really would wake up and feel different.
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, credentials 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, only minutes later, was: "As you wish."
I couldn't believe it. My career. That was it. My career was over, and punctuated with a philosophical comment from the movie The Princess Bride.
Then what I experienced at the airport this morning was SO different.
I was a witness.
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 live extraordinary lives, trapped inside our "should" programming, doing what we are supposed to be doing.
What happened next, I couldn't have expected.
JOY poured in. Joy rushed over my body, like submerging myself in a warm bath.
And LOVE rushed in, LOVE FOR MY FELLOW HUMANS. LOVE.
I felt a deep well of compassion for every one who has been secretly wishing for something extraordinary to happen to them, 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 there some strange glitch meant to keep us looped in to the same experience year after year? Why were so many of us caged inside our own fears? Lovers, dreamers, poets, creatives, musicians, healers, kissers, huggers, partners, parents, friends. The Secret Clan, longing to be fully expressed in our lives, living our own personal freedom and fully impassioned.
I knew in that moment: THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Don't give up.
There is a purpose for living and a damn good reason to get out of bed in the morning.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
I heard the message clearly: “You've been looking for you, your entire life. Don't give up the search.”
Years ago, when I was seeking for the Answer behind the Matrix, I read the book Change or Die: Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life that utterly changed my life and what I understood about why change is difficult.
In this book, Alan Deutschman explicates three real life case studies of groups of people that showed, even when faced with death, 9 out of 10 people could not change their lives, even when their lives depended on it.
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:
- 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.
And what was the one key that saved people’s lives?
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.
- The Crossroads Of Should And Must, Elle Luna
- Change Or Die: The Three Keys To Change At Work And In Life, Alan Deutschman