The Best New Year Resolution: Giving up your Old Ideas
“Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page.” -Henry Ward Beecher
It’s January 1, 2017, as I write this, and traditionally most of us are making New Years Resolutions of changes we want to make in the coming year. That’s generally because we are discontent with some element of our life and recognize the need for change in ourselves. I think that is doubly true to anyone who is coming to my website or Youtube channel. The only reason to seek me out (and put up with my strong passion) is to make some pretty radical and extreme changes and that means you are probably very unhappy with the course of your life.
Today, I’m going to make a suggestion of a New Years Resolution you might consider: abandoning your old ideas, and being open to all new ones.
Let me share an example of what I mean. Recently on my forum, someone began an introduction to his new life as a vandweller by giving us some of the details of his plans for the vehicle and conversion he would do on it. That’s the normal way most of us introduce ourselves to a new group, but after he was done with that he ended his intro by saying:
“I want to take this time to tear myself down as a person and rediscover who I really am, and what I can become.”
I was very, very impressed with that idea because while it takes a lot of courage to radically change your entire life by selling everything and moving out of a house into a car, van, SUV, or RV, it requires an entirely higher level of courage to do it with the intention to tear down who you are on the inside and become a whole new person. And yet I do believe that’s what’s required to make the change to nomadic living all it can be.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”
The main lesson we learn from nature is that the act of living is all about change, and not just an occasional slight shift in direction, but frequent and constant metamorphosis from one state of being to another. Nothing in life is static, it is constantly changing and in a process of becoming–motion is the one constant. Only the dead never change or grow–the essence of life is growth.
That is equally true of humans as we can see in our hunger to become nomads. For a million years humans moved constantly in order to live and now suddenly in current times we have stopped moving and are in a fixed position. That makes out heart sick and sad and leaves us longing for motion. Sadly, many of us have also given up on internal motion and change as well, even within our own heart, mind, and soul. We’ve hardened and stiffened over time and are barely even alive. Only the dead never change!
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~Anaïs Nin
I can relate to the plight of the caterpillar! After I went through a divorce and my life hit rock bottom, I turned to vandwelling out of desperation for a new life. Fortunately, I had come to the point where I simply had to change–no matter what it took–change or die! So I began to follow a path that promised that I could change if I was willing to really try. But, it gave me this warning:
“Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.”
Just like they said, as much as I wanted to change, I couldn’t because I was holding onto my old ideas. My every effort failed and no real change happened. I’m living proof of the Einstein quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” New results DEMAND new actions, and new actions can only come from new thinking. It looked hopeless to me, so I gave up on my new path. I thought my life couldn’t get worse, but it did, and I lost all hope. So I went back and this time I truly was willing to give up each and every one of my old ideas, and I literally did.
And it worked! Slowly everything in my life changed and I became a new person–for that, I will be eternally grateful!
If you’re ready to live a new life, you must be willing to go to any length to get it and the single most important element is the willingness to wake up each day and give up all your old hardened ideas and adopt new ones. If you recognize the need for change, it’s the only way to realistically achieve it.
I have no idea what your path will be, or who or what you will become, but with all my heart I do believe you must be willing to question every belief–the more sacred it is to you, the more important that you question it.
I wish you the very best in this amazing, wonderful, and fearsome new adventure!
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