The world is forever changing. Everything from scientific theory to etiquette, from language to constitutional laws, the way that we dress, the way we connect, the things that we do, and the people we celebrate are constantly being challenged and reformed to reflect modern understanding.
Change is an inevitable part of life, and those who know how to navigate it are often the most successful. To quote Confucius: “They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.”
Over the WealthyWellthy Mastermind weekend, we spent a lot of time exploring the latest research in holistic health and meaningful wealth. And for many — even those of us who are familiar with these concepts — it was overwhelming. We challenged a lot of conventional thinking about what it means to live a good life. We challenged people to change.
Fortunately, we got to hear from one of my personal heroes and mentors, Fernando Flores, about how to be masterful about change. As someone who was forced to change after conventional wisdom landed me in debt and nearly dead, Fernando’s talk about being proactive and innovative really resonated with me.
Here are the key tools I gathered from Fernando’s speech about being our best selves in a changing world:
Understand your history.
We do not see with our eyes. We see with our minds. That is to say: how we perceive the world is a reflection of our history. Our history is our experience of the world, from our upbringing and education, to our heritage and institutions. To make a change, we need to recognize the various socioeconomic and systemic factors that make up our history. We need to understand our history because our history shapes our identity and mood.
For example: Table etiquette varies across classes, nations and cultures. When we sit down before a plate of food it seems inherent how we should eat it. But if we were suddenly thrust into another class, country or cultural center we might unintentionally make a fool of ourselves.
Change your mood.
Mood is more than a passing emotion. Mood is a state of mind. It dictates how you live and the opportunities that are available to you. It’s a practice, and just like any other practice, you have to cultivate it. If the present isn’t producing the results you’re looking for, start by evaluating your mood, and then change it. Think about it within the context of your history, think about what’s working and what isn’t, and then think about what you’d like to differently.
For example: A smoker who is intent on quitting might begin to self-identify as a non-smoker and remove themselves from situations where they know they’ll be tempted.
Be open. Be inventive. Listen and change your discourse. Recognize what’s missing and know what you want to change. And then seek opportunities to produce that change. As soon as you see yourself as a producer of mood, you will find that this occurs naturally. You will see new opportunities appear that were previously unavailable to you. Jump on them, and then enlist the help of others to grow them.
For example: An employee looking to get a promotion might resolve to improve their performance and increase their value in the workplace. They might offer to take on more responsibilities or take outside classes in order to expand their skills set.
Build a community.
Perhaps the most important part to changing your discourse is engaging with others who are in that discourse. Who can you talk to and connect with that can educate you, or help bring your vision to light? Look for others who share your sentiments and want to build with you. And challenge others constructively. Recognize that as humans, we are all apart of one ecosystem — regardless of race, religion, sexuality or otherwise — and it is our personal responsibility to take care of one another.
For example: A person who is passionate about bringing healthy food to impoverished communities might get involved with organizations that are already doing so. They might attend meetings, volunteer and encourage friends, coworkers and local leaders to join them.