A few years ago I left my comfort zone and began living in a new environment that compelled me to live a new life; not by choice but by design (abroad lifestyle). I remember getting angry and frustrated all the time. As far as I was concerned, I was living the worse days of my life. I remember getting really sick because I was more interested in looking cute in my new dress than dressing warm for the weather.
I didn’t go to church for about 6 months, if I remember vividly. I stayed up most Sunday early Mornings streaming live to watch my favorite Pastor, back home in Nigeria (I wasn’t having it with the boring sermons I had heard so far).
I expected people to continuously notice my frustration, and at least ask me why am not eating my food after making everybody else leave their nice home made meals to come eat out. And did I forget to say I spent a huge chunk of my pocket money for school, taking cabs. just because I thought taking the bus was ridiculous? (after not having to take one for so long)
I was frustrated; not only was I compelled to live a new life; I was living it with an old mindset.
So let’s talk a little bit about how the mind works;
Note: I am not a mind expert, but I know for sure that the mind is the powerhouse of our thoughts, memories and imagination. It’s in the mind that our thoughts are conceived, and those thoughts become words. Words become actions, and actions become habits; habits become attitudes, and it goes on and on.
When this cycle goes on and on for so long, it becomes less conscious and registers in our subconscious mind and mehn… any thing that gets registered there, is not very easy to unlearn.
The subconscious mind is a different ball game entirely. I might write about it someday, but know this, it’s when your mind is on auto-pilot. That means your thoughts, imagination, actions and behaviors now work on auto-pilot.
Ok, enough of the mind lecture; back to the topic.
My experience reminds me of how we all want to change something about our lives but can’t seem to figure out how to. We make all this huge New Year Resolutions and by mid year, still no progress.
We all have big dreams (big dreams are cool and free so don’t stop dreaming) and things we aspire to do or be, yet we ignore the one thing (the mind) that holds the power of our thoughts and imagination that forms our behavior and eventually creates our world.
By the way, after I got sick and of course I was on my own, with no one to take care of me, I reminded myself that staying alive was way better than staying cute.
Think about all the things in your life you have tried to change for the better. Perhaps you want to lose some weight, have a better relationship with people, change jobs or just plain be a better person, but you still have your old habits and behaviors in the way, resisting and not allowing you to make progress or move further.
Because our mind is the powerhouse of our thinking, we will only be as good as our last thought. Whether you think you can or you cannot, well you’re right.
Trying to change your life or something about yourself with an old mindset is like giving grandma a boob job (what difference does it make? I mean she still won’t be able to maximize it; waste of money) or better still increasing the number of hours you work-out while increasing your carbs intake (who is deceiving who?) It’s nothing but another dead end.
I struggled a lot with the change and I couldn’t seem to understand why it took me so long to adjust; the answer is simple I was living a new life with an old mindset. Stuck in my old habits, old thinking and old mentality.
Ever heard the saying, do not tie new shoes with old ropes? that’s exactly what I was doing. I blamed my new environment, I blamed everybody else, but myself, for what I was going through.
It’s very important that we begin to look at the different areas of our lives that we really do want to see lasting positive changes. You can change them by first of all changing how we feel and think about them.
Now to the million-dollar question: how can I change my mindset?
One of my favorite verses in the bible talks about renewing your mind day by day- Romans 12-2. Changing your mindset is an ongoing process; unfortunately it never ends and is a lot of hard work.
It is not a one-time thing, or something you can do once and expect magic to happen. Remember those old habits and archaic mentality wasn’t formed in a day (Just like Rome). It took a while, so it may take some time to build a new mindset.
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