Photography by Greg Pecker

Tips on Beating the Odds and Changing Your Life

Let’s face it, there are some odds in life that simply aren’t possible for everyone to beat. The 50 to 1 odds of being smart enough to get into Mensa is a good example. Some experts believe that the likelihood of an adult making positive personal change is 9 to 1, but everyone has the capacity to beat those odds and create the life they desire. To achieve the life you desire, however, you have to be prepared to let go of the old in order to make room for the new. If you’re ready to beat the odds and change your life, keep reading!

The key to taking your life into your own hands is to develop self-awareness. This deep understanding of your past and present selves, all the things that shape you and make you who you are, is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Your experiences in life inform how you will see the world, and if you want to start seeing it in a different way, you first need to understand the things that you do and your reasons for doing them.

You can start by looking at those key life events that have had the biggest impact on you; what people, situations, and physical experiences have helped to mold your personality to the way it is now? Next, develop a daily practice of self-inquiry. Notice your patterns and behaviors; which ones are you carrying out unconsciously? Often it can be our unconscious habits that can hold us back. Ask trusted friends and loved ones for honest feedback about your behaviors, as this practice can help raise your consciousness about the most negative things in your life and stop you from being in denial. Honestly observing yourself can be unpleasant to start with, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to figure out just what isn’t working.

How committed are you to introducing change into your life and how much of yourself are you willing to put into doing that? Committing to change requires you to make improving your life a top priority, and a healthy and realistic way to do this is to start to eliminate all those non-essential things in your life. Identify what’s truly important to you:  the people you love the most; the vocational or work activities that you are passionate about; the causes and ideas that you feel a sense of connection with; and those day-to-day activities that you need to engage in. These things will form the basis of a gratitude list; they are what you need and desire in your life and should fill you with a sense of positivity and deep appreciation. This identification process also helps you to clarify the things that aren’t so essential, making it easier for you to get rid of. It’s a simple way to focus on what’s important and will help you build the life that you truly want.

Changing your life needn’t and shouldn’t be a solo journey; very few people are able to get to where they want to be without a support network. When embarking on a journey of change, there are times when you need encouragement and support more than ever; it’s a raw and honest process and it can leave you vulnerable. A support network can consist of many friends and loved ones or it can just be one or two people. What’s important is that you share your dreams, goals, and visions with like-minded people who want to support you and be supported by you in turn. Whatever positive change you’re trying to implement, whether that’s something like improving your diet and activity levels, giving up smoking, relocating to a different country, or changing your career, encouragement from a trusted source will really give you that extra boost to keep going.

Change is never easy and it’s a transformative process. Who you were at the beginning is not who you’re going to be at the end. While changing your life for the better isn’t something you can do overnight with a quick-fix solution, you can make daily choices that will all add up to ensure a successful long-term result. No matter what setbacks you face or rainy days that are in the future, stay committed to yourself. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the journey!


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