With the movers due here in little more than 24 hours, change is coming fast. Everyone close to me will tell you that I've never been afraid of change. In most things, I pursue change sometimes to a fault. I've always thought that change is a part of moving forward with your life, and everyone knows that if we're not moving forward we're falling backward. But this article isn't about my move, it's about making moves that can change your stars.
"Can a man change the stars? Yes William. If he believes enough, a man can do anything!" — A Knights Tale
As a boy, long before seeing the movie that included these words, I believed this and I still do. I grew up in the Kingtown area of Bristol, and I don't believe any of us would have been called wealthy. You might be able to call it comfortable with a stretch. I was reminded yesterday in a conversation with an old friend about how we as kids played football back then. With houses packed tightly together, and most backyards planted with vegetables for our tables, grass wasn't something we had the luxury of. Instead, we played full contact football in the street. None of us enjoyed the safety equipment kids wear today. The fact is, we played in just shorts and tennis shoes – no way we wanted to take a chance on tearing up our good pants and shirts. Obviously we didn't give the same consideration to our knees and elbows.
Even as we bloodied ourselves for sport, I dreamed of changing my stars. I never told anyone back then. It seemed to me a thing I should keep hidden, those dreams of mine. But I would quietly pursue my dreams at all cost. I would change my stars. Did I get it right? The jury is still out on that, there were lot's of mis-steps along the way. Today I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have the life I have. Today I want to share a little bit about how anyone can change their stars.
Take control of your life – Don' be a victim. Bad things happen in our lives because we allow them to, or put ourselves in the position for them to. Instead of blaming someone or something else for life's unfortunate moments, look within to see what you could have done differently to change it. It may seem like an exercise in futility to examine every negative event in your life this way, but the things you learn can help you avoid these negative events in the future. Stop pointing fingers and take control of you life.
Always seek knowledge – Buy a book, or do like I did and buy a Kindle and lots of books. Learn everything you can about what you want to do or who you want to be, and then do it, or be it. Don't get this backwards, knowledge is power. Without this power, you can never change your stars.
Don't waste time – There's only one finite resource in life. Anything else can be replaced. We can always make more money. We can always make more friends. Most people would be surprised just how easily they can replace the things they love most, given enough time. But that time is the one thing that can never be replaced. The 2 minutes it took me to write this paragraph are gone forever and can never be relived, can never be changed, and can never be deleted. Those two minutes are gone now. Time is your most important resource. You have plenty of it ahead of you – don't waste it.
Make binary decisions – It took me too many years to learn that life has no grey areas. Make informed yes/no decisions based on what you've learned by taking inventory of your life to date, and the knowledge you've gained through deliberate study. Stick to your decision and move forward. Don't waste valuable time in a grey area that get's you nowhere. See how these things work together now?
Don't be afraid of failure – Even the best, most informed and educated decisions can be the wrong ones. The important thing is that we are able to recognize what was wrong with these decisions, evaluate what we could have changed in our decision making process to achieve a different outcome, and change our own behavior in the future for a better outcome. I know this sounds a lot like my first piece of advice, and it is. The only way to truly change your stars is through constant self evaluation, and course correction.
Finally, pick a star – I waited to long to do this. Instead of picking the star I'd love to pursue, I learned to love the stars I was under, from job standpoint. I have no regrets - I quite literally love my job and the people I work with. Applying these principles to my career have allowed me to change my life and my stars. But unless you already have a star, pick one that is reachable and commit to it. These principals can help you reach it.
It's been a long time since those summers playing football in the street back in Kingtown, and many of the people I know from there have changed their stars too. Most weren't for the better. But life and the stars we live under are guided by the decisions we make every day. Knowing the right choices to make isn't always easy, and you're likely to bloody a knee or two. But the wrong choices are much easier to spot.
I hope you've found this post helpful. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.