🌿 Change Starts With You

Renaissance Life Principle #1: Change Starts with You — No one is going to care more about your life than you do.

🌿 Change Starts With You
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"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."George Bernard Shaw

“Who am I?” Is such a big question. It's likely been asked since the dawn of humanity.

Personally, I think the better question is: “Who do I want to be?”

No one is going to care more about your life than you do.

Said differently, no one is going to do the work for you. (And if they do, I'd argue that they don't have your best interests in mind.)

Despite what others think (or even what you currently may think), abundant change is possible in your life.

Things tend to get more complex and disordered (entropy) over time. I've certainly felt this in my own life. I often think about who I was in school, in a time where the hardest thing I had to deal with was getting good grades and making it to school on time—it's hilarious to me now!

It takes an active effort to simplify and prioritize what's most valuable to you.

It won't be easy, but the best things in life rarely are. When things get extra challenging, my mind goes to a quote from Bruce Lee, “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”.

No one is going to care more about your life than you do.

There are many things in life that are not in our control. This is labeled as our inner locus of control versus our outer locus of control. In fact, there are more things out of our control than in our control.

  • America, China, Germany, Japan, Mars—We don't get to choose where we are born.
  • 1500, 1944, 2023, 3050—We don't get to choose what time period we are born into.
  • Wealthy, Poor, Middle-class—We don't get to choose how much wealth our parents (and family) have.
  • 15, 25, 32, 50, 70—We don't get to choose how old we are. Time keeps flowing whether we want it to or not.
  • Even our beliefs and interests are informed by the environment and culture we grow up in.

Despite how little we control have, we also simultaneously have a monumental amount of control over our lives through two things: our will (thoughts, emotions, desires) and our actions.

It's not our circumstances that determine the quality of our lives, it's what we do with them.

We can change our behaviors. We can change our environment. We can challenge our beliefs.

The difference between acceptance and giving in to our circumstances is trying. We can give up—which does do anything for us. Or we can accept where we are, and where we've come from. And simultaneously work towards a better life.

There's a reason we root for the underdog and enjoy rags-to-riches stories. They give us hope for a better life for ourselves. They motivate us to try a little bit harder today and to dust ourselves off after we fail.

We can wish our family was more wealthy, or that we went to a better school, or we weren't subjected to hate and bullying. However, wishing our past was different doesn't do a thing for us today.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver, The Summer Day, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

This is it. Life isn't a part-time gig. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife—the life you have right this very second matters. Deeply. Therefore, life is way too short to spend all our time doing things we don't love.

That's why the first principle of a Renaissance Life is about taking ownership of your life.

Renaissance Life Principle #1: Change Starts with You.

Somehow or another, you stumbled upon this article. My hope is that it's an awakening moment for you.

Life is a series of awakenings and revivals. Sometimes awakenings happen without our input. The loss of innocence for example. The multidisciplinary, Neri Oxman, describes the feeling as ‘discovering innocence at the moment you lose it’. Born in Haifa Israel, for her, it was her experiences in serving in the Israeli Armed Forces as a teenager that opened her eye’s to the harsher sides of life. Another example is the loss of invincibility. Growing up, we feel we can do anything...until we get hurt. These losses aren't necessarily bad or good—they're just a part of being human. Every awakening begins a journey of change. Perhaps for you, that means discovering confidence again, despite the pain, or doing things that spark your childlike wonder.

Awakenings can also happen from our own curiosity and discovery too. The moment you think you have things figured out, an idea, a quote, or environmental change, a friend, or an influence rocks your foundation of who you are and what you think about the world.

For me, health was a big one. Growing up, I didn’t know a thing about health and wellness.

Being a 90’s baby, I practically lived off fast food, soda, refined bread, and lucky charms. I was constantly catching colds and having sinus problems, but I didn’t know that was not normal. The SAD diet was my normal. Getting sick was normal. I had no frame of reference to compare my health to. I don't blame my parents for this—they didn't know either! There was also an inherent trust in corporations, thinking they have our best interests in mind.

It's a little embarrassing to say, but it honestly never occurred to me until much later that food and exercise changed how you look and feel. I had no idea how impactful food, exercise, and sleep could be on the quality of your life.

It was until much later after high school when I read a few books on health and exercise and discovered the impact of health. The crazy thing is I know I’m not the only one who is ‘asleep’ to the impact of health. Perhaps this blog post is the first time you are waking up to the importance of health yourself.

Life is continuously changing.

A more common word for the 'awakenings' we experience is change.

The historical Renaissance (14th - 16th century) was a time of innovation in art and human potential based on the revitalization of Roman and Greek thinking. To put it simply: It was an age of discovery, creativity, and pursuit. Today, life and technology move at break-neck speeds. the advancements in AI have the potential to usher in a new renaissance of creativity.

Because life is moving so fast and becoming more connected, things can quickly feel overwhelming at times. But regardless of what's happening around us, we must take advantage of our brief and precious life. Otherwise, It’s easy to default to living a life of someone else’s dreams, instead of one you decide on yourself.

One of the number one regrets of dying is not living true to oneself. Are you living your dreams or someone else?

Every day is an opportunity for a new renaissance — A personal renaissance.

A renaissance of like-minded individuals all seeking a different and more meaningful way to live.

We must become more resilient, adaptable, and creative to be who we want to be and to do what we want to do. Dreams of a lifetime don’t happen with wishes. We must create them.

‘Renaissance’ comes from the combination of the French verb ‘renaitre’ — ‘to revive’ and the noun ‘naissance'. It stands for rebirth and renewal.

Forget New Year's Resolutions—every second is an opportunity to change your life.

Your Renaissance Life is your own, but it begins the moment you decide you want to seek out change and recreate yourself into the best you possible.

Feel like sh🤭t? Change it. Make a plan. Get out of your normal. Eat more veggies.

Don't like your job? Okay—what are you gonna do about it?

As Rich Roll talks about, Mood Follows Actions.

It's okay if you don't know who you are or who you want to be. The more we can learn about ourselves — who we are, what we like, what we stand for — the better we will get at reaching for the ideal. That starts with trying new things, experimenting, and being willing to fail or do uncomfortable things.

A renaissance life isn’t about perfection, it’s about pursuit. It’s about pursuing intentional change and being a lifelong learner in the skills and characteristics we want to master.

And if there are things you dislike about your life—change it.

It might take a while (usually longer than we want). But doing something is better than doing nothing.

Be your own Renaissance.

Because no one else is going to do it for you. No one should care as much as you do.

Change starts with you.

Stay Curious, — Josh Waggoner

*Affiliates :)