“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” -Hugh Prather
One of the first things that comes to my mind before asking ‘How to change?’ is ‘Why people want or need to change?‘
To sum up people change because:
- They are not satisfied with who they are;
- They’ve learned so much about something. Therefore they feel the urge to apply that knowledge;
- They have suffered from a negative and life-changing event;
- They are forced to it, because circumstances have changed.
These are the 4 sources of change that I’ve identified. Some are more powerful than others, but each one can really make you to step up and evolve. Sometimes to someone entirely different. Change is part of life, and whether is comes to you voluntarily or involuntarily you need to embrace it, and make the best of it.
Prepare yourself for it
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean
Change is hard. I know. You know. We all have read about it. So what can make it easier? For me is definitely preparing yourself, specially before you need to effectively change. When you don’t need to change is the best time to prepare for it.
What if I:
- Lose my job tomorrow?
- Have a major health issue?
- Lose someone important?
- Have to leave my country?
These are all important problems that people have to face every day, in all parts of the world.
On the other hand I’m not suggesting that you should constantly think on negative outcomes or pessimistic possibilities. No. What I’m suggesting is to change small things now, so you can be better prepared for a major change in your life.
Be a constant learner.
Learn new things every day: A new word, a concept, a how-to something that may be useful, and so on.
Don’t bet all your resources on one profession. You may be a doctor, an engineer, a plumber or a dancer all your life. Or not. Learn how to make new things, new skills. In the modern world you have thousands and thousands of free and low-cost online courses where you can start right now.
Find a mentor, and talk with business leaders. Learn how is business all over the world evolving. What new professions are in demand, and what professions will be soon replaced by robots.
Never Stop Re-Inventing Yourself.
Creativity and permanently evolving will be the key characteristics needed to rapidly adapt to new circumstances. Create something, anything. You will fail, but you will try again too. Never stop, even if you are the best in your sector. If you master the process of learning, you will be ready for any major change in your life.
Be Frugal. Learn how to save and invest.
A person that spends half of what he earns, is a person that is better prepared for any financial challenges that comes his way. Financial freedom and Early Retirement is not about “being rich”. It’s more of a change on your mindset in order to save more, and grow your sources of income. Specially your passive sources of income.
Another excellent suggestion that I often read is to have an emergency fund. As the name suggests, it’s a fund where you put aside some money in order to face unexpected costs, or a sudden change on your income. In essence you build a financial buffer to increase your personal stability.
- Spend less of what you earn;
- Diversify your sources of income;
- Build an emergency fund.