People Do Change: Musings From a Former Basketcase
Whoever said “people don’t change” can go suck a tailpipe. This is just the sort of attitude that keeps people stuck in a never-ending cycle of mediocrity, monotony and self-loathing. People do change, and knowing that it’s possible to turn one’s life around is paramount to making it happen. Whether you’re at rock bottom (jobless, dateless, playing Monopoly with your mom on Saturday night) or hovering in a constant state of “meh” in your cubicle, it’s possible to change your situation for the better.
I recently had an eye-opening experience watching old home movies at my mom’s house. What did I see? I saw a kid dressed to the teeth in neon, rocking some seriously huge Reebok pumps, with all the confidence of a fat dude in a cage fight. I may have been 10 at the time, but I see now that I was a nervous wreck from the get-go. At a time when most kids are getting scrapes and bruises skateboarding and causing general hijinks, I was a shy, fearful little dude. But things change. I was still pretty shy in high school and college, but over the years made an effort to become a more sociable person and it worked. Not only have I graduated from my early 90s fashion debacle, I’m now somebody who can walk into a room and exude confidence (without the help of Captain Morgan.)
Sure, we carry certain traits from birth, but with conscious effort we can make changes for the better. I can think of numerous friends and family members who have made great personal strides and overcome seemingly set-in-stone shortcomings. I’ve seen scrawny guys transform themselves into damn-near Hulk lookalikes. I know a guy who used to live in the worst apartment in town, barely work and spend half his day smoking dope. This guy now lives in one of the nicest pads I’ve ever seen, lives a drug-free life and runs his own business. This all might sounds like a sales pitch for some motivational DVD (I’m working on it), but these are real anecdotes from the real world.
Just as I know several people who’ve changed their lives around, I also know plenty of people who refuse to grow, who don’t believe in themselves enough to know it’s possible to make big changes. It’s no coincidence that the same people who play the victim and/or don’t put in the effort end up stuck in the same place or worse years down the line. People want the easy way out, when huge life changes more than often require insane devotion. You can’t build huge pecs or run your own freelance magician business without some drive. You also can’t transform from a lowly hermit into a the life of the party without making a conscious effort to put down the “Back to the Future” fan faction and actually go to a party for once.
Whoever you are — mega-tycoon, sandwich artist, basketcase, MMA champ – it’s up to you to make the big life changes. It is possible, but it’s going to take some serious work on your end. If you’re still rocking early 90s neon, you just might want to hire a life coach.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.