What's the number one problem in South Africans who want to change their lives? A lack of patience. Meaning, they want to see changes in their life in a short period. Four weeks. Twenty-one days. Seven days. Twenty-four hours. You name it. They want change as quickly as possible. They want to feel less stressed. Be happier. Think clearer. Feel less angry. They believe that 20 or 30 years of bad habits can be overturned in some eight-week program.
But it can't. It can't be a simple fix. You can't just follow some program and get to where you want to be. You're not going to be able to control your anger in fourteen days. You're not going to rekindle your relationship with your daughter in a couple of weeks. You're not going to feel more confident by following a fourteen-day plan. It's just not going to happen.
Change - meaningful change - has to be a lifestyle change. And I don't mean following some 'guru's' guide to happiness. Nor do I mean attempting to transform your life at a five-day retreat. It doesn't imply you reading every self-help book on the market. And you don't have to expose all your vulnerabilities. That's not what I mean by lifestyle change.
What I mean is something that makes sense for you, is proven and is consistent. You need to find something that you like. And that resonates with you. Why? Because you have 80 to 90 years on this earth and you can't do stuff that you don't like for the rest of your life. But, at the same time, you also don't want to be sad, depressed, anxious, stressed, or angry all the time either.
But you can change that. Find a form of mental training that corresponds with who you are as a person. Whether that be journalling. Meditation. Positive self-talk. Seeking the help of a therapist. Learning new coping skills. There are many choices at your disposal, and they all work. Sure, some are more efficient than others. But doing something - anything - is going to make the difference. Doing nothing won't.
So do it. Start today. Start right now. There's never a perfect time. Make the decision and commit to it. And, if you slip up along the way that's okay. Pick up tomorrow. You're not going to be perfect, and you are going to screw up. But, having a long-term outlook is all you need. Be consistent. Forgive yourself when you fall. Continue to get a little bit better each day. By doing these things, you're going to start seeing amazing changes. You're going to feel better. Your body-mind is going to change. Your relationships are going to change. And you're going to reflect back in months and years, and you're going to be happy with what you've achieved.
But you have to patient.
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