Life as a revolution

Reading this quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo: “Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.” I started to ponder what it could mean.

Not everyone chooses evolution. In fact many people are content with life as it is, which means that they are stagnating. Stagnation is the opposite of growth and change. It’s a step before death.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, revolution is “ a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm.”

If you were to start living your life as a revolution, what would you like to fundamentally change about your life? What kind of thinking would you love to revolutionize? Your thoughts about money, about being rich vs being poor; or the way you think about your relationships, about your intimate one, your relationship with you; or the way you think about your world, your boss, your government?

What would it take for that basic thinking to be altered? A drastic event like an accident, a separation, a job loss? Unfortunately, that’s how most fundamental changes happen. To remodel your paradigm is a labor of love that takes time and lots of repetition. And most of the time, when we make drastic changes we hit a wall of fear. We are confronted with our old beliefs and if we don’t have a strong foundation built on repetition we will more than likely revert back to our old ways that feel like an old pair of slippers.

The revolution could come from being introduced to a new way of thinking and being open to it. However, know that this new idea will only be accepted once you’ve heard or seen it a few times. It’s how we are wired.

Evolution sounds slower and more passive in this quotation, but it doesn’t have to be.

Evolution is growth and all things on this planet grow, for a while, and then growth becomes a question of choice. It’s in the choice that we experience “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state” (Merriam-Webster’s definition of evolution).

That sounds smoother, slower and easier than revolution, thus more achievable.  It echoes the saying “Slow and steady wins the race”. Isn’t it what this journey is suppose to be: a game involving endurance and skills? Skills are acquired through adaptation and acceptation of the challenge, which in turns alters the present situation.

What if evolution was fueling the revolution or change in paradigm?

After all, our way of relating to life is a revolution if we compare it to life a hundred years ago… And a hundred years on billions of years it took for us to get where we are is a blink in time. From that perspective, we are living our life as a revolution. On a day to day basis I would be tempted to look at it as evolution. What can I say, I’ve come to prefer the gentle way…

Improve Your Brain Circuits to Change

In spite of popular belief, new experiences don’t necesserally help us keep an open mind or make us more performant. They could more than likely trigger some negative thoughts like “I wish my relationship was this perfect. If only my boss could notice how hard I’ve worked on this project. I wish I could afford to do that more often.”

Are we doing ourselves a favor by being all over the place experimenting every new trend? According to neuroscience, probably not.

Once a negative thought enters your mind, you’re caught in a downward spiral, entertaining a bunch of ideas that disempower you. The new experience just confirmed to your brain that you’re not quite good enough and that trying to find the fault is the appropriate way to react to a new experience. You are hard wiring your brain to react this way, which in turns makes sure that it becomes an automatic unconscious response. It’s like if your brain is thinking “This must be the best way to handle this kind of situation since we do it all the time. Let’s make sure that we continue doing that.”

To help you change your ways:
– You need to become aware of these thoughts, usually by how you start to feel and the emotions that surface.
– Once aware change your train of thought or what you’re doing by choosing to question your perception asking yourself if it’s really that bad or if it’s only your brain playing an old trick on you.
– It’s now time to redirect your actions or mental processes to something productive and empowering.
– Take note of what just happened. You will be in a better position to reflect and evaluate your progress.

It’s only through repetition that you hard wire something and that it becomes a unconscious way of being or of doing something, in other words, a habit.
Yes, it takes time and effort.

Is it worth your while? You bet! Improving you, and improving your life is the name of the game.

Would like to know more?
Jeffrey Schwartz, MD and Rebecca Gladding, MD wrote a book on this subject: You Are Not Your Brain
Their website
Brain World Magazine

Tell me what habit you’ve tried to change and what you did, I’d love to know!