Answer- Follow the inspired model cycle.
Everyone wants to make better changes in their life. For most people that may entail improving their health and making a positive impact in their family and community. Deeper fulfillment lies when we find meaning and purpose in our chosen vocation and through cultivating loving relationships while striving to help others. Inspiration heightens when we learn of the aspirational teachings of men like Ghandi who famously quoted ” Be the change that you want to see in the world”.

Very powerful statement!

But often it leaves many of us with a bigger question. HOW ? What must one DO first in order to BE the change ? You cant BE unless you DO. There has to be an ACTION before you can genuinely embody a true sense of BE.
I have often pondered this philosophical design of man. BE-DO- HAVE vs HAVE-DO-BE

The spiritual truth says when you BE the change (internal mindset), then you will DO what is necessary(action) which empowers you to HAVE the desired result (goals, achievements, more time , happiness etc) . And so this rewarding path becomes positively reinforced.

The cultural lie says when you HAVE the change, then you will DO the ACTION and then you will BE (happier, healthier, fulfilled)

Which is true?

Here is my challenge to both models. The cultural lie depends on EXTERNAL factors that must precede before you can take ACTION. Something outside your control or design must occur first before you can change. This becomes a recipe for procrastination and avoidance. Eg. When I have more money, then I will fix my car and then I will be a safer driver. When I have won the lottery, then I will give more charity and then I will be a generous person. It therefore removes ones immediate responsibility to act until external circumstances change.

On the other hand , the spiritual truth model calls for a sudden proclamation of self to BE without having done the necessary work. You cannot genuinely decide to BE honest, generous, hardworking or noble if you haven’t already had the experience or practice, You may genuinely contemplate an internal, self motivated sense of desire and will to make good, but without a design, strategy or habit to build from, efforts will often fall short.This will often lead to the dilemma of having to FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. I want to BE more trustworthy but until I have performed countless, trustworthy acts, I have to fake the inner self attribute until I have satisfied my sense of truth. This becomes disingenuous and phony and can often lead to self conflict.

So what is the true model?

Consider my theory which is based on my personal volcanic model of change. It’s based on an ascending,balanced, repeating cycle that equally employs MINDSET, STRUCTURAL FRAMEWORK, and ACTION. Lets break it down as follows

Mindset- When we choose an attribute that we wish to BE, the first question that we must thoroughly answer to ourselves is WHY? One must formulate a truly compelling reason from very personal values in order to stir the inner fire needed to take action. Otherwise, there wont be enough of an internal motivator to ignite and stoke change.
Structural framework- This is key. Before one can execute action consistently, there must be a structured planned environment for one to prepare from. It is through this strategy that deliberate, intentional action can be performed over and over and over again.
Action- If set up correctly in design, this will prove to become the easiest step of all three because the execution eventually becomes automatic
Now back to Mindset and repeat the cycle.

Let’s illustrate this model further with an example. Fitness- an emperically healthier, lifestyle choice for all of us

  • Cultural lie- When I HAVE more time, then I will DO more exercise, then I will BE fit and more attractive
  • Spiritual truth- When I decide to BE more fit, then I will DO more exercise, then I will HAVE better health and attractiveness.
Mindset- First I must answer the question WHY I want to be more fit.(writing this out is an imperative step for mental clarity!) I truly believe that its a priority to be healthy and have mental focus and abundant energy so that I can enable myself to be a responsible parent, spouse and caregiver. It also improves my self esteem.
Structural framework- I will plan and strategically design a schedule, a positive, congruent environment and habit loop to facilitate executing the intended exercise program including support if needed.
Action- I will carry out the self prescribed exercise program slowly, incrementally and consistently until it becomes an automatized habit.
Mindset- I acknowledge and reward my small gains.I also anticipate resistance, struggle and inertia at the beginning of the program. I will learn (with practice) to embrace the struggle and accept that its OK to initially SUCK at what I’m doing.
Structure- I create a safe environment to allow myself to make countless mistakes without injury or self judgement.
Action- I continue to build a growing streak of executed physical activity. This elevates my mindset

As time and consistency continues, the overall competency, confidence and improved levels of fitness become the inevitable outcome of the efforts. This reinforces the mindset to continue the cycle until the action habit is established. It is through this ascending positive feedback loop that the change of Being fit is brought about genuinely!

Remember : Its not enough to just ignite a fire, you have to keep stoking it!

  • What else can you apply this cyclic model to?
  • What are the top 2 changes that you wish to BE?

Please share