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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

Want To Live A More Fulfilling Life? You Need To Understand This Concept First

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Want To Live A More Fulfilling Life? You Need To Understand This Concept First

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

If you’ve ever asked someone for advice about life, chances are you were told, “Just be yourself,” “Do what you love and the money will follow,” or the classic phrase by Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss”.  So you rack your brain trying to find the bliss. You’re good at Instagram captions, Facebook comments, buying lots of books and never reading them.

The truth is, you want nothing more than to be successful and live a wonderful life. You want to be a #forceofone. You want to be a #successgenius. You want to be someone you’re proud of. You’ve accomplished things. Difficult things and challenging things. You understand gratitude. You want to be thankful for what you have and still dream bigger. You know you’re a hard worker. You love hard work. You’re so sick and tired that you’re willing to go through anything to get you out of this place. You simply could not have been put on this earth to suffer this mediocrity. There’s got to be more.

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To some people who have achieved many things in their life, have a feeling of dissatisfaction is worse. Some feel like they’ve been living a lie: that who they appear to be on the outside doesn’t quite match who they are on the inside. After all of the work it takes to get anywhere in this world, it’s quite a shock to realize that you haven’t accomplished anything in life that really matters to you. It’s like climbing the ladder of success until you reach the top to find out the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Time For Reinvention

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

When you’re struggling with finding fulfillment, you may need to make some changes. Change means reinvention. To create something new. This is a concept you may struggle with because you might believe you were created with certain characteristics that determine who you are and what you will become. Nothing is further from the truth. You’re capable of creating anything you desire and you’re intelligent enough to know this. So stop letting other people define who you are. Don’t allow your past accomplishments define what you can and cannot do.

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Treat reinvention as a call to action. Getting to choose how you will shape your interests and desires and what work you will put into becoming the person you desire. I won’t lie to you. This is not easy. Change is not easy. You need to be willing to devote the time and energy to clear away those thoughts that limit you and instead focus on your desires. And then commit to doing anything and everything to move yourself in the right direction.

A Recipe for Bliss

“To live in infinite bliss, practice mindfulness and live in the moment.” – Debasisch Mridha

Living in the moment means not to dwell on the past. Remember, your past does not define you so don’t let it. Always be mindful of your thoughts because they can betray you. You can find some advice about that here. Let’s focus on some steps you can take today that will help you on your journey to reinvention.

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1. Create a vision of your desired future.

Visualization is a very powerful method for manifesting. If you imagine yourself already living the life you desire or having the things you desire, chances are very high you will attain it.

Find a quiet place, sit down and close your eyes. Imagine the future you want. Live it. See yourself going through the motions, actually moving through it. Allow yourself to experience the feelings and emotions. Visualize the sun light of the sun glowing on your face.

Stand up and express your gratitude appreciation for everything in the past. Now imagine yourself walking away from the past and toward your future.

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2. Use visual reminders of your desired future.

Use anything that reminds you of what you’re moving toward. It can be pictures or written affirmations. Place them where you can see them every day.

3. Take the vision of your future and break it into workable tasks.

This is where to rubber hits the road. This where you commit. Make a list of everything you need to do and be specific. Work on accomplishing the tasks on your list every day. Here is a blueprint for long term success to help you.

4. Every day, visualize your desired future.

Take time either first thing in the morning or at bedtime to visualize the future you created in step 1. This will reinforce your stated desire and give you confidence to keep moving  forward. Make this a daily occurrence and eventually it will become a habit.

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Living a more fulfilling life takes responsibility and courage to look at yourself in the mirror and be brutally honest about what really matters to you. To understand that you have the ability to recreate yourself and you get to choose what you want your life to be: to be the architect of a new life of fulfillment on your terms. Make that choice and accept the challenge.

More by this author

Anthony Pica

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

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How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. Some people quit smoking a thousand times in their lives! Everyone knows someone with this mindset.

But this type of change is superficial. It doesn’t last. For real, lasting change to take place, we need to consider the quadrants of change.

Real change, the change that is fundamental, consistent, and longitudinal (lasting over time) has to happen in four quadrants of your life.

It doesn’t have to be quitting smoking; it can be any habit you want to break — drinking, biting your nails, overeating, playing video games, shopping, and more.

Most experts focus on only one area of change, some focus on two areas, but almost none focus on all four quadrants of change. That’s why much of change management fails.

Whether it is in the personal life of a single individual through actions and habits, or in a corporate environment, regarding the way they conduct their business, current change management strategies are lacking.

It all stems from ignoring at least one part of the equation.

So, today, we will cover all four quadrants of change and learn the formula for how to change fundamentally and never go back to your “old self.”

A word of warning: this is simple to do, but it’s not easy. Anyone who tells you that change is easy is either trying to sell you something, or they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Those who want an overnight solution have left the article now, so that leaves you, me, and the real process of change.

The Four Quadrants of Change

There are four areas, or quadrants, in which you need to make a change in order for it to stick. If you miss or ignore a single one of these, your change won’t stick, and you will go back to your previous behavior.

The four quadrants are:

  1. Internal individual – mindset
  2. External individual – behavior
  3. Internal collective – culture/support system
  4. External collective – laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

All four of these quadrants of change may sound like they could carry change all by themselves, but they can’t. So, be sure to implement your change in all four quadrants. Otherwise, it will all be in vain.

First Quadrant — Internal Individual

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of an individual, and it concerns itself with the mindset of a person.

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Our actions stem from our thoughts (most of the time), and if we change our mindset toward something, we will begin to process of changing the way we act.

People who use the law of attraction fall into this category, where they’ve recognized the strength of thoughts and how they make us change ourselves.

Even Lao Tzu had a great saying regarding this:

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.” [1]

One of the most impactful ways you can make a change in this quadrant is to implement what James Clear calls identity-based habits. [2]

Instead of prioritizing the outcome of a change (ex.: I want to lose 20 pounds), you prioritize your identity as a person (I want to become/remain a healthy person).

Here are a couple of examples for you to see the strength of this kind of resolution:

I want to watch many movies = I am a cinema lover
I want to clean my apartment = I am a clean person
I want to harvest my crops = I am a harvester (farmer)
I want to swim = I am a swimmer

This quadrant is about changing the identity you attach to a certain action. Once you re-frame your thinking in this way, you will have completed the first of the quadrants of change.

Second Quadrant — External Individual

This quadrant focuses on the external world of an individual and concerns itself with the behavior of a person.

This is where people like Darren Hardy, the author of the Compound Effect reside. Hardy is about doing small, consistent actions that will create change in the long run (the compound effect).

You want to lose 30 pounds? Start by eating just 150 calories (approximately two slices of bread) less a day, and in two and a half years, you will have lost 30 pounds.

The same rules apply to business, investing, sports, and multiple other areas. Small, consistent actions can create big changes.

This works — I’ve read 20 extra pages a day for the past two years, and it accumulated into 90 books read in two years. [3]

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Here, you have two ways of dealing with change behaviorally: negative environmental design and positive environmental design.

Negative Environmental Design

This is when you eliminate the things from your environment that revert you to the old behavior. If you want to stop eating ice cream, you don’t keep it in your freezer.

If you want to stop watching TV, you remove the batteries from the remote and put them on the other side of the house (it works!).

Positive Environmental Design

This is when you put the things that you want to do withing reach — literally!

You want to learn how to play guitar? Put your guitar right next to your sofa. You want to head to the gym? Put the gym clothes in a backpack and put it on top of your shoes.

You want to read more books? Have a book on your nightstand, your kitchen table, and on the sofa.

You can even combine this last trick with my early advice about removing the batteries from your remote control, combining the negative and positive environmental designs for maximum effect.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

If you just change your behavior and leave your intentions (thoughts) intact, your discipline will fail you and the real change won’t happen.

You will simply revert back to the previous behavior because you haven’t changed the fundamental root of why this problem occurs in the first place.

That is why you need to create change both in the first quadrant (internal individual — mindset) and the second quadrant (external individual — behavior). These quadrants of change are two sides of the same coin.

Most change management would stop here, and that’s why most change management fails.

No matter how much you focus on yourself, there are things that affect our lives that are happening outside of us. That is the focus of the two remaining quadrants.

Third Quadrant — Internal Collective

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the culture of that collective.

There are two different distinctions here: the Inner Ring and the Outer Ring.

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The Inner Ring

These are your friends and your family. The Inner Ring is the place where the social and cultural norms of your friends and family rule.

So, if everyone in your family is overweight and every lunch is 1,000 calories per person, then you can say goodbye to your idea of becoming healthy.

In this case, the culture of your group, the inner norms that guide the decisions, actions, thoughts, ideas, and patterns of behaviors are all focused on eating as much as possible. [4]

You need to have the support of your Inner Ring if you want to achieve change. If you don’t have this support, the the best way to proceed is by either changing your entire Inner Ring or distancing yourself from it.

Beware — most Inner Rings won’t accept the fact that you want to change and will undermine you on many occasions — some out of habit, some due to jealousy, and some because supporting you would mean that they have to change, too.

You don’t have to cut ties with people, but you can consciously decide to spend less time with them.

The Outer Ring

The Outer Ring consists of the culture of your company, community, county, region, and country. For example, it’s quite hard to be an open-minded person in North Nigeria, no matter how you, your friends, and your family think.

The Outer Ring is the reason why young people move to the places that share their value systems instead of staying in their current city, county, or country.

Sometimes, you need to change your Outer Ring as well because its culture is preventing you from changing.

I see this every single day in my country, where the culture can be so toxic that it doesn’t matter how great of a job you have or how great your life currently looks — the culture will change you, inch by inch, until you become like it.

Fourth Quadrant — External Collective

This quadrant focuses on the external world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the systems, teams, laws, and rules of that collective.

This quadrant is about the external manifestations of the collective culture. If the majority of the environment thinks in a certain way, they will create institutions that will implement that way of thinking.

The same rules apply to companies.

One example for companies would be those managers who think that employees are lazy, lack responsibility, and need constant supervision (or what is called Theory X in management).

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Then, those managers implement systems that reflect that kind of culture– no flexible work hours, strict rules about logging work, no remote work, etc.

Your thoughts, however, may be different. You might believe that people want responsibility, that they are capable of self-direction, that they can make good decisions, and that managers don’t need to stand on their necks if they want something done (this is called Theory Y in management).

Then, you would want to have flexible working hours, different ways of measuring your productivity (for example, not time on the job but work produced), and remote work, if possible for your profession.

This is when you enter into a conflict with the external collective quadrant. Here, you have four options: leave, persevere, neglect, and voice.

Leave

You can simply leave the company/organization/community/country and go to a different place. Most people decide to do this.

Persevere

This is when you see that the situation isn’t good, but you decide to stick at it and wait for the perfect time (or position) where you can implement change.

Neglect

This is where you give up on the change you want to see and just go with the flow, doing the minimal work necessary to keep the status quo.

These are the people who are disengaged at work and are doing just the bare minimum necessary (which, in the U.S. is around 65% of the workforce).

I did this only once, and it’s probably the only thing I regret doing in my life.

Voice

This is where you actively work on changing the situation, and the people in charge know that you want to create a change.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your company, community, or your country; you are actively calling for a change and will not stop until it’s implemented.

Putting It All Together

When you take it all into account, change is simple, in theory, but it isn’t easy to execute. It takes work in all four quadrants:

  1. Internal individual — mindset
  2. External individual — behavior
  3. Internal collective — culture/support system
  4. External collective — laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

Some will require more work, some less, but you will need to create a change in all four of them.

But don’t let that discourage you because change is possible, and many people have done this. The best time to start changing was yesterday, but the second best time is today.

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Featured photo credit: Djim Loic via unsplash.com

Reference

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