My Radical Life Change Experiment – Part 1

For the past year I’ve wanted to drastically change certain areas of my life – money, career, and relationships. I wanted these three areas to flourish like the rest of my life. But I didn’t know how, so I did more of what I’ve always done, thinking that if I tried harder it would make a difference. It hasn’t. Doing more of the same gets me more of the same. A few weeks ago this quote showed up in my inbox: If your life isn’t the way you want it to be, do something radically different. At first, I simply filed this away as another cool quote. Instead, the words “radically different” lingered, and then floated to the forefront of my mind where an idea started to grow.

What if I interacted with the world differently? What would happen if I did the opposite of what I’ve been doing? The more I thought about this the more it made sense. My current actions put me where I am and continuing with them would keep me in the same spot. I was living the classic aphorism of doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different outcomes. Instead of waiting for a better life to find me, I’m going to turn parts of my life upside down and see what happens.

This week I’m beginning my Radical Life Change Experiment. I’m going to do things that are completely different from my usual self and document the results here.

What I want to achieve through this experiment:

  1. Have more joy in my life.
  2. Be financially healthy.
  3. Work at a job I absolutely love and look forward to everyday.
  4. A strong sense of family, made up of relations and friends.

My Radical Changes

I feel like I’m about to jump off the deep end. I’m equal parts excited and curious to see what’s going to happen as I start doing things differently. This is my plan for the next several weeks:

Smile at everyone I meet and be the first to reach out: It’s a wonderful feeling when someone reaches out first with a welcoming smile. I’m going to start doing the same – smiling and open myself up to people instead of waiting for them to make the first move.

Be loud and gregarious: I’ve always been on the quiet side; partly out of cultural upbringing and a fear of putting myself out there. I can be loud when I want, it’s simply getting over the nerves of “What would people think?”, and simply doing it.

Say what’s honestly on my mind: To avoid conflict and not hurt anyone’s feelings, I’m overwhelmingly careful about what I say. This causes my conversations to be a heavily watered down version of what’s truly on my mind.  It hasn’t benefited me or anyone else. Being honest and vulnerable is how we connect deeper with each other. I’m going to hold my breath and dive into this one.

Expect to succeed: There’s a feeling that goes beyond hoping and wanting, and that’s the feeling of absolute knowing. This is where the magic happens. I walk through life hoping for the best, but fearing the worst. We get what we expect, so I’m going to train myself to expect to succeed at everything I do.

Expect what I say to be heard: I noticed during a recent conversation with a friend that I have this wiggling expectation of not being completely heard. This thought is self-defeating and must go. I’m going to replace it with its opposite.

Be comfortable with being the centre of attention: I generally shy away from attention out of modesty. I was the sensitive, creative type in high school, who was also great at math (I’m Asian). Life during high school tends to mirror adult life. And just like before, I get along well with people, but my life still lacks that spark, that certain something that comes with being able to light up a room. Yes, I want to be a shiny disco ball incarnate.

These are the radical changes I am going to adopt immediately. In all of my excitement are also nerves. What if I fail? What if this is stupid? Yet. To reach my goals I’ll need to drastically change my attitude and behaviours. I have everything to gain.

I’ll be updating my progress regularly. Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Are you considering doing something similar or have done it in the past? I’d love to hear your stories.

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4 thoughts on “My Radical Life Change Experiment – Part 1

  1. Good luck!

    Also: don’t forget to cut yourself some slack. Radical change can be a breath of fresh air and it can work out well but please remember that for long-term changes you need to be kind to yourself too. I hope you appreciate who you already are too!

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