Khushi and I are currently in Punjab, India for 5 weeks – visiting my Dad. I am using this time to reflect, review and reinvent myself. I am sure you’ll agree with what I am about to say; Life happens and it completely turns your life upside down.
During the last 15 years; I got divorce, had Khushi, lost my Mum to cancer, my Dad sold our family home, remarried and moved to India, I lost my home (my first apartment) due to my brothers’ drug use which resulted in Khushi and I moving to London in 2008 to start all over again. Read my story here.
These experiences taught me a lot about reinventing myself by adapting to change and rolling with life’s challenges – and here are my top 3 tips on how to get started:
1. Accept Full Responsibility
Your current life and circumstances are a direct result of the choices you have made. In other words, all the choices you have made have brought you to this point in your life.
All the joy and happiness you currently experience is because of you. Likewise, all the problems and issues you now face are a direct result of a culmination of choices you have made.
Given all this, the only person responsible for your life is nobody else but you. Yes, other people might or might not have played a factor. In some way they have. But ultimately you chose to move down this path, and therefore everything you have or don’t have in your life right now is of your own making. And because it’s of your own making, you must commit to taking responsibility.
2. Undertake a Self-Assessment
To reinvent yourself and transform your life, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Asking these questions may not be easy. Self-evaluation and introspection are rarely easy. In fact, the whole process can be rather daunting. However, it’s a necessary part of the transformation and an essential requirement for total life reinvention.
To begin with, consider why exactly you want to undertake this process of reinvention. Ask yourself:
- Why do I want to reinvent myself?
- Why is reinventing myself important to me? Why now?
- What do I honestly want to get out of this process?
- Are these good enough reasons for wanting this?
- Is reinventing myself within my personal control?
Having identified compelling enough reasons to change, it’s time now to identify your passions, your values, and to clarify your vision for the future. These are all things that will excite and drive you forward toward making the necessary changes to your life.
With this in mind, ask yourself:
- What do I find personally fulfilling?
- What are my skills, talents, and abilities?
- What am I intensely passionate about?
- What things am I not so passionate about?
- What do I value most in life?
- What do I truly want?
- What do I want to achieve and get out of life?
- How do I see my life in the future?
- How do I see myself in the future?
- What’s my vision for the future?
- What specific goals make up that vision?
- Are these goals congruent with my values?
- Do these goals conflict with other life priorities?
- When specifically will these goals be achieved?
- What kind of person do I essentially want to become?
- How will I know I’m making progress?
- What will it realistically take to make these changes?
3. Time to Reinvent Yourself
Having completed all the groundwork within the previous steps, it’s time now to begin reinventing yourself and reinventing your life. This is essentially where you proactively start building upon your vision in a very specific and direct way.
What you will essentially be doing in this step is transporting yourself into the future through storytelling. In other words, you are going to be telling yourself a story about your future self and about the life you live.
Imagine for a moment your future self at some point in time. It could be 5 years, 10 year or even 25 years from today. See your future self and your future life in your minds-eye. Now ask yourself:
- Where exactly am I living?
- Where specifically am I working?
- What goals am I working on?
- How do I spend my free time?
- Who do I spend most time with?
- What do I value most in life?
- What skills and knowledge do I have?
- What kinds of roles do I play?
- Am I a parent, teacher, leader, employer, partner?
- How am I as a person in each of these roles?
- How does envisioning my life in this way make me feel?
While envisioning this future life, also imagine how you look, the clothes you wear, your hairstyle, how you move your body, your facial gestures, etc. Do you smile often? Do you frown? Do you laugh? How exactly are you in various situations?
Remember; Reinvention never stops
Every day you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward. The choices you make today will be in your biography tomorrow. Make interesting choices and you will have an interesting biography.