Are you open to changing your life?
Or do you struggle to move forward and make positive changes?
No matter where you are currently in your life, there are probably some areas you want to change for whatever reason. Maybe it’s time to find a more fulfilling job, move to a new area, make new friends, de-clutter your life, start new eating habits. And so on.
There are many things you may want to change. But where do you start? And how do you sustain change?
It all begins with wanting to change! It is about saying yes to change – and then making it happen.
Today, I am delighted to bring you the words of wisdom from my friend Alex Blackwell who has just published his first book which is all about change. Sit back and learn more from Alex about saying yes to change:-
1. Alex, thanks for your wonderful book!
You and your book are going to change a lot of people’s lives in a very positive way. What started you off on your journey? Did you one day just wake up and decide to change people lives!?
First, thank you Arvind for having me on your blog. To answer your first question, I woke up one day and decided to change me.
On the brink of divorce several years ago, I needed to make a few changes within myself before my life could change. Knowing creating positive change was necessary, I started down the path of learning how to appreciate exactly what I have.
The purpose with both my book “Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change” (available on Amazon) and my blog, is to share my heart so others will be inspired to start down similar paths.
After all, we don’t change until we want to change.
2. In your book, you talk very eloquently about your experience as a child where your mother had a drinking problem and you grew up with a stuttering, eye problems and being bullied.
You say all those childhood experiences drove you to become the person you are today. That’s very inspiring!
Please share a bit more about your journey.
In a stroke of bittersweet irony, the pain I endured as a child has proven to be a blessing.
- The blessing has manifested itself by providing a passion to make something of my life – to improve myself. The frustration with my situation at home and at school made me determined, if not obsessed, to make certain my life mattered.
I was resolved to do things that separated me from my past. I worked full-time in college while taking a full course load. I was afraid if I didn’t push myself then I couldn’t escape the world I despised. But, as you will read in the book, this course of action had its own set of negative consequences.
3. What would you say was your one defining moment when everything changed for you?
Everything is still changing for me, Arvind!
Life is a process that constantly surprises me. The recent, and unexpected, death of my older brother has definitely been a defining moment. He was taken so soon, and so suddenly.
Eric’s death has been a reminder to soak in every moment of every day – each breath is indeed precious.
4. What words of wisdom, advice and encouragement can you offer someone else in a similar situation?
Forget regret. Offer forgiveness to others and self before it’s too late.
And be love – don’t wait, do it right now.
5. What makes people so reluctant to take on change? What three tips can you offer to get them started on a journey of change faster?
Fear is the biggest obstacle to change. Although I don’t have all the answers, these three things have worked for me on my journey to change, so I humbly offer these to your readers:
- Acknowledge what you want to change or heal.
- Do one small action each day – it’s all about taking baby steps.
- Refrain from measuring your progress. Rather than seeing that you aren’t where you want to be (and how far away that may seem), look at far you have come.
6. I do believe that everyone wants to make it happen and shake the world.
What suggestions can you offer those people who feel disheartened about changing the world for the better?
Keep your faith strong. Stay grounded in the belief that you have a purpose far greater than anyone can imagine.
7. You talk in your book about recognising your beauty, as a precursor to saying yes to change. A lot of people have a hard time loving themselves and seeing their true inner beauty.
How do you suggest they get started?
Watch negative self-talk. Be kind and positive to yourself. Change the cant’s to I haven’t yet learned.
Pay more attention to what you are doing right and the beauty you create and less on what you don’t have, or think you should have.
Notice the beauty around you.
When we take the time to see what’s beautiful in our lives, then we are in a better position to internalize that beauty and make it a part of our own.
Notice the beautiful color of the changing leaves or the expression on your children’s faces when they learn something new.
God puts beautiful things in plain view every day – we just have to remember to open our eyes and take them in.
Finding the beautiful you is not about finding perfection with how you look, but in accepting that you are who you are for a reason.
To be happy, perfection is not required – only joy in celebrating your special brand of compassion, talent and beauty.
8. There is so much change going on in the world today globally which affects us all individually. It can be quite frightening when you look around at what’s happening. So how do you suggest people say yes to such change on an individual basis?
It begins by looking at our lives and seeing what we want to change, and then making the deliberate choice to change – one step at a time.
9. What changes will you be saying YES to over the coming months and years?
Here’s what’s on my YES list Arvind:
- YES to taking a needed rest after the book launch.
- YES to staying on the path of positive change.
- YES to learning to be a better father and husband.
- YES to following my heart’s desire.
- YES to loving myself a little more each day.
10. Alex, finally, what’s next for you? What are your hopes for your future?
Right now, my biggest hope is that my book “Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change”, touches people and makes a difference. After that, I want to help others with writing, blogging or publishing a book. My passion is to write and serve. My hope is to do more of both in the future.
Thanks a lot Alex for sharing about your life journey and your new book. I am sure it will literally change many people’s lives.
Alex Blackwell is the Founder of The BridgeMaker and his first book is “Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change” (Available on Amazon).
What a wonderful interview! Arvind, your questions are excellent and bring out the best through Alex’ answers. Only when we admit that change must begin within us can we “make things happen” 🙂 I learned that lesson decades ago, thanks to my Mom. I’d question everything – and eventually realized that we have no control over others – but full control over ourselves. What a lovely book by Alex – simple life-changing lessons conveyed in a way that is easy to absorb.
Thanks – A for Arvind and A for Alex. Love, Vidya
And it’s A for Amazing Vidya!
Glad you liked the interview – Alex was very easy to interview. Everyone wants to know how to change.
Thanks for sharing about your mom – it’s a great lesson she taught you about change beginning within you. Maybe it’s time for you to write your book now – based on your mom’s teachings and wisdom:)
Change is always constant and we are all aware with it…When changes happen, we should know how to handle it and it should always be in a positive way…
Crysstal, I read somewhere about a learned master urging his followers that the only guarantee about life is that everything changes.
So if one can just accept that, then life becomes easy. We stop struggling to hold on to the past and face change with acceptance and anticipation.
Learning to cope with change in a positive way must be one of the most valuable lessons in life. And Alex’s book will really help us with that lesson.
Thanks for the great interview!
4 years ago, I attended a seminar and there’s a lesson that I remembered, “For Things To Change, You Must Change”. Before we think we want to change others or change the world, we must change ourselves first! 🙂
I am taking little steps to make positive change.
I find myself demotivating in doing my work. Therefore, I get my best friend to monitor my weekly goals. Ask him to keep track my goals and everything. I am making a habit to creating small steps that will lead to big goals! 🙂
Dennis, thanks for sharing your personal experiences.
It really is not rocket science – change begins us. Once we change, others around us may or may not be inspired to change too. But it really doesn’t matter whether they do or not!
Good luck Dennis with your weekly goals and your big goals.
I believe change is inevitable and that choice is linked inextricably to change. Change is either external or internal, reactive or proactive.
The fascinating thing is that a lot of changes you make is a result of others choices to change – either positive or negative.
Here’s to change but with the wisdom to make the right choices!
Andre, yes change is inevitable.
Thanks for making the distinction of change being external v internal and reactive v proactive – and also how our changes are a result of other people’s choices to change.
Indeed, here’s to positive change!
The positive change I am making is moving away from working with my boss of 6 years. I have never been good at letting go and embracing change.
Amy, good luck with your new role and away from working with your old boss.
It’s amazing what life brings you when you embrace change.
Started trail running & mountain biking two weeks ago…both for exercise & focus. When I’m involved in these two activities I have to concentrate on the trail…no room in my brain for chatter. Negative self-talk is my beast…I more than want to tame this, I want to make it disappear!
Thanks for your lessons….I need to read this interview first thing every morning as a great reminder.
Vicki, it seems that you have found the perfect way to focus and exercise at the same time!
You WILL conquer and get rid of negative self-talk – keep doing what you are currently and you’ll be fine 🙂
And yes, enjoy life!
Thank you for te inspiration to continue to work towards making change and making it positive! I plan to initiate a small food change to help me become more healthy and vibrant. Instead of thinking of deprivation, I will view it as adding something healthy like blackberries and nuts. I am also working to be more mindful of my consumption. Truly appreciating and enjoying what I eat. I want my changes to have greater impact than just on my own figure, so I will strive to make food choices that are local, organic and not harmful to animals. Ultimately I would love to share my successes and thoughts with others so they can experience successful change in this arena too!
Andrea, that’s a great way of bringing about a change in your eating habits – look at the benefits of healthy eating rather than focussing on “deprivation”.
I look forward to you ultimately sharing with us your successes and thoughts about successful changes in all areas of your life:-)
Love this. i will be gtting the book. A simple way to look at and make a change is the HOW acronym. Be Honest with yourself. Be Open minded. Be Willing to change. Focus on yourself. Change begins with ME.
Thanks for this awesome post. Inspiring.
Al, thanks for sharing the HOW acronym!
I have mad a note of that – and will share that one day with others – and mention you too:)
Here’s to more people following HOW!
Hello Arvind and Alex,
I embrace change and try and teach my middle school students to do the same. The future in not to be feared but instead, should be an exciting time to look forward to. I help them learn to accept what comes their way and to make a change if they do not feel that things are going well. I advocate responsibility and results, not excuses.
I feel that your book is going to do very well, Alex. I think too many people become immobilized by fear and dread change. I lost an older sister and felt the same way you did when you lost your brother. It is sad that we have to have something so tragic to get us to open our eyes. I ended up becoming an expatriate, teaching overseas, I met my husband and married for the first time at age 48 and now I am writing a book about our life together. I currently live in Trinidad and Tobago in a brand new house that we built and I took this year off to devote my time to writing. It is coming along nicely and I may need your help in getting published in the not too distant future.
Arvind, I have been following your blog and receiving your inspirational emails for about 9 months. My sister’s good friend, Mica from Wisconsin, turned me onto you. I will be meeting her for the first time next month while I visit my sister.
Both of you are making a difference and I appreciate the work that you are doing to move us all forward in our evolution as a human race. Thank You!
Carol, great to have you here – welcome to my blog!
Amazing how all these connections come about. I met Mica last year whilst she was visiting London.
I love what you say – “The future in not to be feared but instead, should be an exciting time to look forward to.”
If only more of us could embrace this philosophy:-).
I look forward to learning more about your book – and of course I’ll be happy to help if I can, when you are ready to get it published.
We are all in this together to make the world a better place and thank you and your husband for doing what you are both doing.
I wish you the best of luck with your book and your new life in Trinidad & Tobago.
Thank you for the giveaway. What an inspiring book. The biggest thing I’d like to change is to make more time for others and actually get involved. In an attempt to keep a simple, uncluttered life I’ve withdrawn from people and events where consumption rules. However, in so doing I’ve become isolated. I need to find a happy medium and to start I need to go out and make new friends that are in line with my values. It’s a very big undertaking for someone who spends most of her non-working hours by herself to be around people and allow people back into her life. But I believe this is important so I am going to practice every day at making it happen.
Maria, Alex’s book is indeed an inspirational book!
It is always a challenge to let go of people who no longer resonate with you and to find new friends who do.
At the same time, we all do need people in our life. Neither can we completely isolate ourselves.
So the best thing is to get clear about the sort of people who will serve you best in your current situation. And gradually such people will come into your life.
I wish you well on your journey – may you blossom:-)
Hi Arvind and Alex,
Great interview. Alex’s book will resonate with many who are ready for a change. Love your questions, and your list Alex of what you are going to say YES to over the coming months and years! Take care.
Cathy, thanks for your kind feedback!
Here’s to positive change in all our lives….
Thanks for the inspiring words… they were just what I needed! I have a beautiful daughter (9yrs old) with autism,intellectual impairment and also severe scoliosis. My change in the next two weeks is to get a blog up and running about being a parent to a child with special needs. My goal is to help point others in the right direction for help and support. Hopefully I can express the positive love and joy these children can bring into our lives.
Krissy, welcome to my blog!
Thanks for sharing about your beautiful daughter. She sounds like an amazing young child.
I wish you well with your new blog – please do share your new blog with us.
The change I am implementing in my life is to exercise more aggressively as well as to make some advancements in my business.
Miste, welcome to my blog!
Good luck with you new exercise regime and in your business.
Positive change begins with a clarity of what you are going to change. So you are on your way:-).
Great interview and incredible message from you both!!
Time for positive change in the world :-).
Thank you for inviting me into your warm community. I’m humbled that you took the time to share my book and it’s message.
With a grateful heart, I am your friend,
Alex, you are most welcome!
Thank YOU for writing your book – more of us can now bring about positive change in our life and in the world.
Let’s Make It Happen!
Well, I did leave a comment on Wednesday but something has changed since then…I was let go from my job this morning. I’m a Brit living in South Florida and the company was sponsoring me for a green card. So, it’s not just a job I lost, it’s the $$ and the last 6 years of my life, and since you can’t transfer a green card application I’ll be starting the whole process from scratch. It has put me at crossroads for sure. I need to find another job quickly or I will be required to leave the country – but I can’t just apply for any job. It has to be in a specialised field and the company must be willing to sponsor me. Or…is this the time to make that big defining life change?
I’m not married and have no kids so I’m asking myself, why even stay in Florida. I own a house but I can rent or sell it. I could go back to the UK? Or even go further afield and try living in another country altogether. There’s so kind of freedom that comes with losing a job. I do realise I’m lucky to be able to say that because my initial thoughts were the 1000s of people that have families that do not have the options that I have.
So…at 43 this is a perfect time to find my mission, to do something that really makes me happy and glad to get up in the mornings.
The next few weeks will be focused on just that and quite honestly, I’ll have a lot of time to read ‘Saying Yes to Change’! :o)
That’s quite a dramatic change in your life within just a few days. How life brings you dramatic change once you decide to change!
I appreciate this may not have been what you were looking for or anticipating.
However, I love the slant you are taking. If anything, I feel like congratulating you on the loss of your job!
A whole new world and a new life awaits you out there. Go and claim it.
And please do keep us posted as to what you decide to do and how the next phase of your life journey pans out:).
Good luck, Maria!