ANY FOOL CAN CHUCK IN their job, sell their house and sail off to the four corners of the earth. However, you’re not really changing your life – you’re just chucking in your job, selling your house and running away to the four corners of the earth. And you’ll still be same old idiot doing it.
A much more profound change is having grapefruit for breakfast. Inviting fruit into your life, especially at breakfast when you’re at your weakest, is a much more difficult challenge particularly if you decide to wave goodbye to your sausage at the same time.
Changing what you wear can also completely change your life. For example, if you’ve spent the last 10 years in thick corduroy trousers and then decide to go out and buy a pair of cargo pants, you’re suddenly going to feel very uncomfortable with folk music and ancient battle re-enactments.
Dramatic haircuts in both men and women are often an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual shift. By applying this psychology in reverse, you can often trigger a shift in outlook by changing your hair style. For example, give yourself a side-parting, and notice how your shoes begin to look shinier and how the urge to pull your socks up acquires a strange intensity.
If you regularly disagree with someone, try agreeing with them for a while. This is extremely unnerving for them, and also gives you the moral high-ground, which is a lovely place with great views.
Changing partners is a good way of changing your life, but should be approached with care. Partners, like pants, should only be changed when not to change them becomes absolutely unthinkable.
Every night half the population looks through the TV listings and decides there’s absolutely nothing on. The other half of the population looks at the same list and thinks it’s TV Heaven. Swap halves and watch all their stuff. Once you get into the stride of changing your life it takes on its own momentum. For example, not only are you on a different train to work, but you’re also facing backwards and reading bits of the paper you’ve never noticed before.
Of course, many of us are creatures of habit; we know exactly what we like and we make sure we stay well inside our comfort zone. Just remember that there’s always somewhere more comfortable than your comfort zone, and eventually that thought will make you so uncomfortable you’ll venture out of your current comfort zone.
Or you may not. You may, in fact, have your life so well-ordered that you don’t want to do or change anything. Technically, however, you’re not actually living – and, if your heart and mind were linked to a monitor, you’d be flat-lining. So unless you quite like the sound of being part of the living-dead, reach for the grapefruit.
© GUY BROWNING IS AUTHOR OF ‘NEVER PUSH WHEN IT SAYS PULL’ AND CREATOR OF ‘TORTOISE IN LOVE’ (DVD) – USED BY PERMISSION.