Anyone who has enjoyed travelling overseas will know that, in order to board a flight, a passport is required. It is simply a legal requirement of travelling – no passport, no flight, but the holiday brochure sure looked nice. Without a passport, you will make it to the airport terminal, having potentially missed out on the adventure of a lifetime.
As we travel through life, we need a different type of passport. That is persistence, and is a “passport” that needs to be both cultivated and renewed. In much the same way as a passport is a document identifying who we are and where we have been (in a superficial way, at least), persistence shows we are ready to go on the journey.
Embarking on the journey of personal change without bringing persistence is akin to investing in the trip of a lifetime, packing your bags, getting your foreign currency ready, showing up at the airport and then realising you do not have a passport. You are not quite ready for the journey.
The most meaningful changes in life occur when we consciously discern where we want to be and who we truly are. Not doing would be like showing up at the airport and asking to for a flight to “anywhere but here.” Alternatively, you may show up for someone else’s dream trip without determining what makes YOUR heart sing.
Define YOUR ideal right now. It might change as you gain new insights and perspectives. It probably has changed as you got older. So, people might desire a fancy car or a big house, because they think it will “make” them acceptable to others or “make” them happy. Maybe it helps, but maybe they were looking at the wrong brochure. Maybe a “loving family and kids” was the journey they really wanted. Maybe it is something entirely different.
Many people approach personal change somewhat superficially – they just want to feel better, be free of the presenting problem (e.g, stress, depression, a phobia) and this is, of course, easily achieved. We can create emotions in an instant and thoughts, much like planes, show up regularly. We can feel invigorated very quickly and this fools some people into thinking they have completed the journey. Emotions are just part of the journey,
In reality, the journey is ongoing and ongoing fulfilment is the common denominator.
There is a deeper level to this and, with processes like PSTEC, you can go on a life-changing journey and it can last a lifetime. Changing your mind model, tipping the scales, stripping off the pretences is an amazing journey. It highlights who you really are.
The question is: how far do you wish to go? Are you willing to persist?
You can look at the brochure (the YOU that you may have glimpsed), see lots of nice products and lots of glowing reviews (personal development, in general), and you can show up at the metaphorical airport (make the purchase, buy the book). But then, you might find out that the journey will have a few detours. You might visit a few undesirable places along the way, encounter some experiences you wish you had not encountered, meet some people on a different journey.
When you persist and, when you bring the best version of YOU to life, challenges literally disappear. What used to be a problem is just a random event – part of life’s unfolding narrative.
Are you ready to persist, or will you let beliefs like “this won’t work for me” persist?
Everyone has a choice. You can decide that the journey is not worth taking, or you can decide that it is not worth taking at this time. It is all a choice. It is your journey, though, and you have to bring your own intention.
I am sure you have seen this common scenario. Some people will actually go on a holiday for which they have been saving and then, instead of allowing themselves to explore their new surroundings, culture and creating magical memories, spend most of their holiday in the hotel bar or by the pool. They stay with the familiar, and reside in their comfort zone. They will still have perceived it to have been an enjoyable trip for them, but they missed out on the life-changing journey.
While change can happen very quickly and is a natural by-product of life, the most meaningful changes, the sort that shift your whole world view, and take you to the core of you are and what you desire…often require FOCUSED persistence. You have a clear intention of where you want to go, are prepared for some detours (e.g discomfort), and you keep going until you create it. Persistence starts with a decision and keeps us going when life seems hard or, to extend the travel metaphor, when we encounter turbulence.
Persistence can be cultivated and feeds on itself; it helps us overcome the challenges that life throws at us. Sometimes the process of change can seem daunting; some changes can happen remarkably quickly, but desiring a life with a sense of ongoing fulfilment (read: what pretty much everyone REALLY wants) will require that “passport.” It will take you further than you can possibly imagine.
By Paul McCabe – PSTEC Advanced Practitioner