What If You Could Re-invent Yourself Today?

Published on December 31st, 2010

Change is not easy. Of course we'll never admit that because we generally associate change with small things like change of diet or change or clothing. But what about the really big changes that literally transform our lives? What about a change of career? A change in what state you live in? A change in your friends you've had for 20 years? A change in your attitude towards those countries/people/companies you do not like? Do you have the courage to change something that will require you to completely alter your life from this point forward?

For most people (including myself), the answer is usually no. The status quo is familiar, comfortable, and often sucks. But it's the kinda suck that we can depend on and it doesn't challenge us and push us into situations where we simply not know what lies ahead of us. Particularly in these 'difficult economic times'(TM), even a job where you are treated like dirt is seen as better than not having a job at all. For many, it's a better situation than not knowing where the next dollar is going to come in.

But one of the major blessings of this economic disaster is that there comes a point when the status quo is so bad that it becomes easier to try and swim than it does to hold onto a sinking ship. It's no longer a rut if the walls around you collapse.

Change is not easy. I'm an engineer by training and have a PhD at a well known institute. So when people discover I 'just design websites,' I'm typically asked a laundry list of pre-selected questions why I'm not using it. And I'm not knocking these people. They are usually very well-meaning. From an outsider, it is insane to turn away easy street. All you got to do is just follow the trail blazed before you and collect your pension check in 40 years.

I'll paraphrasing a favorite quote of mine. 'You keep going and one day you wake up and you're 40.' Again, there is nothing wrong with that type of life path. I knew many people growing up that retired happily after working with a company for 30+ straight years. My hat goes off to them because ultimately they were genuinely happy or at least content with that.

But we're living in a different time and a different paradigm. Things are a-changing and the old way simply will not work for another 30 years. We can debate the time frames and the degrees of change, but the end result is a given. Change is upon us.

The question is, can you change with it?

My answer is a work in progress. And my new website is a step towards that change for me. I've already changed my major, changed my career path, changed my name, got married to my best friend, and I'm just getting started. Yet there are things I'll readily admit that I have a lot of resistance towards doing because of fear. Fear of looking like a fool. Fear of not being perfect. Fear of a million illusions all made up by the thoughts that babble on inside our heads.

But I will say one thing. I'm happy. And I'm looking forward to reinventing myself today and in the future.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CXO of Atomic Form. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.