Is there something about your "personality" that you don't like? Are you stuck in a rut? Do you take the easy way out, slipping back into old patterns? Would you like to WOW everyone you know and take The World by storm? Well, you're in luck, because 2009 is the Year of Reinvention. And do you know why? Because 2009 is not divisible by 3. That makes this year a magical one for everybody. Your dreams are going to come true. Just follow these five easy steps:
1. Forget who you think you are. You aren't lazy, shy, a coward, or any other label that your family stuck on you with super glue. Really, you aren't. You are a spirit designed with infinite possibility. You can do anything. You can be anyone you want at any given moment, as long as you remain true to your core values and beliefs.
I figured this out at my father's funeral, when I stood up in front of everyone to read a note I had written to him. For years I had convinced myself I wasn't a public speaker. That I was shy. That I didn't have the guts or the skill to speak publicly. But I heard my dad's voice in my ear, saying "Get on up there; you can do it," and his hand on the small of my back pushing me forward. It doesn't matter that I had taken a Xanax twenty minutes earlier. I would have done it anyway. All I'm saying is that if you need to take drugs to reinvent yourself, go ahead. Okay, I'm kidding. Really. Don't take drugs. Drugs are bad.
2. Be enthusiastic. Pick one thing to be enthused about, even if it's small. Even if it's your job. Be a dork about it if you must (see #3), but I promise you that your enthusiasm will spread to others, and to other areas of your life. If you've ever seen enthusiasm at play in someone else, you know what I mean.
3. Stop worrying about what other people think. Guess what? They aren't thinking at all. And usually, when people of limited growth gossip, what they're really saying is I have so many personal flaws that I can't do anything but talk about other people.
4. Write your goals on paper. If you want to do one nice thing for someone else each day, write it down. If you want to write a screenplay, pencil it in. If you want to rid the world (or just the cabinet over your left shoulder) of cobwebs, write it down. Can I suggest a Moleskine? You can find these little beauties at Barnes and Noble (and elsewhere) and they are now available in a variety of colors and sizes, making them very convenient to carry. I've been buying them for years, but this time I chose red.
5. Small things can be successes, too. Every time you do something right, or get a little closer to one of your big goals, you gain confidence. Find something you're good at, and become better. Find something you've never tried but would like to, and learn everything you can about it. Invest in yourself.
Remember when you were a child, and you wanted to be a ballerina, or a fire fighter, or an astronaut? Figure out how to finally do it. There are ways. If you can't find a way, make one.