Life isn’t a one-way street. No matter how far you’ve followed one path, you can always choose another. Yes, even when you feel like you messed up beyond saving.
For most men, at least one of the following is true: You’re stuck in a dead-end job, your body looks and feels like a few pounds of butter dropped on the kitchen floor, and your relationship – if existent – is a source of frustration rather than happiness.
It’s what you get from choosing the path of least resistance. I did it too, so I don’t blame you. But it means you’re either light years away from the man you want to be or just decided it’s time for a new chapter because you’ve outgrown the old one.
Imagine for a second what your life could look like if you pulled it off. Work you enjoy. Experiencing true connection and love. Feeling good about your body when you look in the mirror. Finally being the man you want to be.
Pause here for a second and understand this: It is possible.
Rich Roll is a living legend. Not only is he an Ultraman competitor, runs a wildly successful business, and inspires millions of people every day – he did all that after jail and drug rehab at 31.
“I didn't reach my athletic peak until I was 43. I didn't write my first book until I was 44. I didn't start my podcast until I was 45. At 30, I thought my life was over. At 52 I know it's just beginning.”
As someone who’s left his 9-5 behind for running a business and living on a beautiful island, I can tell you that you can’t accomplish big transformations with quick fixes.
But if you’re serious about starting a new chapter and are willing to stay consistent, here’s your guide.
Three Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back From Living Your Dream
In a study of more than half a million students from 72 countries, McKinsey company has found an astonishing insight.
The best predictor of students’ performance wasn’t their socioeconomic background. It was their mindset.
A fixed mindset keeps you in place instead of outgrowing your past self, so leave your limiting beliefs behind.
“It's too late to start now!”
Rich Roll’s example shows that age is just a number, so stop telling yourself excuses. Life experience, wisdom, and skills are worth more than the tumultuous energy of your teenage years. A few years of dedication can turn your life around and give you decades of happiness.
Think about it this way: Even if what you want to accomplish takes five years – when these five years are over, you’ll wish you did it, no matter your age.
“It's too hard and risky!”
Full disclosure: Reinventing yourself will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done because you’ll have to kill your old identity. Your ego will pull every trick in the book to keep you from stepping out of your comfort zone.
You’ll have to bite a few bullets to get what you’ve always wanted.
But you can make it happen.
“My current life isn't so bad after all!”
Mediocrity is a silent killer.
Every time you dread waking up for work, enviously look at another guy’s biceps, or scold yourself for not having the balls to approach the beautiful woman at the bar, a tiny part of you dies. Then, you turn to TikTok, drugs, Netflix, and porn to numb the pain.
Day after day, mediocrity trickles poison into your bloodstream. Ripping out the needle will hurt, but you’ll feel better afterward.
Now that your head is in the right place, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Finding Your Compass
Major changes come from big visions.
Martin Luther King’s dream led to the end of segregation. Elon Musk’s fantasy of humanity as an interplanetary species kickstarted space tourism. Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of a free India brought the country independence.
Truth be told, changing your life is hard. You’ll want to give up. You’ll get lost in distractions. You’ll have a hard time figuring out the next steps. But with a clear vision, you always know what you’re shooting for – and you always know what matters most.
Painting it is simple. Ask yourself what you really want from life. Don’t let society’s molds and limiting beliefs keep you from swinging your brush. If you want a hippie life on the beach, go for it regardless of what cultural pressure says – don’t find ways to please others because you will lose yourself. This is your canvas to paint.
Here are some questions to get your creative juices flowing:
- What would make both my eight and 80-year-old self proud?
- What are my values? What matters to me?
- What do I want my ideal day to look like? (Do this for working and non-working days)
- What kind of people do I want to surround myself with?
- What would I regret not doing when I’m on my deathbed?
- If I could change something about the world, what would it be?
- What do I want to see when I look in the mirror?
- How would I like to be described at my funeral?
Think about these long and hard. Write down the answers. Paint a holistic image of how your years, your months, your weeks, your days, and your life should look like. Collect photos, quotes, and whatever inspires you. Create your vision.
This is your north star, your compass. Whenever you find yourself at a crossroads or risk getting off track, look at it. Remind yourself why this matters so much.
You only have one shot at life, so create the one you want to live.
Flying Is Easy Once You Let Go Of The Ground
The hardest part of change isn’t adopting new behaviors – it’s letting go of old ones.
If you’re used to plopping down on the couch after work, it’s much more likely you’ll skip the gym. The same goes for late-night phone scrolling and snoozing your alarm.
If you want to start a new chapter of your life, take inventory of your current one. Then, ask yourself:
“Does this behavior, person, or environment support who I want to become and the life I want to live?”
When you clean out your closet, you make space for new, better things.
This can be scary because letting go means killing a part of your identity. This isn’t about right or wrong. The friend asking you to go to McDonald’s or watch Netflix isn’t at fault and neither is your comfy couch. But your life is your responsibility, so you have to decide what you expose yourself to – and what’s better left behind.
Don’t be scared of opening a blank page – good things will come to fill it.
If You Pay The Price, Make Sure You Keep The Change
Every January, an almost comical scene unfolds in my gym. Hundreds of people swarm it, working their butts off. Sweating, grunting, panting. Then they vanish like locusts, leaving barren terrain, creaky machines, and dried puddles of sweat.
Motivation tempts you to take on too much at once. One workout every day. Two books per month. Three hours on your side hustle every evening. You burn out and end up in the same place.
Motivation is a fire starter, habits are the coals that keep burning.
Imagine where you could be in twelve months if you stayed consistent.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start small. In habit-building, repetitions matter more than weight.
As James Clear, author of New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits says:
Over time, the many repetitions change your life and identity.
Once you’ve done a hundred workouts, you’re not a lazy couch potato anymore.
Once you’ve made your first hundred dollars, your business doesn’t seem like “this is never going to work” anymore.
Instead, you’ll be successful and good-looking – or whatever it is you’re shooting for.
Look at the vision you created for your life. What do you need to do on a daily and weekly basis to get there? Make it a habit.
Here are a few golden rules to help you.
Write an implementation intention
Research shows that being specific about your new habits makes it more than twice as likely you follow through. Write down what you’re going to do, when, and where. Then keep track of it.
Repetitions count. Like progressing weights, start with a low effort habit and ramp it up every other week. Make it easy for yourself to keep going.
Celebrate the small wins. Did you meditate this morning? Make yourself your favorite tea. Stuck to your workout goals this week? Get a massage. Rewire your brain through positive reinforcement for your new behaviors.
Use your environment
Willpower is a finite resource, so relying on it alone sets you up for failure. Get an accountability partner for your workouts. Install an app-blocker on your phone. Replace the TV remote with a book. The possibilities are endless.
Mix learning with practice
Read, listen, and watch – but build, create, and work as well. Stay consistent in both. As Abu Bakr said: “Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile.”
Last but not least, think like a kid.
Explore. Play around. Try different things. Have fun with it. You’re setting out on a new path. Happiness is in the journey, not the destination.
Change always meets resistance.
When I decided to quit my prestigious master's program to start an online business, I opened the gates of hell.
My mum was freaking out because I was “throwing my life away.” My friends couldn’t understand why I didn’t power through and finish it. The only one to not care was my university, which says a lot about the German education system.
When you try to change, you will face resistance, mostly from people who are afraid of change or so stuck in their views they can’t see yours.
But once you’ve made the decision, you have to keep going.
You only have this one life. You decide what your future looks like. So what are you waiting for?
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” – Chinese proverb