What if we told you things could be a lot easier?

That when going through change, the path to happiness, positivity and success really doesn’t have to be as hard as what we make it?

Today’s book in the challenge, The First 30 Days, by Ariane De Bonvoisin, teaches us how to better navigate (and embrace) change so we can really get the most out of each opportunity, and life.

“What if I told you…

  • that the change you are currently going through could be a little easier, smoother, and less stressful?
  • that people who are good at navigating changes have certain things in common?
  • that there are proven ways to help anyone through change?
  • that the change you have always wanted to make not only is possible, but can be made with optimism and calmness?
  • that change can actually help you love your life more? Would you keep reading?

This book is designed to help you through any life change; no change is too big or too small. This book will radically alter the way you navigate change. And don’t worry: despite the title, the book won’t take thirty days! You can read it in just a few hours.” – Ariane de Bonvoisin, The First 30 Days

And some words from Brian on the book:

“One of the ways I know I’ve read a great book is when I finish it and say, ‘That author is a cool person!’ I feel like this when I read a book by a Paulo Coelho, Wayne Dyer or Gay Hendricks and I definitely feel it when I read this one!

Ariane is the Founder and CEO of First30days.com, a great website all about empowering people to more effectively manage change, and her book is packed with big ideas – everything from learning how to be a ‘change optimist’ to developing your ‘change muscle’ and remembering the “change guarantee.'”

Have you just started the challenge? Click here to go back to day 1 to learn what it’s all about, or get your copy of Brian’s entire collection of Philosophers Notes (his insights from nearly 200 books) here

FinerMinds Team

FinerMinds Team

In our quest to boost your personal growth, we hope to inspire and support you through our content! You can also check us out on Facebook.

81 Comments

  • Avatar TedHowardKK says:

    Hi Team

    The "Nine Principles for Change" seem fairly self explanatory, except for the use in point 8 of "the right beliefs and skills". I may be getting a bit picky, and I would replace "the right" with "effective".

    The "Change Optimists" section seems to simply be optimism in the context of change. Personally I like to combine optimism with "be prepared". I'm happy to try most things, and I like to have a plan "B" at least, and often plans "C" & "D". My 4WD carries a full set of chains, tools, jumper leads, inverter, water, fishing rod (and usually golf clubs) – you never know! If I'm going seriously off road I'll add in winch, high lift jack, crow bar, spade and rock hammer (and maybe leave the golf clubs at home, reluctantly ;).
    I'm optimistic that I can do most things, and I am that way in part because I am prepared for most eventualities.

    The "Opportunities for Tremendous Transformation" is certainly a reality in my life. Doing the Landmark Forum 15 years ago was certainly one such. Not fun to see one's darkest side, and an opportunity – in seeing it to choose when to let it out, rather than have it come out unannounced (so to speak).

    The "Struggles –> Best Outcomes" is a version of optimism. The idea that choice gives us infinite possible outcomes; and even if we are unable to affect anything in reality, we can still create a context of interpretation that is empowering, and encourages our holographic processors to deliver us some exceptionally creative intuition or thought.

    I do not believe that life has any intention for me. Life simply is. In and of itself it seems devoid of intention (all mythology to the contrary aside). I do believe that we can find something positive in everything that doesn't actually kill us (being dead we obviously can't do anything).

    The change muscle is an effective idea. Optimism needs exercise.
    We are beings of habit on many levels.

    The inventory of effective strategies is an interesting idea.

    Where am I now, where do I want to be? What am I feeling now? What do I want to feel?
    Nothing like getting specific and measurable.

    Incorporating fear. This works for me. I feel fear many times each day, sometimes it slows me, sometimes it stops me for a while, and when I get present to all that is, it no longer stops me in and of itself.
    The virtuos mean idea is a great one.

    "It’s Time to End the Blame Game" – this is the biggy!
    If nothing else in this note had any value – this one says it all.
    Blame locks us into the past, and removes our power. What can I do now ?!

    I love "baby steps". I really got the power of this on a cycle ride a few years ago, when after 3 hours riding, everything hurt, and I was starting to climb a hill, and was still an hour from home. When I thought of that hour I just wanted to quit – then I said no – and looked down, and saw a small stone on the road just 4 inches in front of the type, and thought, "I can reach that", did so, then selected another, did that – after a while I was at the top of that hill, and the trip home didn't seem so bad any more, it was mostly downhill.

    Sometimes looking too far ahead can be overwhelming, when I fell overwhelm approaching, I now bring my attention closer in – and select something I know I can do, that is on the bigger path, and just do that.

    Hence I am here doing this, while the thought of bringing http://www.solnx.org into being is currently overwhelming me.

    Thanks Brian Vishen & team – started a bit slow on this one and warmed up nicely in the end.

    • Avatar MarkHoover says:

      G'day, Ted. Your 4WD sounds a lot like my car's trunk used to be…prepared for anything. Even a day at the beach and camp-out. Golf clubs were, at times, optional. Had to have a tee time anyway. I liked the blame game notice too, but my energy surged when I read that "Life has your best intentions at heart". It's much better than "The world owes me". I succumbed to that sentiment several times, knowin g I had had bad times and thought it was MY TURN. So much for not planning ahead and using up entitlements. Now I say "Now I know" and ask after that, "What can I do now?" Three present tenses in a row…I like that. =)

      • Avatar TedHowardKK says:

        Hi Mark
        We only worry about tee times at city course. Most country courses you just role up and play – usually at most 10 minutes delay for someone else ahead of you. Mostly we just wander off and start somewhere else on the course, where no-one is. With 400 golf courses for 4 million people it's great.

        I tend to treat the world and most things in it, as neutral these days. Neither for nor against, and if used respectfully available for my use.

        Yeah, living in the present, with suitable time allocated for planning, works for me.
        Not too worried about anything, and making the effort to plan for what I can when it feels appropriate.
        And cultivating the optimism, that if I plan sufficiently well, things will work out.

      • Avatar TedHowardKK says:

        Hi Mark
        We only worry about tee times at city course. Most country courses you just role up and play – usually at most 10 minutes delay for someone else ahead of you. Mostly we just wander off and start somewhere else on the course, where no-one is. With 400 golf courses for 4 million people it's great.

        I tend to treat the world and most things in it, as neutral these days. Neither for nor against, and if used respectfully available for my use.

        Yeah, living in the present, with suitable time allocated for planning, works for me.
        Not too worried about anything, and making the effort to plan for what I can when it feels appropriate.
        And cultivating the optimism, that if I plan sufficiently well, things will work out.

    • Avatar Bernard T says:

      Hi Ted
      4 bying (yes it is an acceptable word here in Canada) awaken a few good and not so good memories and one lesson learned (or actually more than one) was to be prepared for anything when out in rough country. What I learned was that when something happen and I say to myself "I should have…" the I should before I go and all I needed was there in the truck, for me the fishing gears is way more important than golf gears, but that's me. Thank you for sharing that. Let's do the "i should off" before instead of after the fact.

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      love it, ted! and really enjoyed the biking baby step story!!!

    • Avatar puresue says:

      love that…."I can reach that" so simple and you proved its worth..

  • Avatar MaxineH says:

    Well, I am feeling a bit shaken this morning. More later.

    I liked this book, and have watched a few of her videos this morning too, and signed up for another newsletter :-)

    "We can change our view of change by viewing the uncomfortable moments as an opportunity for tremendous transformations".

    Well my husbands tragic death was the most uncomfortable moment i have ever experienced, and while I am still so saddened/upset/angry by events, it was the beginning of my transformation. I have gone from a victim, depressed, weak, incapable of much, to a proactive, happy, strong, growing woman. I feel like a caterpillar, turning into a beautiful butterfly.

    "Identify the changes you are struggling with now, and imagine the good that could come from them. See yourself in a year or so, and picture the best outcome that could come from what is happening today."

    I was lucky enough to find love and support from an old friend over the last 2 years, and his support got me through the worst of it. But that relationship has since deteriorated, and I feel such loss, at losing him. As I have grown in wisdom, strength, I have realised that while he was what I needed at the time, he isn't the man I need him to be, for a long term future. The lesson I learnt with my husband was that you can't make someone else change, you have to accept someone as they are.

    However, I can see that moving forward, with all the growing I am doing, I will be the best me, and when it's right, I will find someone who is more able to meet all my needs.

    "I can be changed by what happened to me. I refuse to be reduced by it". AMEN!!

    When my husband died, his family blamed me. His sister, as executrix of his will, took many actions that caused me and my children further distress (on top of his death). I tried to understand that she was grieving, and she needed to lash out at someone, but the reality of it was she hurt us, me big time, emotionally and financially. The finances were sorted out last year, and I bought a house, and things settled down. I've settled down.

    Then 2 days ago I received a letter from my solicitor that brought all the anguish back. All those feelings of despair/anger/hurt/blame came flooding back. Then I read Brians words in the note "It's not about getting rid of fear. It's about knowing we've been through it before and trusting we'll rock it". I made the phone calls, sent the emails, and text I needed to do. I still feel shaken, but I DID IT ANYWAY.

    I need to go and lie down now, and do some meditating. :-)
    Have a great day everyone

    • Avatar MarkHoover says:

      Great revelations, Maxine. Thanks for sharing that. My world got rocked unceremoniously five years ago, and I just got on the comeback trail in the last year and a half. So you're doing great by comparison. Best to you in your new life!

      Before my chain of losses, I was in a ten-year relationship in which I tried many times to be what was expected of me. What a loss! I could have fared MUCH better being myself and flourished as an artist. That is the end of coulda shoulda. Relationships, whatever form they may take, are now second to anything else that I want in my life. If any is a partnership in growth, I welcome it. I learned, and I hope the same for you.

      • Avatar MaxineH says:

        Hi Mark. at least we're both on the comeback trail now :-)

        I think I have a different take on the relationships going forward. Relationships are everything for me, whether with myself, my kids, my friends, and family, and hopefully one day a partner.

        Don't know if you've read Leo Buscagalia's"Love" (I read it recently), he quotes "As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, As soon as I, in a love relationship, do not lead the other person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experience, is not true love" . Maybe that's what happened in your last relationship? That was certainly one of the quotes that made me realise that I wasn't in the right relationship.

        I wish you well in your journey too! :-)

        • Avatar StephanieE says:

          Hi Maxine…that is one of my favorite relationship quotes…and, you deserve to have that! Thank you for sharing in this forum…as others have said, you are an inspiration. I am so grateful to know you through this challenge.

      • Avatar Maxine says:

        Hi Mark. at least we're both on the comeback trail now :-)

        I think I have a different take on the relationships going forward. Relationships are everything for me, whether with myself, my kids, my friends, and family, and hopefully one day a partner.

        Don't know if you've read Leo Buscagalia's”Love” (I read it recently), he quotes “As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, As soon as I, in a love relationship, do not lead the other person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experience, is not true love” . Maybe that's what happened in your last relationship? That was certainly one of the quotes that made me realise that I wasn't in the right relationship.

        I wish you well in your journey too! :-)

    • Avatar AF Grant says:

      I've never met your husband, but I'm willing to bet everything I have that he is SOOOO proud of you.
      As we all are.

      • Avatar MaxineH says:

        Thank you so much for your kind words, but I have to admit, it has me in tears !

        Unfortunately, I am not able to believe that my husband would be proud of me. I wish I could.

        I think I still have lots more healing to do :-)

        • Avatar AF Grant says:

          Nothing wrong with tears.
          I'm going to nudge you a bit on this.

          You are solely responsible for deciding what you belive. If you wish you could believe something, do it.

          Don't remain stuck in old judgements or assumptions (yours or anyone's). I believe those all fall away when people pass on, which is why I'm so sure that right now, your husband is proud.
          I'll leave you alone now ; )

          • Avatar MaxineH says:

            Thank you for the nudge :-)

            I'm reading Byron Katies "Loving what is" at the moment, (as well as Strengthh for life) so when I've finished reading the book, and got a better understanding of the process, I'm going to start doing "The Work" on me, I'll take the statement "I don't believe my husband would be proud of me" to inquiry, and see what happens.

            Thanks again
            (Tears have stopped, and I'm fine now, but my reaction sure did take me by surprise) :-)
            Maxine

          • Avatar Maxine says:

            Thank you for the nudge :-)

            I'm reading Byron Katies “Loving what is” at the moment, (as well as Strengthh for life) so when I've finished reading the book, and got a better understanding of the process, I'm going to start doing “The Work” on me, I'll take the statement “I don't believe my husband would be proud of me” to inquiry, and see what happens.

            Thanks again
            (Tears have stopped, and I'm fine now, but my reaction sure did take me by surprise) :-)
            Maxine

      • Avatar Maxine says:

        Thank you so much for your kind words, but I have to admit, it has me in tears !

        Unfortunately, I am not able to believe that my husband would be proud of me. I wish I could.

        I think I still have lots more healing to do :-)

    • Avatar LissyLou0507 says:

      Hi Maxine. Hope you are feeling a much better after meditating! Your story helps so many others.

      I actually have a cousin, that was the primary care giver of my mother, and for some reason my mother was issued the wrong diabetes medicine and was suppose to be thrown away. But, it wasn't and one night after i took my mother to U of M for a MRI, because her brain tumor was coming back and they needed to check up on it and I dropped her off at my brothers for the night, that she went into diabetic coma for which she stayed in for about a month, before she passed away. Although, I do not place any blame on my cousin, she has had a horrible time dealing with it. She is throwing her life away, addicted to pain killers and now in jail for breaking into her friends house on top of other things all the while she is two little children sitting at home. For a while there, I would blame myself for not being there more, not checking her meds, not being there when she passed and so on and so forth. I realize now though, I placed all that blame on to me… i couldn't even think about anything else…

      Why?? My mother would never want that for me and even though you might not of had the best relationship with your husband that doesn't mean he is in the same state of mind from before. He sees everything as it is, and irregardless wants you and his family to be happy and emanate only love and joy for that is all that he knows now. We can sit here and hold onto the attachment of our loss or we can use that energy as fuel to add to our fire to show ourselves and the ones closest to us that life is worth living and that through any tragedy there is a light and we will keep this flame burning so much brighter then another because of the experiences that we have chosen.

      I hope sharing my experience will help in anyway. We all chose the way to deal with our experiences and believe me you are doing very well but, we all need that little nudge at times that tells us "hey, your doing great and you are on your way to great enlightenment each and everyday. Just remember to take it easy, all things will come in time"

      = ) I hope you have a beautiful day.

      • Avatar MaxineH says:

        Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for your comforting words. Even though it's raining, and my head is pounding, it is a beautiful day :-)

        Thanks again
        Maxine

      • Avatar Maxine says:

        Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for your comforting words. Even though it's raining, and my head is pounding, it is a beautiful day :-)

        Thanks again
        Maxine

    • Avatar Bernard T says:

      Hi Maxine
      You courage and strength are a motivator for us that are blessed not to experience crisis like you have. Sometimes I find the post from participants are more valuable than the notes. Not taking anything away from the notes, and without the sharing it wouldn't be the same effect. Thank dear for your sharing, it is very valuable.

      • Avatar MaxineH says:

        Thank you Bernard, I appreciate your comments.

        I get a lot from others comments too, just as a picture can paint a thousand words, a personal story can illustrate theory so much better.

        Thanks again

        Maxine :-)

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      WOW!!!

      Gave me tears in my eyes, maxine. thx for sharing and so proud you "DID IT ANYWAY." amazing. more tears in my eyes as I feel into your power and send you lots of love!!!! :)

      -bri

  • Avatar Maxine says:

    Well, I am feeling a bit shaken this morning. More later.

    I liked this book, and have watched a few of her videos this morning too, and signed up for another newsletter :-)

    “We can change our view of change by viewing the uncomfortable moments as an opportunity for tremendous transformations”.

    Well my husbands tragic death was the most uncomfortable moment i have ever experienced, and while I am still so saddened/upset/angry by events, it was the beginning of my transformation. I have gone from a victim, depressed, weak, incapable of much, to a proactive, happy, strong, growing woman. I feel like a caterpillar, turning into a beautiful butterfly.

    “Identify the changes you are struggling with now, and imagine the good that could come from them. See yourself in a year or so, and picture the best outcome that could come from what is happening today.”

    I was lucky enough to find love and support from an old friend over the last 2 years, and his support got me through the worst of it. But that relationship has since deteriorated, and I feel such loss, at losing him. As I have grown in wisdom, strength, I have realised that while he was what I needed at the time, he isn't the man I need him to be, for a long term future. The lesson I learnt with my husband was that you can't make someone else change, you have to accept someone as they are.

    However, I can see that moving forward, with all the growing I am doing, I will be the best me, and when it's right, I will find someone who is more able to meet all my needs.

    “I can be changed by what happened to me. I refuse to be reduced by it”. AMEN!!

    When my husband died, his family blamed me. His sister, as executrix of his will, took many actions that caused me and my children further distress (on top of his death). I tried to understand that she was grieving, and she needed to lash out at someone, but the reality of it was she hurt us, me big time, emotionally and financially. The finances were sorted out last year, and I bought a house, and things settled down. I've settled down.

    Then 2 days ago I received a letter from my solicitor that brought all the anguish back. All those feelings of despair/anger/hurt/blame came flooding back. Then I read Brians words in the note “It's not about getting rid of fear. It's about knowing we've been through it before and trusting we'll rock it”. I made the phone calls, sent the emails, and text I needed to do. I still feel shaken, but I DID IT ANYWAY.

    I need to go and lie down now, and do some meditating. :-)
    Have a great day everyone

    • Avatar Bernard T says:

      Hi Maxine
      You courage and strength are a motivator for us that are blessed not to experience crisis like you have. Sometimes I find the post from participants are more valuable than the notes. Not taking anything away from the notes, and without the sharing it wouldn't be the same effect. Thank dear for your sharing, it is very valuable.

      • Avatar Maxine says:

        Thank you Bernard, I appreciate your comments.

        I get a lot from others comments too, just as a picture can paint a thousand words, a personal story can illustrate theory so much better.

        Thanks again

        Maxine :-)

  • Avatar puresue says:

    this note was EXACTLY what my daughter and i needed to hear…
    once again my thanks overflow…
    no time to say more than that for now…
    later guys…
    :)

    • Avatar MarkHoover says:

      Well, that was short and sweet Sue! Good morning to you and your daughter. Is she getting your overflow or are y'all sharing equally?

      • Avatar puresue says:

        funny when i think about that i must say i have been sharing this life with them since they were in my belly

        they both have gotten sooo much from my path over the years yet as young minds 21 and 23..they tend to incorporate what they have read, heard and now more than ever witness in me(the best of all) in their own way…

        i can't help but offer… but leave it at that, as they must find their own way, as we all must
        (no harm in the offering though)

        i send the notes i think valuable at the time, like this one, and let go…

        they are both amazing beings and very deep and conscious of the world and life itself…

        i feel blessed… as it comes out of them at the most unusual moments and ways….

    • Avatar Bernard T says:

      Plowing through these exercises with your children is a real blessing. Somehow I envy you. Not that my kids wouldn't participate just that we are far apart and they have their life and challenges to work though. Although we are very close family sometime the distances seems to make it further apart. Again that just a momentary perception.

    • Avatar SomaSoma says:

      That's awesome that you're sharing it with her, Puresue.

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      right on, puresue! :)

  • Avatar Eric_Allen says:

    Love this note, and your comments above. May you continue to be blessed in the most unexpected ways.

  • Avatar MarkHoover says:

    Day 34 The First 30 Days 25 February 2010

    “Life has your best intentions at heart.” If it doesn’t, I have a helluva battle on my hands. Going through changes. De Bonvosin articulates nine characteristics that identify people who successfully navigate change, the last of which is taking action. “Action cures fear.” Too many times procrastination, fear or sheer laziness has paralyzed me. A thirty-day indoctrination would have done me well. I’m out of the blame game now, forgiving myself and moving forward in the recommended baby steps. I was never fearful of change, per se, but from the unknown that change brought. Once comfy and cozy in my indolence, I tapped all my resources with never a thought of how I would take care of myself in the future. Ariane clearly addresses that by stating that people who take the risks and make changes quickly face fear like anyone, but they expect it. I know I expected fear, but with a back door (safety net). I didn’t commit 100%. Now that I have many changes behind me and can see the good they have done, I can accept the reality of further changes and turn them into a positive transformation for a clear goal.

    • Avatar Misterzee says:

      Hi Mark-
      There's a wise quote about comfort that I'd like to share with you. I'm not certain what the source is, but the sentiment rings so true and has helped me overcome being "comfy and cozy in my indolence," as you put it.

      "…the lust for comfort– that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest and then becomes a host and then, a master…"

    • Avatar SomaSoma says:

      I've been thinking so much about this concept of "action cures fear" recently. It's so simple! And so true. I've been trying in the last couple of days to cut the time between fear and action. That way I can suffer less and do more. Why do we stay in fear for so long? Why can't we just STRIKE!

    • Avatar StephanieE says:

      " I was never fearful of change, per se, but from the unknown that change brought. " it was just this idea that held me back for years. Now I embrace change ;-)

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      love it. keep on rockin', mark!!!

    • Avatar Shivana says:

      Mark
      Thank you again for sharing your insightful words. Yes, If we really knew then what we know now…. hmmm

  • Avatar AF Grant says:

    I love notes like this that blow away my low expectations. I find the title of this book does it a great disservice. I assume (yes, I know I shouldn’t – D’oh! I also know I shouldn’t should) everyone has heard that it takes 30 days to engrain a new habit, so I think many might skip right past this book thinking that is all it is about. Big mistake, or mis-take. : )

    I really dig the 9 Principles and don’t dispute a single one, just wish I’d been introduced to them at a younger age instead of discovering them all the hard way. I spent most of my life resistant and fearful of all change. Slowly, I’ve come to embrace it for the fun adventure it is. I do believe I’ve become a change optimist. People I work with have even commented on my optimistic attitude (especially since the PN Challenge started).

    Love the change guarantee and asking if a change is a slap in the face or a pat on the back. Cool stuff. I think if you keep ignoring the pats on the back it can build up to a slap in the face. Great note.

  • Avatar Bernard T says:

    Eight year ago we were travelling westward, looking for a place that offers similar jobs and the right place to settle down and eventually retire to. Seven years ago I was offered a job on the west coast on Vancouver Island, the perfect place the perfect job. Although I enjoy the comfort, I always stretch for changes, my adventurer personality allow for me to seek new ventures, new places to explore new and better things. And somewhat a the same time a part of me refuse the changes, stay put it says, that little voice hardly wins, the other one is much stronger. Our former life was quite good, beside the mortgage for the house we had no debt. Then we moved and that started a whole new life style. First of all, after many promises my wife could not find a job equal to what she was doing before. Thus our revenue was pretty well cut in half, and that would be ok if our expenses stay the same but they soared. After 3 years it as obvious that she would not find a similar situation so she decided to start her own business, organic soap making, the old fashion way. A year of research and trying she found the secret of making 50 and 60% pure shea butter soap. There is nobody anywhere that can do that. She also formulated different skin care products and cream with shea butter. It was a still is an uphill venture but worth every penny invested. It seems that not until we were able to accept the changes that was thrown at us, and work with it, that we were able to work ahead. The future is very promising. More changes are taking place in our life and yes something we grow a bit tired, all together we are open to new things and for me it’s quite exiting what is coming next. “The Change Guarantee: Every change we experience always brings something positive into our lives. It may not be obvious immediately, but it ALWAYS does”.
    Yes indeed I never looked at it this way but reading this just brings a whole new way of looking at the process of change.
    And the little demons, here they are doubt and impatience these are my companions and I should say that since I started practicing daily meditation they are not as strong as they used too. Oh they are here alright, it’s more like the notes put it, part of the guidance system, yes I like that paying attention that’s what it’s all about, accepting everything as part of the process. I remember when we were travelling through France we acquired a GPS for practicality. Every so often we decided to change our course to go visit something or a place that we were driving by. At that point the GPS would start talking and say “please find a place to turn around you are going the wrong way” And it would do that continuously. The funny part is that my wife starts arguing with it. Just like our demons hey they are there to as indicators, and we decide the course to take. Admirable, I love it. This revelation is going to make things a lot easier from now on. And just like the GPS if the voice become disturbing just hit the off button for a while. Or reprogram the GPS for alternative routes.
    The other good point and I know we came across that one before, is to accept the presence of fear. I have noticed that when practicing extreme sports like rock climbing for example or white water rafting is another one. Fear is present, as an indicator, a safety valve I think. Making sure all is secure and well usually tones down the fear. When teaching rock climbing I had student letting go of their breakfast just before the climb. When this occurs I tell them that it is a normal reaction not to worry I knew that this person will make it. I was more concern with the dare devil, no apparent fear they are usually the one we had to rescue half way up the climb. In places, fear is a good thing to have. Whenever I find myself I situation like that I always have a certain apprehension, or fear, of what could go wrong, and it always served me well. Thanks to this exercise, I am now comfortable with fears around.
    One of my climbing friends was just like that fearless always stretching the limits. One time due to his carelessness he fell 120 ft down the raging Sunwapta falls in Jasper Park. A whale of a ride. Came out of it shaken up unhurt .Made four different news paper and all kinds of articles. Guess what? After that he now face fears and find him limited to city life. Has done any climb or even hikes ever since. Maybe I send him the notes….

    • Avatar SomaSoma says:

      Great stories, as always, Bernard.

    • Avatar StephanieE says:

      Bernard, as always, so grateful that you share your stories…thank you…I especially like how you described being in France with your wife and the GPS…"Just like our demons hey they are there to as indicators, and we decide the course to take. Admirable, I love it. This revelation is going to make things a lot easier from now on. And just like the GPS if the voice become disturbing just hit the off button for a while. Or reprogram the GPS for alternative routes."…*love this*…

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      echoing the others: great stories, bernard! :)

  • Avatar LissyLou0507 says:

    This is my favorite note that Brian captured.

    “By blaming yourself, you become stuck in old patterns, old emotions, and old ways of looking at life. Blame distracts you from looking at the facts, free from emotion. And so it keeps you from doing what needs to be done—making changes in how you look after your health, learning to handle your finances, packing up and moving, or forgiving someone. Stop telling yourself, I should have done this or I should have said that. What’s the point? Blame has never helped anyone achieve anything."

    We need to stop blaming ourselves first and foremost and then we can stop blaming others, if we can do this and project it outwards others will see. When others see, we will attract it to them and that is how the world will evolve. So, I will implement these great ideas into my everyday life and stop looking at others and judging their way of thinking. I will only speak enlightening thoughts so that all they can soak up from me is love.

  • Avatar Rolana says:

    We are always making changes in an effort to improve our situation.

    Changes are made with either optimism or expectation. If we voluntarily change our situation we expect to improve it. If the change is involuntary—job loss, for example; we should be optimistic that this is for the best. We now have an opportunity to maximize the positive outcome. We are optimistic. The Fear Factor has been removed as a deterrant and we begin to use every possible tool to survive.

    Most of us go through life with vague plans and goals. This means that we move in a general direction of progress but we hardly ever have a "Plan B" in mind for when our progress stalls. As a result, we flounder at first before we can begin to salvage our resources and plan our comeback.

    Nobody always wins but forethought will allow us to lose less.

    Thanks Brian and Vishen for this Note making us aware of change and how to take control.

  • Avatar Misterzee says:

    I love the "change muscle" idea because it conjures up an image of me working out on this non-physical but very real part of me. The idea that, with practice I can deal with change and grow forward is so cool. When I do my resistance training at the gym, I'm sure to do it every other day because my body needs to recuperate after tearing down the muscles ever so slightly. I can see developing the change muscle the same way. Namely, to stretch….stretch…and then consolidate and rest. Then repeat. This idea of "stretch and consolidate" is beautifully discussed by Robert Fritz in his book, "The Path of Least Resistance." I recommend it.

    • Avatar SomaSoma says:

      Misterzee,

      That's actually brilliant. I had this tremendous change after being exposed to Philosopher' Notes, and now feel like I need to integrate it all. And, I've kind of been feeling like the changing has stopped and that that's bad. But you're right – it's just the change muscle rebuilding itself.

    • Avatar StephanieE says:

      Hi Misterzee…maybe I have been consolidating? This past several days of this PNotes journey I have been listening or reading the daily note and making it through all the wonderful comments, but many days I haven't posted or commented…it has been like a dry spell. Part of it was life getting too busy, but I am also wondering whether I am pulling back and integrating…thanks for the book suggestion!

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      love it, misterzee! we've got a Note on the fritz book you might dig, too!!!

  • Avatar Tom Carroll says:

    LEARNINGS
    I’m in full agreement with Ariane De Bonvoison about the helpfulness of modeling and mining our change successes from the past. We’ve got a whole change toolkit waiting to be applied AND each application brings about new learning that we can use to further refine our tools for more elegant change in the future.

    One way to get “outside” ourselves a bit and introduce fresh ideas is to model how others change, which is what Ariane has done though her website, book, podcasts, etc. She’s come up with nine change principles. Frankly, while I believe these principles do contain the big secrets of change, they seemed to me to be too numerous and a bit redundant. However, hats off to Ariane for enumerating and clarifying them.

    Using Ariane’s principles as a core, I’ve combined them and added some of the breadcrumbs that Brian has lovingly tossed us along our paths of transformation. Can you hear Brian’s Vapassana teacher’s voice in here? Brian’s voice? Your voice? What do you think? What would you add, subtract, etc.?

    Successful changers …

    are optimistic and positive in thought and expression;

    have a meaningful vision and plans for its achievement;

    appreciate the journey as they diligently practice and playfully act on their plans;

    acknowledge and accept that setbacks are part of the game and patiently find their way forward and upward through persistent, consistent practice;

    surround themselves with supportive people and environments.

    EXPERIMENT
    Part I of my experiment for the day was to share this interpretation of the change principles with you. It’s got me really thinking about the deep structure of change and how I’m changing as a result of this 50 Day Challenge.

    Have any of you read the book called “Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward” by Prochaska, Norcross, and Diclemente? This book seems delightfully complementary to “The First 30 Days.” Part II of today’s experiment is to create map of that book (yet again) and see how the principles we’re learning apply.

    The premise of Changing for Good is that change has a structure; in fact, there are six distinct stages of change and 9 primary change strategies (with many techniques) for getting from one change stage to the next. The authors (psychologists) found that relapses and setbacks are the norm for most successful changers, and that change looks more like an upward spiral (like Spiral Dynamics) than a simple linear progression. The researchers also discovered that successful changers know which change stage they are in, and they picked supportive stage-appropriate change strategies and techniques to weather setbacks and move to the next stage. Whereas, unsuccessful changers rushed or skipped stages, chose stage inappropriate strategies, and eventually quit.

    Best to you all, fellow travelers! ~ Tom

    • Avatar StephanieE says:

      Hi Tom….interesting food for thought….in my life I feel that I have successfully changed many things, and unsuccessfully others…but, could that mean that on those other things I am just regrouping during a set-back? I am not sure, but you've got me thinking I need to take a better look, and maybe another listen to this note!

      • Avatar Tom Carroll says:

        Hi Stephanie, there's an interesting the authors of CFG make: “A lapse is not a relapse,” which means that even though you may have pushed the pause button for some time, you're at least starting at the second or third stage of change. You've not gone back to ground zero and you've learned something valuable that will make your journey faster and smoother the next time. Best wishes to you, Stephanie!

        Tom

      • Avatar Tom Carroll says:

        Hi Stephanie, there's an interesting the authors of CFG make: "A lapse is not a relapse," which means that even though you may have pushed the pause button for some time, you're at least starting at the second or third stage of change. You've not gone back to ground zero and you've learned something valuable that will make your journey faster and smoother the next time. Best wishes to you, Stephanie!

        Tom

    • Avatar BrianJohnson says:

      AWESOME, Tom!

      was laughing at the vipassana voice. :)

      you recommend changing for good as a potential Note?!?

      fun!

      -bri

      • Avatar Tom Carroll says:

        Hi Brian, I'm thinking that "Changing for Good" might be helpful to you as you write/complete your book. It's more technical and less story filled than the rest of the PN selections and it's geared toward understanding change through the eyes of social scientists, so I don't think I'd give it the thumbs up as a PN selection.

  • Avatar Peter :) says:

    Hi! I found the part about “The Blame Game” in the “The First 30 Days” PhilosophersNote to be insightful! Blame distracts us from looking at the facts! Cool!
    Blame is one of life’s biggest distracters ….. Something for me to ponder ….

    “By blaming yourself, you become stuck in old patterns, old emotions, and old ways of looking at life. Blame distracts you from looking at the facts, free from emotion. And so it keeps you from doing what needs to be done—making changes in how you look after your health, learning to handle your finances, packing up and moving, or forgiving someone. Stop telling yourself, I should have done this or I should have said that. What’s the point? Blame has never helped anyone achieve anything.

    The real question, then, is “What can I do now?”

    Thank you Brian for another great PhilosophersNote! Have a great day All! :)

  • Change is good, we must embrace it and accept that it affords us addtiional opportunities to learn and grow. Change is the stuff life is made of; the stress makes us stronger while the experience make us more knowledgeable. So, don't tell me you don't like change; you woosey. This is your life, experience everything you can, go for it!

  • Avatar puresue says:

    i also loved the tony roberts way of loving when we can get confused and viewing uncomfortable moments as opportunities for growth..
    we usually think that only happens in the "good" times…
    god i love this stuff and all the minds and ideas we are sharing together..
    do you realize how much we are changing this world guys?
    BIG…

  • Avatar Muran says:

    Optimistic people try to make the best of the situation by looking for the positive. We can change our view of change by viewing the uncomfortable moments as an opportunity for tremendous transformation. Identify the changes you are struggling with now, and imagine the good that could come from them.

    Life has your best intentions at heart, and all it’s asking of you is to look at the other side of the coin.

    Change Demons & GPS Systems. Change fear for results. End Blame game. Baby Steps!!

    Wow, these ideas inspire me to bring the best moments in life every moment in my life. Wonderful Note Brian to fill wonders in our lives every moment!!

  • Avatar Jayne says:

    I really enjoyed this note and I pride myself on my ability to embrace change. In fact, I get restless if things stagnate and if there isn't something new to stretch me mentally, physically and emotionally. However, I still struggle with the change demons because even though I like change, it's the fear of the unknown that sometimes holds me back. All 6 demons reside within me and I now know from yesterday's note, to accept them and let them tell me when I'm disconnected from my higher self. I hadn't realised this before but they serve a purpose and as long as we don't let them sabotage our growth and success, they will guide us and help us to stay on the path.

  • Avatar Jayne says:

    Blame – wow this is a biggy isn't it?! I can honestly say that I don't blame other people because I take responsibility for my own actions. However, I get so frustrated with people who do blame and whom have the victim mentality. I have been confronted with this very issue this week and I really struggled to let go of my sheer frustration at this person for not looking at themselves to see the reasons why this is happening (again) and to take personal responsibility and do something about it. Thank goodness for my experiment of starting out the day with a perfect '10' score on my emotions and to keep it a '10' all day long! Not easy but I did it – very happy bunny!!

    Still working on the fear demon but I'm learning so much with each and every day that I feel liberated and 'gutsy' – I'm just going to go for it!

  • Avatar waltww says:

    I believe I have been a change optimist in spirit but not consciously aware of the fact. Now that I think of it I would say that it is because I believe change is positive that I am never satisfied with my current state of being. I simply want to change because I feel I would be better fulfilled if I made the changes. Thus the first 30 days by Ariane de Bonvoisin I’m convinced is my kind of book.

    Making those changes will help me love my life even more than I do now. Wow! This is a major realization for me. I don't think fear is holding me back so much as lazyness. I think I have the courage to change. However, I notice that the nine principles for change are all based on the nature of people who successfully change. This is my Acillies' heel for I often give up before I change successfully, before I demonstrate I can do it.

    I need to be reminded of when I was successful because I appear to forget that I already have a record of wins here. All my victories in the past can help me now. Like thinking about each of the major things I learned that made me able to do more. Being accepted at Brooklyn Technical School in Junior High School, Graduating from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a BS in Industrial Engineering degree, receiving many raises and promotions during 21 years working at Lockheed Missile and Space Company, Writing hundreds of application programs to use as a process control engineer and a quality assurance engineer. Writing dozens of technical reports describing manufacturing research investigations. And then when I decided to change my career from Engineer to an Artist / Writer I acquired credentials as a Technical Writer and a Computer Graphic Designer and a thick portfolio showing my artwork and watercolor portraits. Thus I have a long trail of accomplishments that demonstrate I have successfully made many changes in my life. I even relocated my family of four children and a wife from the east coast to Sunnyvale, California and bought a relatively new home with a swimming pool. Consistently I changed my life to live my dream of a better life. So I know I have a history of making positive changes

    All I need do is remind myself of what I already did to make positive changes when I was younger. And people like Ariane De Bonvoisin can remind me of what I already did that demonstrates my previous change success.

  • Avatar JeannetteS says:

    post 1 of 2
    Hi Everyone! Before I comment on this PN (a few days late..hehe!) I wanted to see how much I admire all the different viewpoints shared on the notes each day. It's so enlightening to see things in different points of view other than Bri's and my own :) I also admire the honesty and openness and shared by so many of you. I am a very guarded and private person and reading your comments helps me tremendoisly in letting down that guards and being more honest with myself, those around me and how I show up. Thank You so very much!

    On to The First 30 Days. I received this book for Christmas as it was one of the items on my wish list. I asked for the book since 2010 is the year I liberate myself from the cubicle nation and finally live my life the way I have envisioned for so many years…soaking up everything I can in healthy living/self growth and sharing what I learn with others in the most fun way possible.

  • Avatar JeannetteS says:

    post 2 of 2
    The thought of this change, although exciting at first later scared the sh*t out of me! I thought this book would be a great help in changing my mindset from being scared of change to embracing change. Well I haven't had a chance to read the book but…

    …one of the positive gains from participating in this challenge is my fear of change has completely reversed! Nonetheless I really enjoyed immersing myself in this note b/c it served as an inspiration to be the change I wish to see (in the words of Ghandi :) Every idea in this noted lifted my spirits and made me excited for change. I recognized that as I grow and express my true self to the world I will always encoounter change so better to be friends with it than wish it away, right?!

  • Avatar CVircillo says:

    The first 30 days
    Ariane De Bonvoisin

    Develop your change muscle
    The nine principals of change are simply amazing!
    1. “People who successfully navigate change have positive beliefs.
    2. People who successfully navigate change know that change always brings something
    positive into their lives.
    3. People who successfully navigate change know they are resilient, strong, and capable of
    getting through anything.
    4. People who successfully navigate change know that every challenging emotion they feel is
    not going to stop them and will guide them to positive emotions that help them feel better.
    5. People who successfully navigate change know that the quicker they accept the change, the
    less pain and hardship they will feel.
    6. People who successfully navigate change use empowering questions and words, think better
    thoughts, and express their feelings.
    7. People who successfully navigate change know they are connected to something bigger
    than themselves.
    8. People who successfully navigate change are not alone; they surround themselves with
    people who can help, who have the right beliefs and skills. And they create an environment
    that supports their change.
    9. People who successfully navigate change take action. They have a plan and know how to
    take care of themselves.”

    Be a Change Optimist!
    Jot down your struggles and ideals.
    Top 3 stressors and top 3 lessons
    Every change always brings something positive.
    Change demons help us if we navigate off course and alert us if we are off course. (Fantastic)
    GPS – Know where you want to go.
    If we are feeling the demons we have unplugged from source. The demon is the temporary indicator that we are a little off.
    Learn to live and incorporate fear in your life.
    Take the 24 hour no blame challenge
    Shift from should to could from victim to creator.
    Action cures fear.
    This note was especially helpful for a life situation I am navigating with my sister.

    Thank you,
    Christina

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