June 28, 2023
The Journey of Inner Transformation: Becoming the Change We Seek
As I reflect upon two powerful quotes, one by Rumi “Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself,” and the other from Mahatma Gandhi of: “be the change you want to see in the world” I find myself contemplating what do these quotes truly mean? How do they resonate and apply for me on my life journey of personal growth and transformation?
I recall one of my all-time favorite songs, “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. It reminds me that if I want to change the world, I must start by looking at myself. I recall many years ago when I was filled with a lot of enthusiasm, having just embarked on a transformative journey of self-discovery. I wanted the world to understand what I had discovered and to experience the same growth and enlightenment. However, I soon realized that this path was not without its challenges and disappointments.
It was a humbling and slightly embarrassing experience to realize that not everyone shared my eagerness for personal growth, and ‘transformation’. I naively believed that everyone would be as excited and receptive to these ideas as I was. But the truth is, change is a very deep, personal, and individual process. People have their own paths to follow, and it took time for me to understand and accept this reality, and then to stay quiet. But out of those realizations I learned that true change begins within us – as in “be the change you want to see in the world”. Since I’m sharing profound quotes, I would be remiss not add, “it’s not about the goal or the vision it’s about who I have to become to achieve the goal or vision”.
Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” beautifully complements Rumi’s wisdom. It all boils down to the fact that if I want to witness change in the world, I must first change myself. This means delving deep into my values, thoughts, and perceptions. It means making conscious choices about the company I keep, the way I communicate, and the environments I immerse myself in. These aspects have always been pivotal in my personal journey, and I am inspired to share them with others.
One of the most significant realizations on my journey was that change is not always and from my perspective rarely about monumental external transformations. It often begins with subtle internal shifts. These small changes in perspective and mindset can have a profound impact on my trajectory based on how I navigate the world. It’s not about changing everything around me; it’s about altering how I perceive and respond to the world. This understanding has been instrumental in my personal growth and has led to transformational results.
I read a lot, and along my journey, I stumbled upon a book called “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink, which resonated deeply with me. It reminded me of the profound truth that my life is a reflection of who I am being, the decisions I take or that I don’t take, and also how I perceive the world.
Rather than blaming others, external circumstances, or wishing for others to change, I have come to embrace personal accountability. I had always felt I was good at doing that but this particular book showed me how to take that responsibility to a whole next level. This shift in mindset has been a part of what has allowed me to take control of my own growth and navigate life with a renewed sense of clarity purpose.
I’ll finish by sharing that in the pursuit of my personal growth and recognizing the societal changes, I have come to realize that the most impactful transformations begin within me. The wisdom of Rumi and Gandhi are examples of the guidance I have stepped into on my transformative journey, it is where I have learned the power of self-reflection, internal shifts, and personal responsibility. Becoming what I want to see in my world, by considering how I can shift how I see the world.
And finally, I invite you consider your own journey of self-discovery and inner transformation. It is through this exploration that we can uncover our true potential and live our lives to the fullest. If we commit to growing and being the change we wish to see in the world, and by embodying our values and principles we can create a positive impact on those around us. The path to growth and enlightenment starts from within. Drawing inspiration from the wisdom of Rumi and Gandhi we can recognize the profound importance of self-reflection, embracing internal shifts, and taking personal responsibility. By consciously becoming what we aspire to see in our world, we have the power to transform not only ourselves but our world.