Where the Real Change Begins


I used to view the circumstances in my life as either a source of happiness or a source or pain.  Whether it had do with my personal relationships, finances, or my own health – if things weren’t going so great (or as I wanted them to) it would take a toll on me.

The Price of Admission

The lows were very low. The high’s were high, but fleeting.

I discovered that my life’s course was very similar to being on a roller coaster.

I was there.  I was present.  Strapped in and ready to go.  Anxious.  Excited.

The only problem was that I was a passenger on this ride.

Rather than embracing the good and the bad, I let it rule me.

It’s easy for us to get distracted by the day and let the events around us take over or run our thoughts.  Our feelings, emotions, and beliefs can be easily altered.

It’s very easy to get angry, shout, and yell about it all.

We’ve all been there, in traffic, at home, and dealing with our children.   Frustration takes hold when we’re in the habit of being reactive.

Get in the Drivers Seat

Learning how to manage your own thoughts, feelings, and most importantly – emotions, is where the real change begins.  Responsible individuals exercise self-control.

It’s a lot easier to do than one would think, and the payoff is immense.

Take the simple act of being happy.  A lot of times we tend to look to our spouses, friends, or even jobs or business results as a source for happiness.

While a healthy relationship and a good day at the office can certainly aid you in feeling good, real happiness can only come from within.

Think about that.

Who Do You Love?

In order to start shifting our mindset we have to look inward first.

We have to love ourselves before we can be loved.

We must discover internal happiness first to see it and appreciate it in the marvels of the world.

Relying on outside forces to fill a void is only setting yourself up for feeling resentment.  It places you at the mercy of what you cannot control.

Don’t Get Hijacked

Now, our significant others, co-workers, and events of the day can certainly bring us grief, we all know that.

But did you know that can only happen if you let it?

We actually have a choice of being moved or being shaken by what we encounter.

We cannot eliminate the adversity or difficulties entirely, so the next best thing we can do is embrace them.

Don’t be ruled by them, accept them.

The philosophy here is learning to identify how something (or someone) affects you, and then disciplining yourself to recognize it in real-time.

Become aware enough to identify when a negative thought or emotion overrides you, and you can change it for the better.

Start New Habits

Don’t take the initiative to do what it takes and you’ll watch the world pass you by.

Watch the love of your life walk out the door.

Watch the promotion go elsewhere, or your investments dwindle away.

It’s all a matter of taking that first step.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with people who have taken that first step and can truly say they’re already one up on those who are just waiting around idle for someone else or something to do it for them.

With small and practical adjustments in our daily routines and beliefs, we can make drastic changes.  Little corrections to what we’ve been doing wrong.  

Nobody is going to change your life for you.

The real change you may be looking for is much closer than you think.

Now I will pass it on to you… Are you a reactive or proactive type of person?  What have you done to initiate change in your life?  Where did you get your inspiration from?  Leave a comment below and let me know.


Think alike,


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Photo by paul (dex)

21 thoughts on “Where the Real Change Begins

  1. Fawn

    I’m definitely a proactive person. I think the best thing I’ve done to initiate change is to not impose my expectations on other people (I’m better at this but still have to remind myself daily). For instance, when I put on my blinkers to get into the next lane and the person speeds up, I can get upset because that person was inconsiderate or I can just consider the fact that my blinkers did not give me the “right” to go into the next lane, I was asking for permission. The other driver had the right to grant or deny my request. Yes, I may consider it rude, but that’s only because I am projecting my expectations upon them.

    Keeping this mindset has helped me to not sweat the small stuff and to only be concerned with those things within my own realm of influence.

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      True. Expectations can greatly affect our perceptions – especially when it comes to driving and traffic, haha. Once we learn to let outside forces and situations go, our lives become more more clear and focused.

  2. Eric T. Wagner

    Great post Jason.

    You’re spot on with each one of us being accountable for our own feelings. Whether good or bad.

    It’s like this: The news you read on CNN each day is just that: news. It’s only when we assign a value to the news does it become either “good” or “bad”. Giants when the Super Bowl. Only news, right? Just a plain fact.

    Ah, but talk to a Patriots fan about it and you’ll hear something completely different than talking to a Giants fan.

    Thanks for the insight my friend… 🙂 Eric

  3. Ryan Hanley


    I love this… I’m reading The Flinch by Julien Smith right now. He is talking about a lot of the same stuff. This type of take control thought process is crucial to success in both your personal and professional life.

    I like how you say… “Don’t get Hijacked” that is good terminology.



    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Sounds interesting – I’m going to have to add that to my ever-growing reading list 🙂

      It is so easy to get wrapped up, caught up, and taken over by emotion. Emotion of the day, week, hour, minute, you name it. What’s NOT so easy, but produces much better results is managing our mindset and our actions after the fact!

      Glad you enjoyed it, Ryan!

  4. Tom Treanor


    I’m very proactive so no issues about getting started. I may be hyperactively proactive though so I’m learning to channel my enthusiasm into less efforts and directions. I’d love to hear (read) your thoughts on focus at some point. Thanks for the great post and you usually have some of the best pictures on your blog!

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      I can relate, Tom. I’ve certainly tried to “take on the world,” and damn near killed myself doing it.

      Focus is an excellent topic and I’m adding that to the board right now! Thanks for mentioning that, and for noticing the pics! Sometimes it feels like I spend more time searching for the right image than writing the post, haha! 🙂

  5. Jason Fonceca

    Mmmm… good stuff, J. This stuff matters, and we can all use a world with more happy people.

    There’s a surefire way to get the drive to get in the driver’s seat.

    Hit rock bottom.
    Back yourself into a corner.
    Crucify yourself.

    Read any biography of any successful person, and they almost to a person, choose the path of hit rock-bottom (different for everyone, but still palpable).

    After all, it’s what I did, and now I’m one of the most positive, happy, ballin’ people around.

  6. Jeanne Pi

    I totally agree that far too often, people let their thoughts and emotions get hijacked.

    For me, I finally felt happier and more relaxed when I realized that I have that control … that I am the master of my thoughts and emotions. It’s really about how we frame the things that are happening around us.

    Fawn’s driving/traffic analogy is spot on. Whenever I get cut off in traffic or a driver does something really stupid, I just brush it off. Getting upset over it does nothing for me. I’m not gonna let a total stranger live rent-free in my head.

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      A lot of personal growth stems from developing healthy and firm personal boundaries. Love the perspective of someone else living rent-free in your head, Jeanne! Thank you!

  7. Timo Kiander


    Awesome post!

    My journey for the better started after finishing my first marathon. After that I knew I was capable of doing big things and I felt good.

    What happened next was that I changed my lifestyle completely: from an coach potato to an athlete. At the same time I found personal development and one of the first lessons was that I should take full responsibility of my life.

    It didn’t make sense to me instantly and it took some time to grasp that concept. However, later when I truly understood what it means, my life changed.

    Now I have found my passion and I know what I have to do next. I’m driving the car now!


    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      We are the only ones responsible for our results in life. Congrats on that huge marathon triumph, Timo. There is a massive switch in directions when it all finally clicks, and it’s a beautiful thing! Thanks for your comment!

  8. Carmen Sognonvi

    I am definitely a proactive person when it comes to matters of work and business, but I do find myself being reactive when it comes to other areas that sometimes seem like less of a priority (relationships with family/friends, health).

    One of the biggest changes I made in my life was when I quit smoking back in 2000. I used to smoke close to 2 packs a day, and just quit cold turkey.

    My inspiration was my then-boyfriend, now-husband. I knew he hated it, and I knew that I was starting to be grossed out by my own smoking, and it was time to quit. I don’t know exactly how I was able to stick to it, but I did and have never looked back since!

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      When it comes to the emotion tied into our personal lives, it’s so much easier to take the reactive approach. Congrats on quitting smoking, and thanks or sharing your story, Carmen!

  9. Jackie

    Jason first up, loved this post. Gotta say I fall in the proactive camp and happy to be there, having spent time in the reactive camp too. I know which I prefer.

    Looking back I now see my “reactive behaviour” as being an accepted norm within my social circle. Monkey see…monkey do kind of thing.

    They say you’re the product of the information you consume and the people you associate with, and I definately believe this.

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Thanks, Jackie!! Glad to have you on the proactive side 🙂 You’re right, the type (and amount) of information we consume does play a significant part.

  10. Dawn Barclay

    Hey Jason, def the proactive camp (95%) of the time, the remaining 5% is when my ego shows it’s ugly head and kaboom — reaction.

    My biggest inspiration are some of the clients I have worked with – that’s sounds ever so cliched but true, usually because of the adversity they have faced and overcome.

    And one little phrase ‘and so it is’, has helped me realise there is no good or bad.

    Thanks for this.


    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Ah, the ego – one of my favorite friends 😉 Definitely like the phrase “so it is,” I find myself using “so it goes,” to let a lot just roll off. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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