When I originally wrote the Transformation Journey Manifesto a couple of months ago (the one you can find here); it came out all at once, in a brief and powerful creative exhalation, right from the core of my being. I found a free web-site where I could transform it into some fancy word art to make a poster (feel free to download it, print it out, spread it around). It was cool. I showed it to a few people, who liked it and seemed to be inspired by what had inspired me. But after a while, I began to realise that good though it was, it wasn’t the full deal. It didn’t really express the full importance of what the Transformation Journey means to me; what it could mean to you, and potentially to the world around us.
Looking at it now it is more like a personal creed – a statement of values and beliefs around deep, radical growth and change, and I stand by and remain excited by every single statement of it. But I want more. I want something more than a piece of inspirational personal philosophy. A true manifesto sets out a vision for transforming the world around us, and in the end that’s what the Transformation Journey is all about – changing the world, one life, one conversation, one insight at a time.
I decided to break this powerful creed down, to drill down into the guts of it, to extract more of the essential goodness. What matters to me needs to come out in what I do; so somewhere on the inside of this personal creed are the core beliefs, the pillars and foundations of the Transformation Journey.
So here it is, unpacked, paragraph by paragraph.
Transformation is not optional – it is essential. It is the thing that makes your heart beat faster, that makes it worth getting up in the morning.
Transformation is absolutely fundamental to who we are. Unless we are willing to embrace deep, radical change, we are in effect living only half alive. The possibility of change, the idea that today, tomorrow, the day after might be different than the days that preceded it, is a source of vital hope. We need hope to live. When people have no hope, they lay down and die. Even if they don’t die physically, they begin to shut down, emotionally and spiritually; they stop moving forward. Without the hope that transformation brings, we cease to invest fully in life. We fail to show up for the party. Our willingness to undergo a process of transformation is what turns our potential value into actual contribution.
There is nothing more exhilarating for me than being involved in your process of transformation. My commitment is to inspire you, invest in you, to enable, empower and celebrate your journey of radical change and growth.
You were not designed to live a life that is ordinary, mundane, flavourless or colourless. You were not built for an easy life running along a pre-set path.
If I were to ask you, “What is the biggest problem facing the world today?” What would you come up with? Some of you might talk about war, poverty, lack of resources, inequality, climate change, terrorism, etc. But these are not the greatest problems facing the world today. These painful challenges are really the fruit, the result of the real problem; the one no one ever seems to talk about.
It is simply this; we settle for way too little. We have learned somewhere along the way to live small, when we should be living big. We have come to expect restriction and lack, when we were created for abundance. We have come to look for what is easy, rather than what is worthwhile. As a result, too many people inhabit a world that is grey and colourless. We value the neutral, the inoffensive, the middle way of balance and compromise.
Our lives all too often reflect the view we have about ourselves. Do you see yourselves as small, weak, powerless? If the answer is ‘Yes,’ then that is exactly what you are. But it isn’t what you were born to be. Every single one of us is wired for adventure, for breaking ground, for pioneering and risk-taking. Every single one of us is wired with unique qualities that, if only we could recognise them and draw upon them would make us stand out from the crowd, would take us to the edge and make us shine.
The challenges you see as obstacles or limitations are the very things life uses to shape you into the person you were born to be.
We seem to fear and avoid challenges and obstacles. We buckle down and accept with a meek bleat the limitations that life seems to place upon us. We seem to move from one round of incoming fire to another. We endure the pain, the sorrow and the frustration; sometimes with a good grace, sometimes with tantrums and sulks. We put up with everything, because we believe we have no choice. Our sense of powerlessness and helplessness grows. Over time, passivity and inertia increase. We die slowly under the trials and misfortunes of life. But what if it doesn’t have to be like this? What if we could look at things differently?
Opposition is what shapes us. These challenges and obstacles, are the grit that causes the oyster to form a pearl, they are the rough rocks tumbling, and polishing themselves against one another to reveal gemstones. Without limitations and misfortunes we would have nothing to sharpen ourselves against. How would it be if we could stop seeing ourselves as the targets of a conspiracy to thwart us, and start seeing ourselves as the beneficiaries of an inspirational universe, full of everything we need, not to make us feel good, but to draw out the greatness in us?
You were created for greatness, to shake foundations and transcend commonplace limits. You were made to perform extraordinary, creative, breath-taking exploits, to make the world gaze in amazement.
What does greatness look like? Because make no mistake about it; greatness is exactly what you were created for. You were not created to be ordinary, mundane or commonplace. You were not created to be good enough. The universe didn’t make a mistake when it gave you a precious portion of life. No efforts or resources were wasted in your creation. You were designed for transcendence, to rise above the humdrum and live a life that is full, rich, vibrant and exciting. You were made to extend the limits of life, to open up new possibilities, to thrill, astonish, challenge and provoke. You were always supposed to move beyond who you thought you were, into who you were born to be.
When I work with you, I am not interested in engaging with the restricted image you have of yourself, except possibly to help you see just to what extent that image restricts and limits you. On the contrary, even when you are going through a tough time, I will always speak to your greatness. Anything less would not serve you well.
Transformation is not something that happens by chance. It is a culture, a passion and a way of life. It is a set of skills you can learn, embrace, enjoy and flow with.
Perhaps you thought Transformation was a matter of good fortune? Perhaps you believed that the potential for this sort of life, this sort of radical change and growth is restricted to a favoured few. Looking around yourself at the world, it is easy to see why you might come to that conclusion. There are those who because of where they were born or who they were born to, or because of favourable circumstances, seem to have more possibilities, more options to move beyond the life they are living. At the same time there are those whose circumstances seem to make it impossible for them to get out of the mire of poverty and hopelessness.
This is because we live in a culture that values outcomes over processes. We have learned to be more worried about where we will end up, than how we will journey through our lives. We need to shift the mind-set, to begin to understand that Transformation is not the destination; rather it is the journey itself. Moreover, it is a process we can learn to facilitate through deep connection with our thinking feeling and intuitive faculties. Out of our head, heart and our gut are born the creative strategies of radical change and growth.
It doesn’t matter where we start from. We could begin in the pit of despair, poverty or sickness. What matters is that we start to move.
When I work with you, my commitment is two-fold. Firstly, I will take you deeper than you have ever gone before. I will take you deeper than feels comfortable, and then deeper still. Secondly, I will provoke and motivate you to step out beyond paralysis and limitation – to move and keep on moving, because any movement, even if you need to change direction later, is better than remaining stuck and immobile.
Transformation is an energy that overflows, provokes, inspires and empowers those around you to fulfil their greatness. It is an obligation you carry, not only towards yourself, but towards everyone and everything you know and love.
Transformation is its own energy, and it doesn’t just belong to us. It is trans-personal, involving not only us but everyone with whom we come in contact. When we really tap into and begin to live from that transformative energy, it is as if everyone we meet becomes drawn into the process. It is contagious. Those with whom we come in contact cannot fail to be stimulated, provoked and inspired. We ourselves become a centre of life, energy and inspiration for others.
That is both exciting, and a little scary at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to contribute to the transformation of those we love and care about? At the same time there is a huge responsibility. When we don’t step up; when we fail to walk out the greatness within us, it doesn’t only impoverish ourselves. It robs those around us of something vital to their own journey of transformation.
Transformation is a journey that begins not in the future, or in some far off place. The responsibility does not belong to anyone else. It begins right here, right now, with you. It begins the very moment you step out of the comfortable, the familiar, and lay hold of it.
Transformation is inextricably linked with connection, but the temptation, fed by the culture around us, is to disconnect. All too often we live our lives in a subtle sort of trance. Whenever we fall into habitual thought patterns about our own transformation, we are in effect choosing to disengage. Every time we think that our transformation requires someone else to do something or respond differently, we disconnect. Every time we postpone engaging with our own transformation journey to some mythical ‘better time’ in the future, we disconnect. Every time we buy into the belief that our transformation journey depends on factors outside our control, we disconnect.
Transformation is now. It is present. We don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to set out on our journey, because we start exactly where we are right now. We don’t need to find some great new tool or technique, because everything we need is right there within us. We don’t need anyone else to do anything or give us permission, because the potential for transformation is inherent in who we are. Every single moment is pregnant with the possibility of deep, radical, lasting change.
Above all else, my job is to create a space in which you can connect deeply with the possibility and transformational potential of every single situation in your life.
Your Transformation Journey has the power to change the world!
So what is the change you want to see? What is the change you want to make? What is the change you want to be? What does your Transformation Journey look like?