Yesterday I had an incredible breakthrough in my life. Something that had been a challenge for me for a very long time suddenly shifted. I was able to experience the world in a whole new way. Do you need a breakthrough? Is there some area of your life where you feel stuck? No matter what you need to change there is always hope and in this episode I want to share some ideas about what it takes to get your breakthrough and why you might only be one day away.
Refusing To Quit On The Journey of Change
Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you as always for The Daily Podcast . You know what really is important in life, friends? It’s persistence. You know why? Because this is the third take of today’s podcast. I just did an awesome first version and then the the computer cached out and just stopped and I didn’t know it had stopped, so I just kept going and I was just preaching to the choir and having a ball and then realized that it hadn’t recorded and then it did it again, so this is number three. So I want you to imagine all the awesome stuff that I have said. Hope I can remember some of it. Excited to be with you. Apologies. I missed a couple of days. I know it’s a daily podcast.
The rehab journey has been continuing. For new listeners, today is the sixth week anniversary of a major accident which almost killed myself. I’ve been in recovery and a heavy couple of days of rehab. It’s amazing that you can pay people a lot of money to physically hurt you. So yesterday I walked out of this a hand rehab session and this beautiful lady, Sue, does an amazing job looking after me, I walked out saying, “Thanks so much, Sue. You’re amazing. You’re just awesome. Thank you.” And as I was going down in the elevator, I thought, “I’m thanking this person and paying this person to really physically hurt me. It’s crazy.”
But anyway, I’m doing better, so keep me in your prayers just to get movement back. So really what I need is movement back, but getting there. Definitely not one of those people that wants to wave a magic wand. You know how people say, “If I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything”? Yes, I would. Yes, I would. If I had the magic wand, I would go back and change the whole thing. But what I can share with you is that when these things happen in life, we always got the choice, don’t we? We’ve always got the choice of how we respond and how we react to it. And I’ve been blessed to have wonderful support from people. Had my dark days, had my challenges, but hopefully I’m practicing what I preach.
There are a bunch of things. Now, I’m posting a lot on social media, and I’ve mentioned this before. I think it’s a really dark place in a lot of ways. I think there’s so much darkness on social media. There’s so much either horrible stuff or the whole thing where we just see nothing but our friends baking perfect muffins for their children and basically having Instagram perfect holidays and we just feel terrible. So what I try to do is just put nothing but good encouragement out there. So please make sure you’re following me, jonathandoyle47 on Instagram, jonathandoyle47, and on Facebook, The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. So come find me there.
All right. The reason I mention it is because I posted on Instagram this morning a great quote from Marcus Aurelius, the second century AD Roman emperor. You may remember him from films such as Gladiator, where he made an appearance at the start of the film. Well, not the real Marcus Aurelius, because he kind of died 2000 years before the movie was made, but an actor pretending to be him appeared, so you’ll remember him from there. It’s a great quote.
Marcus Aurelius is kind of one of the great exponents of what we call stoic philosophy. So stoic philosophy kind of would deny that there’s a transcendent or a sort of spiritual dimension as such, and that the job is to live as well as possible with decency and accepting the challenges and difficulties of life. So his quote this morning was this: “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” One more time. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”
Look, I think it’s obvious that so often in life, we just forget the power of our thinking to shape things, the power of our thinking to really create our experience of life. And this quote’s so good, because have you ever used any clothing dye or food dye? I still got young kids and they get excited about icing a cake and then they drop a bit of food dye and that stuff gets into the stone bench tops and then I just try and I get a little bit animated when they do that. I get a little bit animated because dye gets into everything. So what Marcus Aurelius is reminding us about is that our thoughts, what we think about the world around us dyes our soul, shapes our soul.
You know the word character? It actually comes from a sort of middle English word, the sort of 14th, 15th century that means an indelible mark, like a tattoo on the soul. So our character is formed by this kind of marking that happens through our thinking, so I just keep telling people, I keep telling people, “Pay attention to your thinking as much as possible. Try and really be aware of what you’re allowing to flow through your head on a regular basis. You have much more control over this than you think.”
All right. The other big thing … Look, I had a couple of listener questions. Yes. One of them was from a lady in the United States who I know well, and she was starting a new job and she asked me, she said, “Look, I’m coming to this new job, but people know me from previous jobs and I’m worried that there’s perceptions and people don’t like me,” and and all this sort of stuff. And I just gave her three words. Maybe this is relevant for all of us in some facet of life. I gave her three words. Here they are. Control the controllables. Control the controllables, which means what?
Friends, we can’t reach into someone’s brain and control their thinking. We can’t do that. We can’t shape really what people are thinking about us because they’re free and they’re individuals. The only part we get to control is ourselves. So the only way we can in any way we can change other people’s perceptions of us, it’ll only come through our own actions. So I just want to encourage all of us that we need to free ourselves from worrying too much about what anybody’s thinking about us. We really do. You can’t control that.
What we can control is how we speak, how we dress, how we talk, how we behave, whether we gossip or we don’t, whether we encourage people or we don’t. These are the things that we control in a professional context and our work environments, but also in other areas of life, socially, friendships, even in the home. So let’s all be paying a huge amount of attention to how we are operating in the world and less attention to what we worry about, what other people think about how we’re operating in the world. I just think you get a lot of freedom the moment that you begin to let go of that and just focus on being the best person that you can be in any given moment.
The other question I got was a great one. Just want to hit this quickly. The person’s saying, “Hey Jonathan, love your podcast, but guess what? If you’re a teenager, if you’re in your 20s, you can hear these messages from you and you can make changes and it’s easy to take this stuff onboard.” But they said, “What if you sort of have never really heard much of this and you’re in your 50s or your 60s and it’s just so hard to make these changes?”
I want to say first thing, you’re right, it is. When we’re younger, our brains are more plastic for a start. Our neuro-plasticity is different. We can take on new beliefs and attitudes, and we see that, don’t we? With teenagers, they’ll take on different friendship groups or they’ll dress in a particular way and then they’ll look back at a photo in a few years and go, “I can’t believe I ever did that.” We can change our persona a bit when we’re younger, but I get the point in this question, which is, “Well, what about if you’re older and you feel locked in and you look back with a bit of depression or despair and think, ‘I can’t really change now’?”
First thing is yes you can. If you can’t change, then you’re not free and you don’t have free will. What are you? If you can’t begin to make some changes in life, then we’re really stuck. And no matter if things are difficult now, always remember the quote from the old book of Proverbs which said, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion.” If you’re still alive, you’re still breathing, that’s better than people whose time has ended. You still got a chance to change.
The idea that’s in my head is if you think of an ocean liner, being older in life is a bit like an ocean liner. They take a little bit longer to turn around. When you’re young, it’s like a speedboat. You can flip that thing on a dime and just go in a different direction like a jet ski. When you’re a bit older, you’ve got all these commitments and challenges and all this stuff that’s followed you around and thinking patterns, and yeah, it is. It’s like an ocean liner. You’ve got to slow that thing down, get purposeful about the new direction and turn it around slowly, but you can still turn it around. You notice ocean liners don’t leave a port and just go, “Oh, well, we’re stuck in one direction. We just keep going until we crash.” They do turn around, they do maneuver and they often maneuver with the help of tugboats, don’t they? We can just get help. We can get encouragement. We can learn new things with the help of others.
So I want to encourage everybody, whether you’re 13, 35, 85, all of us can change things. All of this can change things because if I’m not correct on that, then we’re all stuck where we are and we’re just victims of fate and circumstance and I don’t want to live that way and neither do you. So be encouraged where ever you are in life, that change is possible. And I want to talk about that because this is the other thing I posted this morning on Instagram. I posted a quote that I drafted myself, which was just this. You can never know if you’re only one day from a breakthrough. Don’t ever quit.
Now, I’m going to try and behave myself here, but I am super passionate about this. I had a big breakthrough yesterday. It was an area of my life that’s been really hard for me for a long time. And I went and talked to somebody and put some time into this and I got a real breakthrough. I mean, I really did. It’s on my heart to say to all of us, we don’t know if we’re a day from a breakthrough. It could be one area of your life. You could be struggling with mental health, depression, anxiety. You could be struggling with your weight or your finances or your kids or your marriage or your dating relationship. All of us have got some area of struggle. I mean, none of us listening to this have life completely perfect.
But here’s the thing. We have to believe that we are one day from a breakthrough. We have to believe that we are one day from a breakthrough. And we can’t know if we’re not. Let me flesh this out, because some you are going, “What do you mean? You mean tomorrow it’s going to happen for me, Jonathan?” Yes, possibly it could, but if it doesn’t it could be the day after and if it’s not that, it could be the day after that. And I want to give you a little clarification here. The way that you get towards breakthrough is by doing stuff.
What do I mean? I got my breakthrough yesterday by making a decision, by making a phone call, by going to see somebody, by going to talk about some stuff, and that breakthrough came because I was proactive. If you sit in your lounge room, a breakthrough might come. It’s possible. But I think it’s unlikely. I mean, sometimes the phone just rings and you get that million dollar phone call and everything shifts. But if it doesn’t, breakthrough comes because you try different things.
If you’ve been struggling with something for a long time, breakthrough could be tomorrow. Do different stuff. Make a call, go and see someone, read a book, try a program, join a gym. I keep saying this to people. Breakthrough comes because you do stuff, but I do want to give us all hope that breakthrough can be a day away. Now, it might take 30 years to get to that day like it felt for me yesterday, but breakthrough can only be a day away. You’ve got to hold onto hope. Okay? Hope this is helping. Breakthrough comes because we do things, we get proactive and we hold onto hope.
All right, there’s a whole bunch in that podcast. It’s longer than usual. I’m excited for you. I want to encourage people. It’s in my DNA. Your best is ahead. It is not behind. So let’s get busy. Let’s do stuff. Let’s just accept that we’re here for a reason and a purpose and good things are coming.
All right, housekeeping. Please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast wherever you hearing this right now. Go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast. Please subscribe and leave a review because it helps the podcast get seen and more people get to hear it. You know where to find me. Instagram, jonathandoyle47, Facebook, The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. The website is jonathandoyle.co.
Please share this with a few friends. God bless your friends. Hope you have a fantastic next few days. If I can help you with any particular questions, just reach out and email me at Jonathan@JonathanDoyle.co. God bless you, friends. This has been The Daily Podcast . My name is Jonathan Doyle, and I’m going to have another message for you tomorrow.