Unboxed Life

Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.

Sparking Transformation Through Living Unboxed

I’m sure you have read or heard the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi that goes something like, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Great thought, great idea, very Gandhi. Or is it? If you do a little research you will uncover that this bumper-sticker-wisdom is actually taken from a longer, much more poignant and philosophical idea. The actual quote is:

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… We need not wait to see what others do.

What makes the real quote more powerful is the idea that altering ourselves is not the catalyst for social change, but change comes from how others view you as a person. This is where the “be the change” portion comes in. Through molding your own life and first transforming your own mind you can lead by example and show others the Unboxed Way. The second part of this idea stresses the connectedness of human beings and points out that our individual actions paired with the individual actions of others can affect change in systems and society. So there is a convergence of individual transformation and societal revolution that begin with the conviction to change you. That is what Gandhi is all about. That is what Unboxed Life is all about.

For our purposes there are two concepts to think about. First we must not wait for others to show the way to change but initiate it in ourselves first, and second that because of our connection to the rest of humanity that our choices can spark transformation on a large scale. So, you ask, how can I most affectively initiate this social change and share the Unboxed Life with others? How do we seek out and find the small army we need to go forth and make the world a better place?

The Hard Sell vs. Leading by Example

If you have ever tried to sell something to someone you know how hard it is to convince them they need it. Selling Unboxed Thinking and Living is no different. Listing off reasons why your product or idea is useful, needed, or better than others does not always bear the reaction we are looking for. When it comes to Unboxed Living the best way to share your ideas and enthusiasm with others is to simply live it. You will not always see how your steadfast adherence to your way of life will affect others, but it will.

Why is living it the best way to share your ideas?

  • Those who are prepared and willing to accept the idea will see it in you
  • Those who are not interested won’t see it and won’t be alienated by you trying to sell them something they don’t want
  • The change in your life will be evident to those around you and they will be interested in why
  • Unboxed Living isn’t for everyone
  • The reality of the radical shift in your life will show others they can do it as well

I have a love – hate relationship with Facebook. Sometimes I just don’t understand the need to update the world on each and every random thought that runs through our heads. On the other hand I love its power to connect people and its ability to broaden our minds through learning about things and people we could never have access to without it. The sharing of ideas and the proliferation of positivity are things that Facebook is great for and something I see value in.

I posted a story the other day about a family who decided that they wanted to take their five children, quit their jobs, and adopt a life on the road traveling the world and experiencing other cultures with their family. I shared my enthusiasm for this idea and how it affected me on my wall. A few weeks later my wife and I were having breakfast with some friends. One of them told me that because of what I posted and what I had to say, she and her boyfriend had decided to pick up and try out living in a new country every year for the next few years! The simple action of sharing a story that speaks to me changed someone else’s life. Powerful.

Conversation as a Supplementary Tool

Through your actions and the conscious choices you have made in your life you have made an impression on someone. That person approaches you about what has brought on this radical change in lifestyle and attitude. Here is your chance to use your words to share your passion and ideas. There are some tips that can help you make the most of this opportunity to help someone else find their Unboxed Life.

  • Listen and ask questions
  • Allow the other person to formulate the idea in their own mind, sort of like Leonardo DiCaprio in “Inception”
  • For some it might be hard to relate to your experience, be patient and try to find common ground
  • Know when to bolt if the conversation takes a wrong turn
  • Share personal  experiences and open up about the impact these ideas have had on your life

I’m sure you have already had an experience with someone not-so-subtlety letting you know that they disapprove of your thought process or life choices. I know I have. I lost count of how many people have told me this project is worthless, stupid, unneeded, and one person even called me a hippie! Well if wanting to live life without limits and seek to understand the world without preconception makes me a hippie than pass me some granola and a hacky sack.

When it comes to sharing our ideas with others the best and most beneficial method will always be to lead by example and let your passions show in your actions. Let others see in you all that you have learned and all that drives you forward out of your box. What action will you take today to inspire others to break free from their boxes? Ever had a bad experience with sharing your Unboxed Ideas? Find solace in others who have experienced the same and leave a comment. We are all in this journey together, might as well let me carry your pack for a while.

Gandhi Drawing: davesarts

Earth Photo: BackgroundNow

Conversation Photo: Here

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4 comments on “Sparking Transformation Through Living Unboxed

  1. kolena
    June 27, 2012

    Great post again:) Always a good reminder for me that your actions affect everyone and you never know how that might come across. I also agree there is no point on living your life haf-way follow your passion and go full force. What the point of life, if its not uncomfortable at times?:)

    • Tanner Colton
      June 27, 2012

      Thanks for the comment Kolena, I’m glad that this post can help you remember good things in your life. You make a great point about our actions affecting so many other people. I am planning on doing a few posts about this topic soon so stay tuned. Thanks again.

  2. Pingback: How Over-Consumption And Materialism Box Us In « Unboxed Life

  3. Pingback: From Strong Bases Spring Powerful Structures « Unboxed Life

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2012 by in Unboxing Tools and tagged , , , , , , .
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