What Does Personal Transformation Really Mean?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

One of the key things differentiating my work in the area of stress from most other stress experts is that my goal is to provide people with a transformative outcome.  Thus, I am in the personal transformation business, while the vast majority of stress relief trainers are not.

This week, I want to explore what the term “personal transformation” actually means—or more accurately what I believe it should mean.  To do this, I will first examine what personal transformation is not (this post).  Then, I will describe what I believe it is (next post).  And finally, I will try to shed some light on how you can go about acquiring it (last post).

What Personal Transformation Is Not

Unfortunately, the word “transformation” has become very popular today.  It is frequently thrown around in many different contexts to denote almost any type of personal change.

The problem is that not all types of personal change should be referred to as a transformation.  For example, if you don’t know all the countries in Africa today and you study a map and memorize their names, you have personally changed.  But you have not been transformed.  You’re the same person you were before you acquired this new information, only now you have a few more facts in your memory.

On the other hand, if you’ve never played tennis before and you take lessons and practice for a year or two, you might become a decent tennis player.  If you can then step onto a tennis court and play a skillful game, you have become transformed.  Who you are—including what you see and how you are able to perform on a tennis court—is a very different human being.  You may not be different in any other dimensions of your being, but with regard to tennis playing, you are now a tennis player when before you were not.

The same is true for bicycle riding and many other aspects of life.  When you learn how to ride a bike as a child, you and your body go through a profound transformational process. We tend to view this as nothing special, but it truly is.

At one point in your life, who you are is definitely not a bicycle rider.  Every time you put your body on a bike, it falls off rather quickly.

Then you go through a several week-long or month-long trial-and-error learning process and something eventually “clicks” inside you.  You develop the capacity to balance and pedal at the same time.  And once this happens, you have been transformed.  You are now a bicycle rider.  And if you ride frequently for a year or two and then you never get on a bike again until you turn 80, guess what?  Your body still knows how to balance and ride. 

So true personal transformations always have a type of permanence to them, in the sense that you never go back to your pre-transformed state.  You may continue to move forward in your seeing and your understanding of life, but you never move backward once you have truly been transformed.

In my next post in this three-part series, I’ll address other important characteristics of true personal transformations as being different than other types of changes.

For a full list of all of my Kindle books about stress, click on this link: http://ormanstressrelief.com/kindlebooks

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