I saw this question posted on a social media page:

Does anybody believe that it is actually possible to change certain aspects of one’s character (through meditation and therapy) especially after a certain age?


I have found that although I have achieved sobriety, I still often revert to old negative thought patterns or counterproductive personality traits. Despite therapy and meditation, they seem to be hard to shake off for good.


It can be doubly frustrating, when it’s something I thought I had worked through, yet, the old me still reacts to things in the same way. At times, it almost feels as though some things are set in stone, like it’s just your default character.


Despite my best efforts, I still find myself clashing with certain people, or being overly critical and complaining about things, for example.


Changing habits is one thing, but I’d love to hear some inspirational stories about actual deep level character transformation.




Here’s my Response:

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The other day I was driving from Palm Springs to Los Angeles. I was catching a flight, but had a two-hour drive ahead (which later turned into three hours due to rush hour traffic). I called Rafiki.


“Hey man! What’s going on?” I question.


“Nothing much. You?”


“Driving back from the convention. You know, I have so much stuff I want to do. I want to work on my resume. I want to work on some blogs. I don’t want to drive right now. I want the luxury of sitting on a bus or an airplane where I can get my stuff done.”


Rafiki gives me his unsolicited, but always important advice, “Phoenix. Be careful of what you ask for. It might not be what you really want.”


“Yeah! Whatever!”


About 30 minutes later I receive a text from my airline apologizing and offering vouchers for another flight. WTF? I check and find out that my flight had been canceled.


I call Rafiki back, “Duuuuddde! You totally jinxed me. My flight’s canceled. Now I must figure out different routing which means no direct flight. Now I have a two-hour bus ride on top of my flight. I’m going to get home late.”


I can picture Rafiki’s smirk as he answers, “You got exactly what you asked for. More time to work on your stuff while taking the bus home.”


“But…I didn’t want to get home THAT late,” I complain.


“Phoenix. Be careful of what you ask for. It might not be what you really want.”


As I land at my destination, I run into a couple whose kids go to the same school both my daughters go to. They offer to drive me home. I get home earlier than I would have, had I taken the bus. I have a great conversation, but then, I didn’t get the time to work on the things I was excited and wanted to do.

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