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That Moment

“But what is this all-important ‘Harajuku Moment’? It’s an epiphany that turns nice-to-have into must-have.”

Timothy Ferriss, The Four Hour Body

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the moment that starts us down the path of change. In his book, The Four Hour Body, Tim Ferriss refers to this as the
“Harajuku moment” and outlines the story of Chad Fowler’s realization he was ready to change. Shopping with friends in Harajuku, Fowler found himself uttering these words “For me, it doesn’t even matter what I wear; I’m not going to look good anyway.” Hearing himself say these words out loud shook something loose. He realized how successful he was in other areas of his life and that there were “bad roots”, as he puts it, like his self image that were holding him back. In this moment, he dedicated himself to pulling out these roots and filling in the holes to make himself a more complete person.

Similarly, my wonderful friend the Mrs. over at Success Along the Weigh recounts her moment here. It was a medical scare with her husband, the Mr. After a visit to urgent care, the doctors found a spot of his liver. That evening they watched a special on TLC called “I Can Make You Thin”. They took the simple principles listed in the show and immediately started putting them into practice. Later they found out that the spot on the Mr’s liver was “fatty liver” which could have turned into an issue, if he didn’t lose weight. Since then they’ve lost nearly 400 pounds between them!

You can read my own story here. Running the Chicago marathon released something incredible in me. But the moment that started me down that path came much earlier that year, when one night on the couch fighting insomnia, I realized how unhappy I was and decided to take control of my life. I had known for a long time that something just wasn’t right, but it took that “Harajuku moment” to help me see just how bad things had gotten. At that moment, the pain of the change was less than the pain of staying the same.

This is really where change happens. As Tim Ferris notes, before that point the change is something that would be nice to have happen. It’s something we aspire to and will get around to. After we have a Harajuku moment it becomes something we can’t live without. We can’t ignore or delay any longer. And while all three of the examples I list here are around physical appearance, it works the same with everything from profession to finances to relationships.

I think that taking an honest look at ourselves can help to create that moment. To that end, there are many tools out there to help with this reflection like this career focused, one-page “cheat sheet” from itstartswith.com (via The Art of Non-Conformity).

Have you had your own Harajuku moment? What caused it?

Make it a great week all!!!

  • Thanks for the shout out sir! :-) In addition to the above moment listed, I had one with my job as well. I quit my job of almost 12 years when I realized it was killing me. Some overzealous supervisors saw to it to make my life and the life of my 2 counterparts a living hell as though it was an Olypmic sport. When my heart wouldn’t stop racing, I stress ate about 60 lbs onto my rump and anxiety attacks were starting to become a regular occurence (and it was becoming obvious our division was going under) I couldn’t take it anymore. I discussed it with the Mr and asked if it was feasible to tend to our side businesses. He agreed we could afford for me to quit and I waited for the right time and stuck it them like they did to me. (Oops, did I type that? I did give 2 weeks, does that sound better??) :-)

    The year after I quit is when the economy tanked but while my original path didn’t work out, another has opened up to me. I am working to do better, be better and making strides to be the person I thought was only alive in some parallel universe. Will money come with it? I think so but that’s not why I’m doing it. Now I want to listen to Harajuku Girls by Gwen Stefani.

    I have to say how impressed I am by your drive and determination to make your life and the lives of others better. I’m so blessed to know you and have even a little of your drive rub off on me!

  • Or Olympic sport too. I’m blaming that on the time change.

  • Thanks so much for sharing about the “Harajuku moment”. It’s just as you said. For much of my life I was unhappy about my health and appearance and it was always something I was just going to get around to or eventually “figure out”. The health scare really did cause something to come loose and allowed that little change to happen.

    Another thing that happened around the same time was I had started a new job and the parking lot was daunting to walk every morning. I had the option of riding a shuttle bus but ultimately I decided that there was no time like the present to just start walking and I now know that it’s true what they say about how those little changes you make really do add up!

    Thanks again for the shout out and for sharing your own awesome story. All truly inspirational and I can’t be more proud of the Mrs. and you for doing the hardest work – effecting change!

    The Mr.

    March 11, 2012

  • mate do you have a twitter?

    will

    March 25, 2012

  • Will – I do, it’s @ASchorrThing. Thanks for coming by!

    jeff

    March 26, 2012

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