The 2 Simplest Ways To Change Your Life

Face in the right direction. Start walking.

James E. McGinley, PhD
3 min readJun 27, 2022


Man walking across the street.
Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash

Life is complicated enough; we don’t need to make our plans to improve ourselves complicated as well. When we do, instead of simplifying our lives, we just overload, overburden, and overwhelm ourselves. The key is to focus on simple steps that we will really take.

Keeping things simple makes them achievable.

I admit I love thinking about the future and I love making little, and not so little, plans that I usually never complete. It is human nature and it is my nature.

The problem is this. I feel good imaging the future, but later when I look back at my unattended plans, I feel bad. There has to be a better way.

If we want to change, better ourselves, and improve our lives we have to lower the speed bumps and get into action. It helps if the first steps are small and approachable.

Face in the right direction.

Back in my military days I was in a platoon that got lost in the woods during training. The more lost we became, the faster and faster the platoon commander had us run. At a pause the person next to me said, “Why do we have to go so fast in the wrong direction?” I simply replied, “I have no idea.”

Sometimes we are like that.

Our efforts are futile if they are misapplied or if we are chasing the wrong goals. Like a ladder leaning against the wrong wall, we will get to the top and find that we are not where we wanted to be.

If you do not know where you are going, you will never get there.

This is where our thoughtfulness about the future can help us. We can find a quiet place, look deep inside ourselves, and imagine what we really want to achieve. But life is more than getting and doing. We must think about who we really are. We will likely find that if we can find our true identity and find a way to express it in life, then we will be closer to happiness.

There is a funny saying, ain’t no U-Haul behind a hearse. We cannot take it with us. But we can leave a legacy of who we were for others to remember us by and live in a way that will allow us to die in peace.



James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.