Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

Rites of passage are customs that have been handed down to us across generations. You may not have thought about it this way, but a marriage, for example, is a rite of passage. It symbolises a fundamental change in the way you live your life. Why do we have rites of passage, and how can you use them to make fundamental changes in the way you live your life?

Say you want to change your career. You have been a banker all your life and now wish to become a musician. The roles are very different, and the way you live your life will be very different.

As a banker, you probably wore suits, went to the office regularly, had meetings, customer visits, and perhaps even board meetings, depending on where you were in your career.

As a musician, you spend hours practicing, don't really have any customers, perhaps perform a few times a year, don't have meetings, and don't really care about a board. So how can you make the transition?

I am only illustrating, but one rite of passage could be to put your business suits away, or better yet, donate them. Switch to the type of clothes that a musician would wear, whatever that means to you.

Before you call me silly, think of a five-year-old starting school. A rite of passage is now to wear the school uniform, perhaps. It defines the change that we are talking about.

So how does all of this apply to living a long and healthy life? After over 300 talks in multiple cities to a truly diverse audience, here is what I learned. We all want to change. All of us want to improve our health. We get stuck in the how.

So one possible solution is to think of making the switch with a rite of passage. A holy yagna, if you will, to symbolise the change you want to make. Do you know what mine was? Writing these daily articles to tell the world that I am on a journey to live a long and healthy life.

BTW, if any of you know organisations and institutions that might be interested in having me speak, please reach out. By now, I am sure you realize I love nothing more than to speak about health and wellness.