The End [of the Beginning]

As one door closes, another opensAs one door closes, another opens

For just over a month here at Life Without Pants I have taken a step back and have let you, the readers, share your personal voice on change. Some people may have thought this was crazy – some may say it was detrimental to my personal brand, and others may have simply thought it was a little overkill; that we were beating a dead (change) horse. To all of this, I say, you may be right.

You may be right – but I may also be brilliant. I may have accomplished something incredible, in fact, I know I have. On February 6th, 2009, less than four months ago, I wrote my first article on Life Without Pants. If you dig into the archives, they don’t go very deep, but you’ll see that since February, the community has steadily grown, my writing style has evolved (and hopefully improved), we’ve seen peaks and valleys but overall for an ‘unestablished’ (whatever that means) blogger to reach out and encourage almost fifty of the best writers and innovative thinkers on the web to lend their voice to a discussion is amazing, not to mention humbling. We collectively were able to turn a simple idea into a blogging revolution!

When I sat down at the end of April and thought about the topic of change – the first thing that came to mind was that it is difficult, it’s inconvenient, at times it’s damn near impossible – but my next thought, the one that inspired me to reach out to all of you – was that change is different for everyone. You can be a catalyst for change in so many different ways. It’s about doing instead of trying. It’s about accepting failure as inevitable and a step toward success. It’s about breaking the old habits and establishing new ones. It’s about how you deal with, embrace, and learn from the things you can’t control; those outside forces that will undoubtedly blindside you with change, time and time again. It’s about never stopping, continuing to move forward, pushing through when it’s easy to quit, doing something TODAY instead of putting it off until tomorrow. Sometimes you’ll move a little bit slower, sometimes it will feel like you’ve stopped moving altogether, but through it all, you have to KEEP MOVING.

The power of one

My mission through all this wasn’t to get you out there changing the world. I’m a realist and I’m not here to preach that you can do everything, because you cant. The goal here was simple: To illustrate the power of one, and in some small way, I think I have.  I (we) have encouraged thought provoking conversation, interesting debate, and innovative thinking as we’ve tackled the topic of change from essentially any and every angle. If even one of these articles left you walking away thinking more critically about change in your own lives, this was a success. We can’t change the world, but we can change a lot in our own lives, and if it’s one thing I’ve learned, one thing that can be taken away from all of this, it’s that change starts from within. You can’t rely on some outside force to spark the change within you. In the end, the intent has to be there before we even consider the ability.

You are  not alone – as you’ve seen, we’re all going through changes, we’re all evolving into better writers, more involved individuals within our communities, showing more compassion, developing new ideas and thought processes, thinking more critically, and becoming more accepting of those things we may not fully understand. We’re learning, we’re growing, we’re evolving into more complete human beings, and we’re doing all of this together. You don’t have to start the revolution, you can join in! The power of the collective spirit is a pretty incredible thing.

Don’t call it a comeback (even though it sort of is)

I will be happy to reclaim my own voice here – this series has been amazing and the writing hiatus has given me some much needed time to figure out some things in my own life and make some personal changes. But it’s also shown me how much I love writing, and how integral it’s become as a part of my everyday life. In short, I missed it, a lot. This will be a tough act to follow, but the time off has given me some time to recharge and rejuvenate those writing juices. I’m coming back, with a new found passion – bigger and better than ever! I’ve clearly got some pretty big expectations to live up to!

Thank you, all of you, who have been a part of this. I have been inspired by all of you and overwhelmed with your individual and collective passion. I’ve learned a lot from each of you, and if nothing else, I’ve met some amazing people along the way. It’s been a truly humbling and eye-opening experience, and this is only the beginning! There are some big things in the work as far as ‘next steps’ for the Inconvenience of Change (can someone say ebook?) And of course, as always,  you can expect continued (attempts) at greatness and innovation from yours truly here at Life Without Pants!

Now what are you waiting for? Go change the world. It starts with you!


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36 Responses
  • Akhila Reply

    Thanks Matt for putting together this amazing series, bringing together so many interesting writers & perspectives. I really enjoyed hearing about all the different viewpoints on change. It was a great effort, and definitely shows that one person CAN start creating a movement. We can all learn from this.

    Can’t wait to hear your voice again on your own blog! ;-)

    • Matt Reply

      Thank YOU Akhila – it is you, and everyone else who participated in this, that really transformed this from an idea into a blogging ‘revolution’ (for lack of a better term. I see a lot of potential in the future for similar series around the web – and the Inconvenience of Change isn’t going to fade away into the sunset. I’m working on piecing together everything into an ebook which should be available in early July, and I’ve got some other exciting things in the works.

      I would love to organize speaking arrangements and lectures at local events/schools around the country – in conjunction with the people who have participated here who live in the said area. Could lead to some pretty exciting stuff. Keep an eye on http://www.inconvenienceofchange.com

      When we started, I thought by the end we would have beaten a dead horse – but there was never a dull moment. Time after time, post after post, we saw a fresh perspective on change. I’m happy to have facilitated and brought together so many innovative thinkers. But now, I’m ready to reclaim my own voice around these parts.

      Thanks again Akhila!

  • Akhila Reply

    Thanks Matt for putting together this amazing series, bringing together so many interesting writers & perspectives. I really enjoyed hearing about all the different viewpoints on change. It was a great effort, and definitely shows that one person CAN start creating a movement. We can all learn from this.

    Can’t wait to hear your voice again on your own blog! ;-)

    • Matt Reply

      Thank YOU Akhila – it is you, and everyone else who participated in this, that really transformed this from an idea into a blogging ‘revolution’ (for lack of a better term. I see a lot of potential in the future for similar series around the web – and the Inconvenience of Change isn’t going to fade away into the sunset. I’m working on piecing together everything into an ebook which should be available in early July, and I’ve got some other exciting things in the works.

      I would love to organize speaking arrangements and lectures at local events/schools around the country – in conjunction with the people who have participated here who live in the said area. Could lead to some pretty exciting stuff. Keep an eye on http://www.inconvenienceofchange.com

      When we started, I thought by the end we would have beaten a dead horse – but there was never a dull moment. Time after time, post after post, we saw a fresh perspective on change. I’m happy to have facilitated and brought together so many innovative thinkers. But now, I’m ready to reclaim my own voice around these parts.

      Thanks again Akhila!

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    I echo Akhila’s sentiments, Matt. This was such an astounding series on such a sensitive, thought-provoking subject to which everyone can relate. By this series, you created a community and sparked discussion, fueled by talented writers who have wonderful insight and so many varying perspectives. It’s been a pleasure reading and learning from each and every person and each and every single post.

    Thanks for bringing this together, thanks for giving bloggers and readers alike a platform to share their thoughts, and thanks for helping the community to grow.

    Looking forward to seeing what else you have in store!

    • Matt Reply

      Susan – thanks so much for the kind words and accolades. Again, I owe it all to you guys for making this series such a huge success. It’s been an incredible month here at the blog, and all of you have really helped put Life Without Pants on the map.

      I’ve been inspired and learned so much from all of you. I’m excited about the next step, both with what is to come for the ‘Inconvenience of Change’ and what I hope to bring here on the blog. Don’t stray too far Susan, it’s people like you who keep me doing what I do!

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    I echo Akhila’s sentiments, Matt. This was such an astounding series on such a sensitive, thought-provoking subject to which everyone can relate. By this series, you created a community and sparked discussion, fueled by talented writers who have wonderful insight and so many varying perspectives. It’s been a pleasure reading and learning from each and every person and each and every single post.

    Thanks for bringing this together, thanks for giving bloggers and readers alike a platform to share their thoughts, and thanks for helping the community to grow.

    Looking forward to seeing what else you have in store!

    • Matt Reply

      Susan – thanks so much for the kind words and accolades. Again, I owe it all to you guys for making this series such a huge success. It’s been an incredible month here at the blog, and all of you have really helped put Life Without Pants on the map.

      I’ve been inspired and learned so much from all of you. I’m excited about the next step, both with what is to come for the ‘Inconvenience of Change’ and what I hope to bring here on the blog. Don’t stray too far Susan, it’s people like you who keep me doing what I do!

  • Morgan Reply

    As I’m sure many people after me will continue to reiterate, I also have to say that it has been a pleasure reading and participating in this series. As you said, each person has a different take on change- how they accomplish it, what they do to move forward, where it stems from originally. Reading each viewpoint offered the reader an array of ways to be moved and motivated and start change in their own life – and I’m sure that many people have begun to view personal growth in a very different light (at least I have… seriously.)

    This series, to me, was awe inspiring and compassionate and yet could challenge worldviews and bring a community together. Well done Matt, well done.

    • Matt Reply

      Morgan – we were lucky enough to cross paths because of this series. I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to a lot of new folks over the course of the last five weeks – and I think I’ve been able to facilitate a few introductions between the participants themselves. Bringing people together and knowing that you’re not alone in this journey of life can make all the difference in the world. Hearing you say that this series has encouraged you to look at life and personal growth was and is my goal. So mission accomplished – I can sign on the dotted line and say ‘mission complete’.

      This is step one – we’ve raised awareness amongst a pretty big community of bloggers across the web. People out there are listening, whether they were involved themselves or not. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. What I hope all of you take away from this is that a blog can be used as a platform to achieve greatness and bring about real change. All of the things you were afraid to do before this, take another look at them, and start chipping away at them. Take baby steps, but start moving toward your goals and passions. You’ll be a happier person and the world will be a much better place.

      Thanks for being a part of this Morgan – I look forward to our lives (and blogs) continuing to cross paths in the future!

  • Morgan Reply

    As I’m sure many people after me will continue to reiterate, I also have to say that it has been a pleasure reading and participating in this series. As you said, each person has a different take on change- how they accomplish it, what they do to move forward, where it stems from originally. Reading each viewpoint offered the reader an array of ways to be moved and motivated and start change in their own life – and I’m sure that many people have begun to view personal growth in a very different light (at least I have… seriously.)

    This series, to me, was awe inspiring and compassionate and yet could challenge worldviews and bring a community together. Well done Matt, well done.

    • Matt Reply

      Morgan – we were lucky enough to cross paths because of this series. I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to a lot of new folks over the course of the last five weeks – and I think I’ve been able to facilitate a few introductions between the participants themselves. Bringing people together and knowing that you’re not alone in this journey of life can make all the difference in the world. Hearing you say that this series has encouraged you to look at life and personal growth was and is my goal. So mission accomplished – I can sign on the dotted line and say ‘mission complete’.

      This is step one – we’ve raised awareness amongst a pretty big community of bloggers across the web. People out there are listening, whether they were involved themselves or not. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. What I hope all of you take away from this is that a blog can be used as a platform to achieve greatness and bring about real change. All of the things you were afraid to do before this, take another look at them, and start chipping away at them. Take baby steps, but start moving toward your goals and passions. You’ll be a happier person and the world will be a much better place.

      Thanks for being a part of this Morgan – I look forward to our lives (and blogs) continuing to cross paths in the future!

  • Grace Reply

    Matt, I was smiling throughout this entire post and almost wanted to give you a standing ovation–oh wait, this is a blog not an in person speech ;) I didn’t even realize that you only started blogging in February, that’s incredible!

    As a writer of the change series and a frequent commenter for each post, I want to thank you for selflessly putting your time into this series and giving Life Without Pants to the community. It’s funny because I completely associated the entire series with you. I very much felt like you were part of it and although your “voice” wasn’t directly in each post, I think it wasn’t detrimental to your brand. Hello, #1 Gen Y Blogger June ’09!!

    Nonetheless, looking forward to your own writing in the future. Thanks again and Happy Friday :)

    • Matt Reply

      Grace – thank you very much – it’s an honor to be considered among the best bloggers in our generation. I don’t even know if I’m totally deserving, it’s been a humbling experience, the recognition, the outpouring of emotion from all of you, the willingness of so many to openly contribute to this series – pretty incredible if you ask me.

      I think I was able to keep myself associated with it all by not distancing myself and by encouraging discussion after each new post (I urge everyone reading THIS to go back through some of the posts and share your insight – it’s never too late to restart a conversation). And through the process, I introduced a lot of new writers and was happy to hand the reigns over to you all for the recognition that you deserve.

      I’ll take a written standing ovation any day Grace. Thanks so much – it’s been a pleasure getting to know you!

  • Grace Reply

    Matt, I was smiling throughout this entire post and almost wanted to give you a standing ovation–oh wait, this is a blog not an in person speech ;) I didn’t even realize that you only started blogging in February, that’s incredible!

    As a writer of the change series and a frequent commenter for each post, I want to thank you for selflessly putting your time into this series and giving Life Without Pants to the community. It’s funny because I completely associated the entire series with you. I very much felt like you were part of it and although your “voice” wasn’t directly in each post, I think it wasn’t detrimental to your brand. Hello, #1 Gen Y Blogger June ’09!!

    Nonetheless, looking forward to your own writing in the future. Thanks again and Happy Friday :)

    • Matt Reply

      Grace – thank you very much – it’s an honor to be considered among the best bloggers in our generation. I don’t even know if I’m totally deserving, it’s been a humbling experience, the recognition, the outpouring of emotion from all of you, the willingness of so many to openly contribute to this series – pretty incredible if you ask me.

      I think I was able to keep myself associated with it all by not distancing myself and by encouraging discussion after each new post (I urge everyone reading THIS to go back through some of the posts and share your insight – it’s never too late to restart a conversation). And through the process, I introduced a lot of new writers and was happy to hand the reigns over to you all for the recognition that you deserve.

      I’ll take a written standing ovation any day Grace. Thanks so much – it’s been a pleasure getting to know you!

  • Preston Reply

    Well done Matt, well done. I’ve enjoyed reading this blog and I’ll have to go back and catch up on the ones I missed. Such a steady growing and quality blog really gives me inspiration to give my own blogs some more attention, and hopefully, eventually, I’ll build up some momentum like Lifewithoutpants has!

    Looking forward to more and more and more.

    • Matt Reply

      Preston – you have a good thing going and I enjoy your writing. PLEASE DO take some time to dig through the archives and share your insight on the posts that you personally connect with. I’m sure the author(s) would appreciate it and there really is some great stuff. Also, keep an eye out for the ebook that I’m putting together – which should be available in July.

      Cheers man – don’t be a stranger around here!

  • Preston Reply

    Well done Matt, well done. I’ve enjoyed reading this blog and I’ll have to go back and catch up on the ones I missed. Such a steady growing and quality blog really gives me inspiration to give my own blogs some more attention, and hopefully, eventually, I’ll build up some momentum like Lifewithoutpants has!

    Looking forward to more and more and more.

    • Matt Reply

      Preston – you have a good thing going and I enjoy your writing. PLEASE DO take some time to dig through the archives and share your insight on the posts that you personally connect with. I’m sure the author(s) would appreciate it and there really is some great stuff. Also, keep an eye out for the ebook that I’m putting together – which should be available in July.

      Cheers man – don’t be a stranger around here!

  • Shereen Reply

    Thank you Matt, sincerely, is all I can say for introducing me to this wonderful community and for believing in my writing potential.

    I am truly honored to have taken part in this series. With every post I learned something new about myself and about each of the writers. Funny how we can become so close and connected yet be physically so far apart.

    This post has sparked the writing bug in me and with such genuine encouragement and support I believe it would be the best environment for me to embark on my blog project (just as soon as I move house and settle into my new role!).

    Your ideas are very refreshing and much needed, who knows if we’ll ever arrange a speaking arrangement in Dubai one day! Your innovative spirit has ignited the creative juices within and got me thinking about a myriad of possibilities myself. For that, I’d like to “thank you” again. :)

    • Matt Reply

      Shereen – I would love to make it out in your neck of the woods. Traveling the world is one of my hopes and dreams, something I hope to accomplish somewhere down the line of life (at this point I’ve never been out of the states).

      As soon as you’re ready – let me know and I will be happy to help you set up your own blogging platform – I think I speak for everyone here when I say, you need to cross over and join us on the dark side. You’re an outstanding writer and your voice deserves to be heard.

      Cheers to you for being a part of this – and good luck with getting settled in (going through some changes yourself I see – nice!)

  • Shereen Reply

    Thank you Matt, sincerely, is all I can say for introducing me to this wonderful community and for believing in my writing potential.

    I am truly honored to have taken part in this series. With every post I learned something new about myself and about each of the writers. Funny how we can become so close and connected yet be physically so far apart.

    This post has sparked the writing bug in me and with such genuine encouragement and support I believe it would be the best environment for me to embark on my blog project (just as soon as I move house and settle into my new role!).

    Your ideas are very refreshing and much needed, who knows if we’ll ever arrange a speaking arrangement in Dubai one day! Your innovative spirit has ignited the creative juices within and got me thinking about a myriad of possibilities myself. For that, I’d like to “thank you” again. :)

    • Matt Reply

      Shereen – I would love to make it out in your neck of the woods. Traveling the world is one of my hopes and dreams, something I hope to accomplish somewhere down the line of life (at this point I’ve never been out of the states).

      As soon as you’re ready – let me know and I will be happy to help you set up your own blogging platform – I think I speak for everyone here when I say, you need to cross over and join us on the dark side. You’re an outstanding writer and your voice deserves to be heard.

      Cheers to you for being a part of this – and good luck with getting settled in (going through some changes yourself I see – nice!)

  • Chelsie Reply

    Enjoyed it fully! Cheers to you, Matt, for getting this ball rolling. Looking forward to what’s ahead for Life Without Pants, and the Inconvenience of Change as a gradually revolutionary discussion. :)

    • Matt Reply

      Love the shameless plugs of not one, not two, but three aspects of my legacy. It’s nice to know I have a fan and comrade out there who has been with be since my initial blogging days. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring – and I look forward to our future collaborations. Big things Chelsie, big things!

  • Chelsie Reply

    Enjoyed it fully! Cheers to you, Matt, for getting this ball rolling. Looking forward to what’s ahead for Life Without Pants, and the Inconvenience of Change as a gradually revolutionary discussion. :)

    • Matt Reply

      Love the shameless plugs of not one, not two, but three aspects of my legacy. It’s nice to know I have a fan and comrade out there who has been with be since my initial blogging days. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring – and I look forward to our future collaborations. Big things Chelsie, big things!

  • Stuart Foster Reply

    Keep going Matt. Have been a recent convert…but the more I look the more I want to write/work/listen with anything you have done. Good stuff.

    • Matt Reply

      Stuart – it’s great to have you on board! I respect what you’re doing over at TLJ and I look forward to our recent conversations. I have some big expectations to live up to now that my blog is back to being, well, all me. But I’m excited (and you should be too). Stay tuned!

  • Stuart Foster Reply

    Keep going Matt. Have been a recent convert…but the more I look the more I want to write/work/listen with anything you have done. Good stuff.

    • Matt Reply

      Stuart – it’s great to have you on board! I respect what you’re doing over at TLJ and I look forward to our recent conversations. I have some big expectations to live up to now that my blog is back to being, well, all me. But I’m excited (and you should be too). Stay tuned!

  • Mandy Reply

    Matt–I would be hard pressed not to comment as well and add my congratulations to the rest. I meant every word I said over on the GYA blog–that you are a change agent worth reading and I am very glad that you agreed to participate and help me out over there.

    So much so that I’ll tell you a little secret (shhh!)

    1) Our combined posts (my introduction and your post) brought the profile up of the GYA blog–the stats for those two days saw a roughly 60% increase in readership. In other words, the GYA folks like to hear about change agents and they liked you! I hope it paid off on your end and that others who found Life without Pants through the GYA will become participants here as well as there.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll see you around. :)

    Cheers,

    Mandy.

    • Matt Reply

      Mandy – thank you for being a part of this series! And that is awesome news – I’m glad I could bring some new faces over to your neck of the woods – I greatly appreciate the kind words and accolades in your post. To have people write ABOUT me, is an honor, and something I never would have expected at this stage in the game.

      Keep encouraging your community to come through this way and I look forward to future collaborations between us!

  • Mandy Reply

    Matt–I would be hard pressed not to comment as well and add my congratulations to the rest. I meant every word I said over on the GYA blog–that you are a change agent worth reading and I am very glad that you agreed to participate and help me out over there.

    So much so that I’ll tell you a little secret (shhh!)

    1) Our combined posts (my introduction and your post) brought the profile up of the GYA blog–the stats for those two days saw a roughly 60% increase in readership. In other words, the GYA folks like to hear about change agents and they liked you! I hope it paid off on your end and that others who found Life without Pants through the GYA will become participants here as well as there.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll see you around. :)

    Cheers,

    Mandy.

    • Matt Reply

      Mandy – thank you for being a part of this series! And that is awesome news – I’m glad I could bring some new faces over to your neck of the woods – I greatly appreciate the kind words and accolades in your post. To have people write ABOUT me, is an honor, and something I never would have expected at this stage in the game.

      Keep encouraging your community to come through this way and I look forward to future collaborations between us!

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