Funny how this world is working out, you see we are born to change from the moment we are conceived. We spend our whole lives moving from one biological change to another until we die.
But we are not in charge of that biological change, we can effect it at a physical level (how we choose to live our lives) but so far we can’t stop the change of aging. So why are we so resistant to being asked to change, by others or most importantly ourselves. This is no longer a rhetorical question, it is at the center of our very survival and to avoid change today will mean lack of opportunity tomorrow.
As usual there are many views on how we should go about this but they all start because of one thing, a ……
Mine was I became depressed and for a man who had woken up everyday disgustingly happy it came as a real shock. Now I don’t know about other people but as I had never experienced depression before I didn’t really understand I was depressed until I started to come right, and at about that time I had this urge to change my personal behavior. My logic was that if I had ended up depressed then I must have been doing something wrong, so change I would. The first mistake I was to make was looking for help…
From an “Expert”
I am constantly blown away by the ever increasing mountain of self help books from personal change Guru’s. People ask yourself the question ” if just one of them was any good why do we need the rest?” and the answer is not because we are all different…. although we are, the reason is because you can’t learn personal change from a book.
It is not like building a deck it is about changing how we think in order to change how we behave and I’m sorry but no well intentioned hype jockey is going to help me do that by reading their book. For me the first step was to…
Ask people who I trusted
to give me a truthful answer on what they thought I needed to change. After I had done that.. I dismissed their answers as trivial and kept looking for that one great thing that would change my life. And sometimes that’s the problem we believe there is one thing that will trigger this change and we go on a life journey to find it when in fact it is the cumulation of…..
Lots of small steps
that actually get us there. Now I know that this is not news to you, but my point is that everything is made up of the sum of its parts and it is that insight we should focus on. So armed with this simple truth how can we turn ourselves into this new being. The first thing I found worked was to change the thought into an action.
Actions are a fantastic way for us to rewire our thoughts as physical things are reasonably easy to remember. The Martial Arts has known this forever, train repetitively until the body understands so the mind doesn’t need to think. So I started with a list of things I wanted to change and I wrote them down and stuck them on the mirror in the bathroom. This is a good place as it is generally the first place we go when we get up.
Changing a Thought into and action
this is where it starts to get tricky as there are so many ways we can tell ourselves that this bit doesn’t matter or we will do that bit later, so Its’s best to agree with yourself just tackle the easiest one first. Sometimes people feel that if you overcome the hardest one first then the rest will be easy, logical… but bound to fail.
So now take that thought “learn to say NO” and practice it in the mirror ( like in the movie Taxi Driver) just a simple line, “thank’s for the opportunity but I must decline”. One of my problems was I always try to justify my response with a reason, so I always had to make up and excuse (not to offend) which usually led to me Lying. Sorry but I am busy that day because Bla Bla Bla.
So in order for me to say NO I had to learn just to say No and NOT add a story, hence ”thank’s for the opportunity but I must decline”. So I practiced that every morning standing at the mirror and every time I was offered something I really didn’t want, or couldn’t do…..”thank’s for the opportunity but I must decline” but as we all know…
Nothing is in isolation
so as we tackle these points we want to change other things come into play that are effected by them which means more change. It is often at this stage we tell ourselves it has all become to difficult and we stop, if you get to that point go back to where you feel you were succeeding and just do that. Don’t feel bad if you slip up occasionally as it will probably take months before your new behaviors are reinforced enough to be second nature (congratulations success).
Change effects us at all parts of our lives and as we go through it we shed parts of our lives, friends being one of them and sometimes even partners. So when we start down a road of even small changes our lives can change dramatically and there is no turning back, you cannot unlearn something. But what if this change is being mandated to you by someone else, like where you work for instance.
It’s the classic position where there is a change of management and now everything you used to do one way is no longer “the way we do it”, which is where we came in…
So they expect you to change
And this is where I will leave you as unless you are happy to accommodate this new change, unless you absolutely agree with the new direction, unless you are given the time, support, encouragement and tools, this will only end in disaster.
Because the people instigating the change are usually not the ones having to do it so for them it is business as usual, but for you, well thats a different matter…..