Some of my favorite Quotes
"Everything rises and falls on leadership." John Maxwell
"We grow great by dreams. All great men are dreamers." Woodrow Wilson (no relation)
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mohatma Gandhi

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Most People Don't Change and How They Can

Most of us I think would agree that people can change for the better.  This is indeed a fact, and there are so many examples around to show it’s true, it's futile to argue this fact.  For some reason however, most people don’t change for the better, even if they say they want to, but why? What’s holding them back? 
The fact is that Change is possible, it's possible for everyone.  Some people start out with great potential, and end up in some lowly state. Others start out at a certain level and keep climbing until they reach a point where it’s clear to see they’ve become very successful.  What’s different with these two cases? Change is inevitable but growth is an option.  Why do some people continue to grow, while others remain stagnant or regress?

I’ve been fortunate to have been directed to some great readings over the past few years.  The keys to growth are present in many of these readings.  Most of us have all heard a lot about goals and goal setting in the past.  Most of us have heard all we care to hear about goals.  There is a lot of theory to be read about goals, but most people have instead developed their own theories.  Many of us have not used goals and goal setting to get all we can or all we want out of life.   Some people don’t use them because they don’t know how, others claim they just don’t believe in them.  Those who don’t believe in them aren’t being honest.  They normally don’t believe in themselves, or they don’t understand the power of a written goals plan.

Without a long term goal to give us vision, and keep us focused we all find that short term failures are to easy to focus on.  If the only thing we focus on is our short term failures it’s tough to stay motivated and keep thriving for improvement.  Most people find change difficult, but difficult isn’t impossible.  Life is difficult, so is climbing a mountain.  But without the difficulty of the climb, it's tough to rise to a higher place.  How many people do you know who have: Made New Year’s Resolutions, but failed to keep them;  Decided to lose weight, but then gained it back plus a few pounds;  Set goals, maybe the same goals over and over again;   Promised themselves they’ll read more or go to bed earlier or get up earlier or spend less or save more or lose weight, get fit, spend more time with loved ones, work harder (or work less), focus, be more productive or just be more disciplined.  We all want to be a better person, but when we try to improve and can’t, we get frustrated.  It's easier to stay the same or be like everyone else.  Sometimes we follow through with our goals for a day, a week or even a month.  Then for some reason we get distracted and . . . you can finish the sentence.  We can find a way to continue the improvement until we reach our goal.

Here’s how you can change – if you want to. 
  1.       Start out by setting a goal that’s bigger than you are.  Set a goal that really stirs your soul.  We all have them, we might have to think about it hard, but we all have them. 
  2.       Once you decide on the goal, write it down.  Don’t be vague, be specific with what you want, who you want to be or where you’d like to go. 
  3.       Next set a date by which you will accomplish this goal.  Be specific, don’t say in the next few years, write down a specific date for a specific goal. 
  4.       Now be sure to make a point to read the goal out loud every morning when you get up & every night before you go to sleep.  This has to be the first thing you think about when you get up & the last thing you think about when you go to bed.  It needs to happen enough to get into your subconscious.
  5.       Lastly – the riskiest part – tell the right people about your goal.  If it’s a give up goal (like losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.) tell everyone.  If it’s a move up goal (become company manager, buy a business, buy a vacation home on a lake, etc.) tell only your good friends – those who will encourage you.
Somewhere in here, you also have to make a plan to get actually accomplish your goal, to make it to happen.  If you have a hard time making a plan, seek help from someone who has what you have.  Successful people want to help others get what they want.  The first five steps will basically force your plan to get into motion.  The plan will move forward due to the power of the subconscious mind. You have to let your subconscious work on your goal while you aren't even thinking about it.  In one second, the conscious mind fires 2000 neurons, while the subconscious mind fires 4,000,000,000 neurons in the same time frame. You have to inspire the subconscious mind if you're going to accomplish something big.

The key to remember is that with steps like these, we can change in the way we want to change.  It will take persistence, hard work and more importantly a drive that comes from our subconscious.  The most important thing to give us persistence is the long term vision along with some allies who will encourage us.  If you don’t have that type of person in your circle of friends – change friends.  Calvin Coolidge was perhaps one of our most under appreciated presidents.  One of the most powerful things he said was Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Once we find ourselves in the road to positive change, we need to be sure we stay focused.  To many people fail due to broken focus than from lack of talent or ability.  Don’t settle for good when better is available.  Good is the enemy of great.  Robert Kiyosaki says that success requires three principles: Long Term Vision, Delayed Gratification & The Power of Compounding.  

Remember, change is inevitable but growth is optionable.  Decide to grow if you're not living the life you want to lead.  If you need direction on some tools to get there - ask.  I'll gladly point you to some fantastic resources out there to assist you in your journey.

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