Creating Lasting Life Change
How does one change?
Life change is tough. Creating positive life change, or what I like to call growth, is even harder. My guess is I didn’t need to tell you this. You are probably all to aware of your shortcomings with new year's resolutions. You are sensitive to the fact that you have tried to make progress in an area and haven’t been able to. I too know the struggles of creating lasting sustainable life change. Having engrossed myself in personal development resources for the last 3 years, my focus has been on creating a state of constant growth. My desire to continuously go to the next level has left me overwhelmingly frustrated with my lack of progress. The good news is, I have made progress. I may not be where I want to be but I am further along today than where I was yesterday. This is what I have learned over the years as I have studied life change and what it takes to truly initiate sustainable growth.
#1 The past is the best predictor of the future unless there is some sort of intervening variable.
#2 People will change for one of two reasons, inspiration or desperation.
#3 there are two main motivators for people in life. The avoidance of pain and the gaining of pleasure.
#4 People are risk averse and would rather avoid pain than gain pleasure
#5 All growth requires change which is inherently uncomfortable.
#6 People don’t change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.
In essence your life won’t change much until it has to! Most people don’t see the progress they want to because they have neglected the laws of life change. Here is what you need to do if you want to grow.
#1 interrupt your status quo. Break the pattern. Find the intervening variable that will make your future different than your present.
#2 Expose yourself to resources that inspire you and create hope for a better future. If you don’t you won’t start the process until life makes you desperate.
#3 Attach your current actions and decisions to the negative consequences and your desired actions to the benefits. Make what you are doing now painful and what you need to do as pleasurable as possible.
#4 If we want to change before rock bottom demands it then we have to make the negative consequences really bad so that its extremely painful to continue the current path. We are motivated by the avoidance of pain and gaining of pleasure, but more so by the avoidance of pain.
#5 Accept the fact that this process is going to suck. We resist growth because it’s painful. “Everyone suffers one of two pains in life. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Realize there is no avoiding pain, but you do get to choose which you suffer. Choosing the more immediate pain will pay big dividends.
#6 Understand that we will take the path of least resistance. We must cast a vision for the future so compelling that it both inspires us and makes our present circumstances unbearable! We have to make not changing more difficult than changing! Make your vision clear. Go there in your mind and feel what it feels like to go to the next level. We want this sensation to be as real as possible.