It’s often been said that the true definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things in the same, old way – yet somehow expect different results. Clearly, if we want to experience positive change in our lives and make significant improvements, we’re going to have to do things differently. But this is easier said than done.
People are extraordinarily resistant to change. The plain fact is that we much prefer to keep things exactly as they are. This leads to an instinctive inertia that aims to maintain the current conditions, even when the present circumstances are far from satisfactory. Have you noticed that?
It always seems strange that we’d rather endure a failing situation than undergo the discomfort of changing it for the better. We prefer to think, feel and behave in familiar patterns that support our view of how the world appears to work, rather than adopt the kind of behavioural shifts that can lead to dramatically improved results. It might seem strangely ironic but who said that human nature was bound by the laws of reason and logic?
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein
This problem can also affect companies and organisations. An entire staff can become so deeply trapped within the company mindset, that they find it extremely difficult to introduce new and appropriate changes that could revolutionise performance. In many cases, this is due to a fixed perspective that blinds people to obvious answers to entrenched problems.
This is why management consultants have become very popular as a means of introducing the catalysts for change. Their insights usually take the forms of the bindingly obvious – but their analysis can act as a wake-up call to address problems that have been neglected or left unresolved for years.
If you’ve reached the point where you’ve recognised the need for change in your life or in your organisation, it’s very helpful to begin with a list of what isn’t working.
It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow and transform. – Roy T. Bennett
Meaningful changes need to be arranged along rational, logical lines. It’s important to identify the areas that need to be re-organised and determine how you want them to function. For many people, change tends to be driven by emotional factors that lack any clear definition. This even happens in major corporations where a new management team seeks to stamp its style and authority on the business by making sweeping changes that serve no practical purpose. The same reaction can drive individuals to adopt purely cosmetic changes simply because they feel that any change can be equated with progress. Change for the sake of change is rarely a worthwhile exercise on a personal or a corporate level.
A comprehensive and brutally objective list of what isn’t working is a perfect starting place for any attempt to assess areas of weakness or failure in your life. Be prepared to extend the list beyond the usual areas that most people complain about. Set yourself a target of at least thirty items for your list of items or areas that aren’t working satisfactorily in your life. You could apply the same method to any business or corporation and it can be surprisingly revealing to apply this degree of critical rigour to the way any business is being run.
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself. – C. JoyBell C.
It’s often advisable to put the initial list to one side for a few days to let the mind’s deeper analytical faculties digest and process the data. A further review of the list may reveal areas that you’ve overlooked or it might identify items that no longer strike you as relevant.
The list can be very effective in marshalling your thoughts as well as adding a vital layer of objectivity to your view of whatever’s not working in your life or in your business. This is essentially what management consultants will do. They gather the data from you, assemble it into a priority list and then play the information back to you. They’re also known for seeking the answers to your problems from you – and then presenting the solutions in a neatly-packaged format. But you can be the agent for change in your life or in your organisation. And your list of failings or weaknesses can highlight the precise areas where change is needed.
The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind. – Friedrich Nietzsche
The next step is to determine which areas are most important or influential to you in terms of the outcomes you’re currently experiencing. Most projects for change will aim to identify the three most important items on the problems list – and then design a plan of action to address these weaknesses. The plan will also include a deadline for completing each phase of the programme for change. Then you can keep track of your progress on a daily basis and objectively assess the results of your programme.
One of the frequently overlooked items in this key exercise for directing change in your life is the need to repeat the method on a regular basis. Some suggest that it should be used every month because it provides such a potent insight into your state of affairs and it encourages you to take precisely-designed actions that will help you to overcome the inertia of inefficient or ineffective behaviours. As you become more familiar with the technique, the process of change will become easier for you to implement and much more manageable.
You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Roy T. Bennett
Start your very own project for change today and make a list of the areas that aren’t working for you. Identify key issues and make a plan to make things better. It’s a surprisingly effective way to empower your life and take better control of your future.
Are you ready right now for a completely fresh approach to life’s great adventure? Get in touch with us today for a free session to discover how the growing global movement for personal growth, success, change and empowerment can enhance your life!
Greg Parry created The Wellness Foundation and the Cognitive Empowerment Programs specifically to help people master their stress, overcome their limitations and explore the power of their true potential.
If you enjoy these blogs, you can imagine how much fun it is to have Greg in the room as an inspirational and highly perceptive speaker. If you’d like to invite Greg to talk to your company or organisation or event, feel free to get in touch.
You can contact Greg and explore our websites at: