Change…and not the loose kind.

Well this little Wednesday boost is coming a little late on Wednesday, but it is still Wednesday! Also I am not so sure it is so much of a boost, as a pondering. Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind lately.  And that is Change.

Frequently at the Gym I hear the term “Pain is Change.” And we all know that is true. In fact a good friend of mine wrote an excellent blog post on that very subject that is well worth a read. You can read it here.

I believe that pain and change are symbiotic. You can’t have one without the other. Which is good. The pain gives us the motivation to make the change that is necessary. It is a tool to make us uncomfortable enough to want to change, and hopefully make it permanent.

Usually it comes about by some sort of catalyst. We have something happen that causes us to want to change. For example when I was first married, I was very happy. I was so happy I ate all the food I could see. I noticed that I began to gain weight. A lot. However I didn’t feel like doing anything about it. It wasn’t a big deal. I could fix it later. All the excuses we tell ourselves. After living in denial and laziness for a while, Dan and I went to a reunion of sorts. At the reunion we took a photo with a bunch of former school and church mates. I think you can see where this is going.

When I saw the photo, I saw that everybody looked the same, everybody except me. This event bothered me. It was shocking to see such a stark comparison.  It bothered me enough that I realized I could do something about it. It took a while, but I finally made the changes I needed to lose the weight. I have tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle since then.

That is a pretty minor example. There are, of course, major catalysts that occur. The addict that loses everything and turns their life around. The gossiper who becomes the subject, and learns the hard way the damage that does. I recently learned about someone who was an alcoholic. One night he was leaving a party and couldn’t find his car. He searched and searched. The end result was he reported it as stolen to the police. A few days later his friend called and asked when he was going to get his car. It was parked right in front of the house. This was a wake up call and he has been sober ever since.

So events occur that cause a change. Like I said, a catalyst. But why do we need the catalyst? Often we are already aware of the problem. I was totally aware of the fact that I needed to lose weight. I am sure the former alcoholic was aware of his problem on some level.  We all have something in us that we know needs to change. So why do we wait until the pain of change can be at its highest?

In Change Anything, a book by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, it states the following about changes.

“We do want to do them–in the abstract, just not in real life.  We want to do them in the future, just not in the present.”

Wanting to make a change does not seem to be enough.  A general desire to change will result in weak resolutions and unsuccessful results. I know this first hand as I generally have the desire to write in my journal consistently. However that has yet turned into a real action. Although I guess I can start counting this blog. But you get the point right?

So my wondering is, why do we wait for that pain or catalyst to motivate us to change? What stops us from doing it sooner? If some major disaster happens and I discovered that if I had only kept up on my journal writing, it could have been avoided. You bet your bottom dollar I’d be writing in my journal like a mad man after that.

I guess that is where self-discipline comes in, and maybe that is a part of pain too. Perhaps if we are willing to make a change, one that was not caused by something, then we have to be willing to force change and accept pain into our lives. To purposely go about making ourselves uncomfortable. And then when it does become uncomfortable, we must make the choice to quit or keep moving. Thereby, going forward with the pain, until we have achieved the new change we set out for ourselves. So, pain is a good thing. We can either wait until it peaks and forces us to act, or we can take control and welcome the pain a little sooner.

Either way the choice is ours!  Which just links back to my original Wednesday boost on choice!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree, disagree? Like I said, I have just been pondering it lately and I’m curious what you think as well.

P.S. Don’t forget to register for the CraigOs giveaway!!!!!! The winner will be announced on Friday!

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3 thoughts on “Change…and not the loose kind.

  1. I do agree. This has been on my mind for awhile. The problem is finding enough self discipline to do what we need. I have tried many times to change things, only to fail as soon as my “change fervor” declines. I think we all have. So I try again, and again, and again, and…. I do think each time I try and fail, I get a little closer to my end goal.

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