“It ain’t the roads we take; it’s what’s inside us that makes us turn out the way we do.” – O. Henry
When it comes to the subject of change, you don’t need fluff or theory. So let’s get right to the heart of the matter.
The way we change can take many forms. Knowing this is important because as Heraclitus said, “the only constant is change.” So it would be a good idea to understand how it works.
We can change because of:
- Events. We can change because of significant emotional events. Some of the common examples would be things like a divorce, heart attack, inheritance, having a child, bankruptcy, or marriage. However, we also know that there are those who do not change even after that significant emotional event. Folks can fall right back into the same old habits.
- Insight. We can change because of significant personal insight. Experiences don’t change us by themselves. They can simply remain experiences. We learn from them when we reflect on them. Here’s the formula:
Experience + Reflection = Insight
From this comes the deliberate decision to change one or more behaviors.
Change from both is good. However, to be able to change because of insight is to make change a positive lever assisting you to move forward on a day by day basis. No need to wait for an event. It results from asking 2 questions:
- What kind of person am I becoming? And…
- How far will that person take me?
These questions become your assistants as you plan and create your personal masterpiece.
Researcher, Julian Rotter, developed a concept referred to as Locus of Control. “Locus” means “place” or “location.” “Control” refers to what you are controlled by. There are 2 choices:
- Internal factors, or
- External factors.
You can have an internal locus of control or an external locus of control or be somewhere in the middle.
An internal locus of control means you believe your own thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and actions have a strong influence on your life’s outcomes.
An external locus of control means you believe what happens to you is controlled by others and outward circumstances.
The first group believes they can make a difference in their lives. They have control, not over everything or even the majority of things, but over enough to move the needle – to move their life in the right direction. They focus on what they can control, not on what they can’t.
The second group does not believe they have control. There is not a feeling of control. What’s the result? Whenever control is decreased, anxiety and stress are increased. Along with these emotional pitfalls comes the attitude that others tend to be more talented or lucky, and “I’m not.”
Natural talent is a wonderful thing. Everyone has it to varying degrees. The reality is that few people are genetically gifted, but we all have talent. Real success comes from learning what we need to improve…followed by hard work. Change is never comfortable because it’s growth, and that’s why it’s called growing pains. It’s worth it when we realize it’s the lever that creates the kind of person we are becoming.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone.
The successful journey begins when you decide you have the power to change. From there you learn how a particular change would benefit you. From there you commit to it. That’s execution.