I’m a fan of Jim Rohn’s. Here are a couple of his quotes relative to change. “Disgust and resolve are two of the great emotions that lead to change” And. “It is our philosophical set of the sail that determines the course of our lives. To change our current direction, we have to change our philosophy not our circumstances.”
In a general way I have embraced change throughout my life but unfortunately some of those changes led to dire consequences. Dire hardly even covers it! More than a few of my worse changes came because of the influence of liquor. I can’t say that liquor was the exact cause but liquor has a way of altering how we think about our actions. Can you visualize ‘downward spiral’? So disgust is a pretty strong motivation for change but the disgust has to be harsh and deeply felt, coinciding with potentially disastrous end results.
The flip side of disgust is resolve. It’s the more positive spin to change but that’s as far as the positivity goes. Resolve can be a serious motivator when the failure to change leads to dire consequences down the road. This is why I think Change is Hell. When I was given the opportunity while in the Army to jump out of airplanes or do KP for three weeks I chose Airborne after initially choosing kitchen patrol. However, this logic left a jet contrail in my brain. Airborne has to be reasonably safe or no one would volunteer for it. I haven’t read anything discouraging people from going Airborne due to poor training, faulty chutes, or bad planes. Peeling potatoes sucks! I get paid more if I’m a jumper. Besides, I’m a tough guy, I can handle it. The decision to change in this situation was easy because the consequences were kind of shrouded in mystery. And let’s face it I just could not imagine dying at 23.
Quitting smoking (my wife and I completed 6 months today) was not that different; I could visualize the dire consequences of lung disease and I was beginning to feel the effects of cigarettes even though I was down to 2 a day. My wife’s stroke was the cold-water-in-the-face dose of reality that was the final nail in the coffin (so to speak) indicating that we had no choice in the matter.
Resolve is defined as ‘to come to a definite or earnest decision about’. Definite and earnest are two hard-core words that do not invite equivocation. Resolving to change is not easy unless you can visualize the epic downside if you keep doing the same behaviors. For me personally this is how I change. I won’t claim it’s the best way. Ideally it is better to see an outcome that you want to achieve and then take the steps necessary to change. I guess either way yields the same result. One involves a smack up side the head, the other involves an idyllic approach.