By Coach Lorne McAister
Change isn’t change until it's change!
“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Japanese Proverb
Jack Welch encourages us to “change before you have to.”
The funeral director respectfully ushered the grieving family into the viewing room for their first look at the prepared remains of their departed father. The music was subtle, the mood was somber, the lighting was soft when suddenly, and from the open casket a screech explodes. “You got the wrong suit on my father! You’ve go the wrong suit on my father.”
It was embarrassing, maybe unethical, certainly inappropriate and definitely urgent. The funeral director turned towards the back of the funeral home and bellowed, “Harry, change the heads on casket 4 and 5!”
Change just isn’t that simple for dead dudes or living lads.
Change has to make its way from the heart to the head and to the hand. Change isn’t change until it's change.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
The call for change is always mocked by the stronghold of habit. Random House dictionary defines habit in this way: “Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.” The important words are “acquired” and “almost voluntary.”
When was the last time you sat down and said to yourself, “today I am going to add a new habit to my life?”
Like me, you’ve probable never done that.
So how does our life get caught up with, tied up by, and locked into ongoing action patterns?
As columnist Brenda Hertzog states in her November 26, 2009 Helping Hand article: “You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit.”
Had any change lately? If so, you know it’s hard and it hurts, it’s tough and it’s rough.
You never know how locked in you are to a certain action, lifestyle, habit, until you decide to change, to stop, to have a fresh start.
“THIS YEAR I WILL…” is a great read by M.J.Ryan. Her book is full of useful stuff that will help you learn “How to finally change a habit, keep a resolution, or make a dream come true.”
From the comfy of your couch it is easy to come up with fantasies like…
This year, I’m going to stop being so negative.
This year I’m going to shape up.
This year I’m going for financial freedom.
This year I’m going to start a business, launch a project - do my dream.
This year I’m going to volunteer my time and donate my money.
This year I’m going to get organized.
This year I’m going to quit….
This year I’m going to change jobs.
This year I’m going to learn French.
How many of us have made resolutions similar to one of these?
We all have something we want to change about ourselves or something new we want to learn to do. We want to lose something, learn something, or live somewhere else.
I’m a life coach because I deeply believe the people can change. Not just superficially or temporarily. I buy into the old maxim “wherever there’s a will there’s a way.” Change only happens when you pass the I-really-want-it test.
So here’s the basic principle: In order to change, you have to want to.
When it comes to change it’s the start that stops most people.
One thing is clear to me… You can’t do everything you’d like to do…You must hold on to some things and let go of others. Learning to make that choice is one of the big lessons of this life. Every “yes” is hooked to a “no”. Every “no” is married to a “yes”. When you shout out a new “YES” you have to also declare a new “NO”. You should always realistically judge you success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Has your life come to a dead end?
I love what Naomi Judd said, “A dead end is a good place to turn around.”
One of the tricks of change is that we have to figure out how to do it in the midst of everything else. No time is perfect to begin. The procrastinating pull of the “then and there” has to be exchanged for the passion of the “here and now”.
Almost everyone remembers the hilarious line from the 1980 movie Airplane when Lloyd Bridges’ character, the head of flight control at the Chicago airport, complained during the worst airline crises he had ever experienced that he picked the wrong week to quit smoking.
So you want some CHANGE. A life coach like me can really help a changer like you. LET'S GET STARTED.
Just remember - change isn’t change until it's change!
FOUR ACTION AND TRACTION COACHING QUESTIONS