It’s easier to stay the same than change, it’s even easier to simply complain while staying the same. This is the way, day after day, week after week, and year after year people stay stuck. They stay stuck in the same patterns of thinking and believing. They stay stuck in the same habits of doing. They stay stuck in the same way of being who and where they are.
Being stuck is caused by believing without thinking; doing without deciding what we really want and planning how we are going to get it.
If we want to “be” different, we have to “do” different. Most people won’t or don’t do anything different yet they expect a new result, a new outcome in life and business.
Here’s a bit of good news–you will not stay stuck in the same place and in the same way forever. Change and changing inevitable.
Here’s the bad news, where you end up might not be better.
Maybe you’re happy exactly where you’re at and you think there’s no need to change. What worked yesterday in getting what you wanted might work today, maybe even the next and the next. But, no matter who we are or how successful we’ve become there are fluctuating factors ready to redirect our destination.
No matter how hard we try to hold onto the past and present eventually the day will come when what we are doing stops working and stops producing the results we want and feel we deserve.
If you’re not willing to choose to change, eventually you’ll be forced to change by circumstance. We simply cannot stay static in a changing world and a dynamic environment.
It’s important we know we have to change, that we are capable of change but just as importantly we have to be willing to make a change. To be willing to change we must have a reason–a reason more powerful than the reasons we have to stay the same.
The reason why most people stay the same is because they are afraid of the unknown and the uncertainty of doing something different. Rather than taking a chance a change won’t work, we cling to the present methods of believing, thinking, doing, living or in the way we do business.
There are few guarantees in business and even fewer in life but there IS one thing that’s certain…
If we stand still in an ocean of change eventually we’ll get swept up by the waves and carried out to sea to a destination we’ve never intended.
Most people believe there are an infinite number of methods of change. In truth there are only four forces or factors we can use to change. We can start doing something we’re not currently doing. We can stop doing something we are currently doing. We can do more or we can do less of something we do as part of our living our lives or operating our business.
There are infinite pathways to a place of change and areas we can alter. The key to succeeding in achieving what it is we want is to know what and why we want to change. It’s the difference between choosing the change we want or having the forces of the unknown pull us in an uncertain direction with unexpected or unintended results.
Knowing the unavoidability and inevitability of change, what are we to do to make a choice of what we do differently and when?
First, we have to recognize the reality of what “is”–the circumstance and condition of our life and our business. We have to face the facts and look the current conditions squarely in the eye.
Next, we have to decide what it is we really want, why it’s important, and what we are willing to do or to give up to keep or achieve it. Then, we have to assess where we are and where it is we want to go. We have to be crystal-clear about what is supporting us or is likely to hold us back in having the life and business we want for the weeks, months, and years ahead.
What is working well for us today; is it likely to work in the future? What are we doing today that perhaps hasn’t worked as well as it had in the past? What things would we be willing to fight for to remain the same and what would we be willing to give up for a chance at a better future? What situations and conditions exist today or we foresee in the likely future that will require us to do something differently to survive and succeed?
Every person and every situation is unique and so will be your goals and your plan. In the words of the late Stephen Covey, “Start with the end in mind.”
What is your vision of an ideal outcome for your life or business?
Perhaps your greatest, most immediate goal is to make more money, have more time, more freedom, or maybe a greater sense of certainty and security. It could be you want deeper, more significant relationships. Maybe you want to have a greater sense of meaning and purpose.
For some people their primary aim is a certain lifestyle; for others it might be having better balance in life. You decide what it is that is important to you and what it is you aspire to be and to have. There are no right or wrong, better or worse answers here–it’s a matter of focusing on something supremely meaningful to you.
Ideally your goals should cover every aspect of your life–financial, physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Your family and intimate relationships should be included in both your emotional and social goals. Your personal mission or life’s purpose should be represented in your emotional, intellectual, and spiritual vision of your ideal future.
Your vision for your life and ideal future needs to be consistent with your values and serve and support you on every level of living.
Another element that’s very important. You have to think about more than just your “needs”; you have to think about your wants and desires. We maybe motivated in the short-term by what it is that we need but once those needs are satisfied, it’s what we want and aspire to be that motivates us.
No matter your choice or image of your future, focus on creating a compelling picture in your mind that inspires you. This is a crucial element. Most people believe it’s the present moments that create our future. Quite the opposite is true. It’s our image of our ideal life and desired outcomes that compel us to take action and propel us into the dawn of a new day.
What is it you want, need, desire, or deserve that would make your life meaningful and to give you a sense of success and accomplishment?
What beliefs would you have to embrace to make your change possible?
What are the decisions you have to make and the actions you need to take to create a life you desire and a business you aspire to have?
Think about the people and things that have helped propel your forward in your previous successes and who and what have held you back. Whose help do you need now to support your success and how could you contribute them in return for their help? How can you avoid the impediments of other people and overcome the obstacles that have blocked your way in the past?
Here’s a template for planning your pathway to progress and achievement:
- What is it you want?
- What does it look like to you?
- What would it feel like when you have it?
- What will it do for you when you have it?
- What would you be willing to do to have it?
- What would you be willing to give up?
- What beliefs would you have to embrace to know it’s possible for you to have or achieve?
- What beliefs would you have to change about yourself, your abilities, other people, or the world?
- Who are some examples of other people who have achieved what you want?
- How did they achieve it or how would you imaging they attained a level of success you desire?
- What would YOU have to do to reach the same results?
- What would be the first step in getting started? What’s the next step after that?
Finally… “When would Now be a great time to get started??”
“As an irrigator guides water to his fields, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives.”