I have always found it humorously odd that we all tend to want and talk about change, yet the majority of us will never do anything about it. That’s just the simple truth. People don’t really want to change. I mean they say they do. Hell, we all say we want to change all the time, especially at the end of this month. New Year’s resolutions will come pouring in from around the world. Millions of people declaring the changes that they will make. Odds have it that many of those resolutions will be repeat offenders. Some in the double digit year award. So, how is it that someone can say they are going to make a particular change for 10 years without ever actually doing something to change? It’s because we hate change! We have declared war on any significant changes and will battle them into the trenches if we must. Change is combated so often and so severely that an entire industry exists because of it. Change management and change consultants exists merely because people hate change. Teams of consultants come into a business for the sole purpose of getting employees to accept a new way of order. That simple and yet that difficult. It doesn’t matter where you go, you will always find resistance to change, even when it’s beneficial.
We are creatures of habit, no matter if they be good or bad. We are habitual by nature. Why? There is comfort in our habits and having a sense of what’s to come next. It’s our biology, it’s built into our DNA as a survival skill. We know whats around that corner and therefor it’s okay to proceed. We don’t perceive any fear because we have a bit of certainty in what lies ahead. Change disrupts that certainty. Change means we may have to learn to do something differently than we’ve done before. Something we may not be good at, or have difficulties with. We have all heard it and probably guilty of saying it ourselves, “That’s just the way we’ve always done it.” That has to absolutely be the most frustrating rebuttal to change. If that was truly the basis for our thinking, we should be living in caves and asking Siri how to hunt down our next meal. I mean hey, that’s how we’ve always done it, right?
Durning my time in the Marine Corps that was a common excuse to resist any type of change. That’s right – an excuse. It is nothing more than a simple excuse to reside in the comfort of certainty. So, how do you stop combating change and actually fight to initiate it? You lead. In business, just as in the military, effective change is a leadership issue. The most difficult Marine I ever had to lead was myself. You must be the leader that initiates effective change within yourself. I use a simple approach to jump-start that change that can literally save someone’s life.
LOOK – LISTEN – FEEL
Those words should be familiar because they come from the method to assess someone’s breathing when performing CPR. Look for the chest rising and falling – Listen for breathing sounds – Feel their breath on your cheek. This is one of the beginning steps in CPR and what ultimately would determine if action needed to be taken. Let those words be the same beginning steps for you and determine the action that needs to be taken. No matter the goal, the issue, or the behavior, if you need to change, this will initiate some real action. It’s as simple as One – Two – Three.
LOOK – LOOK THE PART.
LISTEN – LISTEN TO EXPERIENCE.
FEEL – FEEL THE CHANGE.
LOOK THE PART
This isn’t a new concept. I’m sure you have heard it before. Whatever you want to be — look like it. You want to be a businessman, look like one. Want to be a professional, dress like one. Pretty simple, but I want you to take it a step further. Look the part in your life’s surroundings as well. You want to lose weight and be healthier? Well, you cant just throw on some yoga pants and running shoes, and call it a day. You need to look the part in your life as well as the mirror. Becoming healthier means your fridge should look a certain way, your home should look a certain way, and you should look a certain way. This applies to any changes that should be made. Want to read more, improve your success, and make some changes? You need to look the part. Trust me, the moment you put on that Marine Dress Blue uniform, you will be transformed without a single change being made. It’s because you look the part. It initiates the change. You cannot expect to make changes this year, if you dont change the way you look. When you change the way you look, you’ll change the way you look at things.
LISTEN TO EXPERIENCE
We all tend to go at things alone sometime, forging our own path. This isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes an unnecessary one. Why would you not want to follow in the footsteps of someone who has made the changes you want to make? It’s frustrating how common this thought process is. Even in combat operations, a oncoming unit would sometimes ignore the experience and procedures of the unit that was there before them. Kind of a, “we know you’ve been here awhile but we’ll learn as we go” type of mentality. That’s insane and that’s when your life could depend on it. So, you can see how often we tend have this sort of bias behavior. Stop! Listen. Seek experience and seek examples. They can help guide you, help you make changes you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
FEEL THE CHANGE
Not only to initiate change but to also make change last, you have to feel it. Feel the difference that change will make in your life. Feel the impact the changes will have on those around you. Feel it in your own heart, feel it in the ones you love. What’s that feel like? What’s that really feel like? You need to understand the emotion and feelings involved with each change, and not just for yourself. Now, for you to abandon the changes your going to make, you’ll have to abandon the feelings associated with them too. The joy, the excitement, the pride, the gratitude, all of it. Feel the changes this coming year and the changes will last.
When you start to make that infamous list this year of changes that you’re going to make in 2018, make sure you remember the life saving and change saving tips from today. Just before you start CPR, you need to look, listen and feel. Just before you initiate change, you need to look, listen, and feel. Both could save a life.