Quote of the Week 30: Two basic steps to make essential changes

You can’t change what you don’t see. You don’t change what you see, unless you want to. Awareness of necessary change has to be fully accepted; if not, nothing happens. Awareness without action will never achieve anything…



How change aware are you? 

The quote emphasises that awareness is the starting point, the first step, for any change we make. This first step is crucial: we can’t solve a problem that we don’t even see.

The second step is equally important. Unless we accept the need for the change that we’re aware of, then nothing happens. This can be a huge problem for us. We know what we should do, everyone tells us we need to do it, but we refuse to do it: we do not accept it. 

How familiar does this sound to you? . . .

“Yeah, O.K., I know I should change, but I’m not ready, I don’t want to change, leave me alone, I’ll do it when I’m ready . . . and so on.” 

One massive step: from awareness to acceptance

The list of excuses, rationalisations, evasions, resistence, goes on and on. We’re brilliant at excusing ourselves, for all kinds of things that we should do, but never quite get round to.

I was talking to a middle-aged bloke the other day. He was a bit overweight and unfit; he even mentioned that he liked his drink too much. He admitted that he really should do something about it. But I’m not convinced he’ll follow through. His body language said it all: that look on his face, that tone in his voice, sounded all too familiar. It seemed he wasn’t ready to change.

Why does he hesitate? It’s not that he’s a bad guy, and he really would like to be fitter. After all, he played rugby for many years. Maybe he’s just so content with his present life-style, that he’s not ready for any challenging change. There are things in life, we like so much, that we never quite get round to changing them. 

Your big choice: Self-discipline versus Softness

We are all a bit soft, when it comes to self-discipline, aren’t we? How hard it is to get out of that beautiful armchair, push our back off that comfortable cushion, change our clothes, and get outside, and move! Yes, move a bit more! Go for a brisk walk, run, jog, climb, or even go to the gym, or even attend that evening class we promised ourselves we would. . .

That old sofa has made us soft, and sloppy about our health and wellbeing. Procrastination always gives it’s vote to the sofa:

“No worries,” it insists, “I’ll do it later,” as we push our back more firmly into that soft cushion. 

It reminds me of a book I read, many years ago: “The Cult of Softness.” It suggested that, as a society, we’ve all gone a bit soft, wallowing in ever more soft, comfortable and inviting surroundings. We settle for less than we should.

When “good” is actually not so “good”

Why do we settle for “Less” rather than our “Best”? Less is our greatest enemy, precisely because it’s already something good, not bad. It’s another case of “the good is the enemy of the better.” We can find a hundred reasons to stay with “good.”. 

“There’s nothing wrong with my life,” we insist, lying to ourselves, “I like it just the way it is. It’s good.”

Your life? Merely Average?

And so, the vast majority of the human race settle down, to a life of mediocrity. A life that is merely average, a life that’s way below what we’re capable of. We’re missing out on so much!

We know we could be happier, more fulfilled, if we aimed to be the best we can be. We always know that we could be doing a lot better, but we’ve refused to do it. That has to make us feel a bit bad about ourselves. 

Never mind, all is not lost. It’s never too late. We can do something about it. Tomorrow’s a new day; nothing’s written in stone: make a new start! The future’s always open to your own free choices.

Your life-coach: your mirror

I’m sure no-one likes being completely honest for once, looking in the mirror, and realising that the person, looking back at you, has let you down. The mirror stares back at you; there’s nowhere to hide; and then it speaks: 

“You’re better than this!”

Gerry McCann

@themerry_monk

P.S. What’s your own little secret change; change that you haven’t actually made yet? If you like, please let us know by leaving a comment.

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