I have known many very sincere, motivated and even dedicated people who badly want to make fundamental changes in life. Many of them are very skilled and would seem to have the ability and motivation to be successful in what they are attempting to do. Yet they fail, hit roadblocks and see life becoming no where close to what they want it to be. Why??
I think a lot of it has to do with the word turn. Change is a turning, a move from one place, one thing to another. But turning can be used in two ways and I think we often look at the wrong one.
Turning can be a turning from. It can be about what we stop or no longer want to do. Much change is wound up with some notion of stopping. The problem is that it doesnt always work very well. Concentrating on what we hope to stop doing keeps the focus on what we dont want to do. The best way to set ourselves up to impulsive decisions or simply doing what we are used to doing is to decide to concentrate on the things we dont want to do. All things equal we tend to slide back to doing what we are used to doing. “One more time….” is one of the easiest things in the world to talk ourselves into. People can always find ways to find justification to do what they really want to do or are used to doing.
We dont defeat passion by refusing it. We defeat by finding something we care about more. We defeat by turning to. Not doing bad things is not the same thing as doing good things. Trying to keep things from getting worse is not the same as making them better. Change is not about doing away with what being emotionally invested in something. It is about finding something better to be emotionally invested in.
What are you turning to? Is it really worth turning to? And how are you helping the process of turning to take form and gather steam?
The secret to much of life is not how you say no, but to what you say yes.