By Allison Constantino
Whether you recognize, acknowledge, or accept it, change is always happening to and around us!
According to Henry Ford, “Businessmen go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change.”
There have been unprecedented changes in the last twenty years.
The internet has transformed every aspect of our lives, from communicating to consuming news, shopping, navigating, and entertaining ourselves.
According to the World Economic Forum, in 2000, just half of Americans had broadband access at home. Today that number sits at more than 90%.
Think about the changes in the way we communicate with each other.
In early 2000, there were 740 million cell phone subscriptions worldwide. Twenty years later, it’s past 8 billion, meaning there are now more cell phones than people!
We know we need to change to keep up when change is happening so fast. So, why is change so hard for so many of us? Why are we all so impatient?
“Impatience is only another form of resistance. When we demand that it be done right now, completed at once, then we don’t give ourselves time to learn the lesson involved with the problem we have created,” states Louise Hay, groundbreaking author of You Can Heal Your Life.
Hay continues, “If you want to move to another room, you have to get up and move step by step in that direction. Sitting in your chair and demanding that you be in the other room will not work. It’s the same thing. We all want our problem to be over, but we don’t want to do the small things that will add up to the solution.”
According to New York Times bestseller author James Clear of Atomic Habits, “It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements daily. Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action. Whether it’s losing weight, building a business, writing a book, winning a championship, or achieving any other goal, we put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvements that everyone will talk about.”
Clear continues, “We often dismiss small changes because they don’t seem to matter much in the moment. If you save a little money now, you’re still not a millionaire. If you go to the gym three days in a row, you’re still out of shape. If you study Mandarin for an hour tonight, you still haven’t learned the language. We make a few changes, but the results never seem to come quickly, and so we slide back into our previous routines.”
“People make a few small changes, fail to see a tangible result, and decide to stop. You think, ‘I’ve been running every day for a month, so why can’t I see any change in my body? Once this kind of thinking takes over, it’s easy to let good habits fall by the wayside. But in order to make a meaningful difference, habits need to persist long enough to break through this plateau – what I call the Plateau of Latent Potential.”
“If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential. Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees. Your work was not wasted: it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two degrees.”
“When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success. The outside world only sees the most dramatic event rather than all that preceded it. But you know that it’s the work you did long ago – when it seemed that you weren’t making any progress – that makes the jump today possible.”
Clear states, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”
“If you can get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.”
“Conversely, if you get one percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something more.”
“Success is the product of daily habits – not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
“Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.”
“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got,” states Henry Ford.
Ready to make a straightforward change in your life? Right now?
Louise Hay states, “Think for a moment about something in your life you would like to change. Go to the mirror and look into your eyes and say out loud, ‘I now realize that I have created this condition, and I am now willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.’ Say this several times, with feeling.”
“Say, ‘I am willing to change. I am willing to change. I am willing to change.’ You can touch your throat as you say this. The throat is the energy center in the body where change takes place. By touching your throat, you are acknowledging you are in the process of changing,” states Hays.
For example, if want to get in shape and start going to the gym, James Clear recommends saying these specific instructions, “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of exercise on (DAY) at (TIME) and (PLACE).”
“The sentence they filled out is what researchers refer to as an implementation intention, which is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act. That is, how you intend to implement a particular habit,” continues Clear.
“If you aren’t sure when to start your habit, try the first day of the week, month, or year. People are more likely to take action at those times because hope is usually higher. If we have hope, we have a reason to take action. A fresh start feels motivating.”
The only thing we have control of right now is our current thoughts.
Hays states, “Your old thoughts are gone; there is nothing you can do about them except live out the experiences they caused. Your future thoughts have not been formed, and you do not know what they will be. Your current thought, the one you are thinking right now, is totally under your control.”
So, think about how you can improve your life by changing one thing today, and then repeat it. Clear continues, “If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.”
So, think about how you can improve your life by changing one thing today, and then repeat it.
Clear states, “Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.”
Be that one person that takes responsibility for their thoughts and acts right now to implement a new habit that will make their life better by one percent!
James Clear, Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life