The First Key to Change...Personal Motivation (Love What You Hate)

As I outlined in my last post, the reason that you and I often fail to make the changes we want is NOT BECAUSE WE LACK THE WILLPOWER.

It's because we haven't tapped into some of the most vital and powerful resources that make change possible.  

According to the authors of  Change Anything:  The New Science of Personal Success,  Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson, there are six sources of influence that they have identified in their study of  5,000 people who successfully changed (long-lasting behavioral changes) areas of their lives that were deeply important to them. 

And, get this...their research revealed that the people who use these sources of influence and apply these skills, are "1,000 percent more successful at producing change than those who try other means."

Wow!  That is an impressive number.

So what are those resources?

The first source of influence or skill to develop is to "love what you hate."

As the authors point out in the book, the changes that we need to make are often boring, uncomfortable and oftentimes challenging.  In theory we would love to make these changes, but in the rubber-meets-the-road reality of everyday life, it's a different story.

So, we need to make something that feels undesirable, desirable and enjoyable.  Why?  Because we ultimately do the things we enjoy.

And how do we do that?  Well, by "visiting your default future" and "telling the whole vivid story."  In other words, paint a very clear and graphic picture of your life 3-5 years from now if you continue on with your current behaviors.

What if you choose to continue with the same high fat, high calorie diet that you have been on?  How will it effect your weight, your self-esteem, your energy, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels?  What will you look like?  How will you feel?  Imagine it.  Picture it.  Feel it.  Spell it out in graphic detail.  Write it out and read it out loud to yourself.

One of the most powerful reasons we don't change is that we have not painted a future picture of the vivid reality of what our default future will be if we make no changes.  A practical and powerful idea for you on this one is to identify someone you know who is already living your default future.  Reflect on their life for about 30 minutes and let the full weight of that sink into your consciousness.

On the flip side, paint a vivid picture of what your life will look like when you successfully make the changes you want to make.  I have a friend who wanted to become a positive inspirational person at work.  One of the practical steps she took to love what she hated was to create a vision board filled with inspirational pictures and quotes that regularly reminded her of the kind of person she wanted to be.  She placed this in a prominent place close to her desk and reflected on it so that it could be a force to "pull her up" in those moments when she felt the pull to enter into the negative office politics around her.

Then use your default future and your ideal future to craft a "personal motivation statement."  This is a concise statement that captures WHY making this change is so important to you.  This connects you to the transcendent values that you want to define your life and serves as the compass for your actions.  Discovering your "why" provides you with the kind of "pull power" that you need, the motivation it takes to trade short term happiness in favor of long term joy.

So I have 2 questions for you to think on and answer because coaching is all about deepening the learning and forwarding the action.  First, what did you learn that was most valuable to you?  Second, what is the one simple concrete step you will take to apply what you learned?