The Second Vital Source for Lasting Change...Personal Ability (Do What You Can't)

If you're like me, there is a change you seriously want to make in your life, but have been unsuccessful in making.  You know that if you made this change, the quality of your life would be significantly better.   You would be happier, healthier, more confident, and more at peace with yourself. This change would be in harmony with the person you genuinely want to become.  So why haven't you made it?

The authors of the book Change Everything, contend that the reason isn't that you don't have enough will power, but that you have not leveraged key sources of influence that make change possible.

In one of my previous emails I gave you the first key source of influence which is personal motivation.  Change requires real motivation and the way to increase motivation is first, by getting real clear on the person you will be once you have made this change and second, by visiting your default future (what will your life be like in 5 years if you do not make this change).

There are 6 sources of change that they outline in this book.  Source 2 is personal ability.  To put it simply, one of the reasons we fail to make important personal changes (health, finances, relationships, personal habits, etc.) is that we lack the critical knowledge and skills that make change possible.

One of the reasons many people fail to quit smoking is that they are literally unaware of the impact of second hand smoke on their children. 

If you are someone who wants to eat healthier, one reason you might not be changing your eating habits is that you don't realize (knowledge) just how many calories and how much fat was actually in that Triple Hog Dare Ya sandwich at Applebees (not that the name shouldn't tell you all you need to know:-)).  

Weight Watchers is one of the most effective organizations in the world in helping people lose weight.  It should come as no surprise then, that one of the core components of their strategy is to teach people how to count calories.  Learning and applying this simple skill equips them with a much higher level of awareness of just how many calories they are consuming in relationship to how many calories their bodies actually need on a daily basis.

Maybe you aren't changing because of a key skill you need to develop.  Dave Ramsey has helped thousands of people change their spending habits, get out of debt, and become financially free.  One of the core components that makes Dave's program (Financial Peace University) so successful is teaching people the skill of learning how to track expenses and then develop a monthly spending plan (a budget).  Learning this skill provides people with a powerful tool to change their spending habits and get their spending under control.

So, if you are serious about making a change, take 10 minutes to reflect on and answer the questions I have provided below.

  • What is the change that you are genuinely seeking?

  • What is deeply motivating your desire to change this?  Consider writing a one or two sentence motivation statement that you could read and refer to on a daily basis to keep your motivation strong.

  • What knowledge or skills do you lack that would make this change more possible?

  • What resources do you need to gain that knowledge and skill?  Is it a book?  Is it a class or seminar?

In my next post I'm going to share with you the third source of influence for change.  It is probably my favorite and it is very powerful...stay tuned!