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These 500 words on Leadership Development are for all leaders and managers who are interested in supporting their people through challenging times.
Do you ever feel that you are incapable of change? Do you want a different job, better work/life balance, a healthier lifestyle, more energy or a brighter future?
Have you been thinking about these things for ages but never actually achieved them?
Well that is because your day to day behaviour is keeping you on a steady path of least resistance.
Most of us lead steady lives, even during times when a global pandemic is raging. Human behaviour tends to be steady. It is how we like it. As humans, we default to the path of least resistance because it is comfortable, and it is safe.
We do not like the unknown.
That is why mental health is such a major concern in these current times. The unknown scares us and we generally have two objectives in life: to avoid pain and pursue pleasure.
During the lockdown, we have all been seeking ways to make life more pleasurable as we cope with the unknown. The reasons why seem self-explanatory: we have been trying to level up the playfield by making the unknown as known as possible.
This tends to make us incapable of change. Our desire for steadiness is the antithesis of wanting change.
But it’s not that you’re incapable of change, it’s just you don’t want to upset the apple cart. You are not doomed to repeat the pattern, it is rather your daily routines, the things you tell yourself and the words you use that become the building blocks of your life. Whatever is happening in your head is where you are going to be or heading towards.
We constantly map out where we are going to be, what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. We are just not self-aware enough to know that is what we’re doing.
Every day we go further down the path we have mapped out for ourselves. It happens slowly and steadily.
So, how can you change?
The first thing to realise is, erratic decisions are the tipping points for change, and they do not just happen randomly.
Today (yes, today) you need to change your behaviour, to change the trajectory of your life. You are about to create intelligent new behaviours or tipping points to change your predestined destiny.
So, write down exactly what you did today. Did you work? Did you rest? Did you argue? Did you feel tired? Did you eat healthily? Did you progress on your creative project? Pretend you lived this day every day for the next 10 years. Where would you be? Healthier, more fulfilled? Sad, more complacent? You decide this now.
For everything positive you have written down, adopt this behaviour, now. If you like something, you will be able to do it constantly. If you can do it constantly, it can grow.
And that is the crux of how to be capable of change. You can change your future by changing your day. You recondition yourself to a new comfort zone, one that contains all the habits you need to bring yourself where you want to be in the future.
If you want to be a writer, write today. If you want to be healthier, exercise and change your diet today. If you want to stop fighting, show peace today. If you want to change, change today.
Our lives are not random.
They aren’t spontaneous. They have tipping points or breakthroughs that occur after hours and days and years of doing the same thing. What you do not realise is that everything you do – whether it be consciously and unconsciously — is creating your life. And most importantly, what you think is creating your life. If you want a different future, change today.
At CLP, we believe that Change, also within organisations, can happen only when behaviours evolve to leave space for a new comfort zone, a new normal. Space for Change can be created only by realising that what we do now will decide where we go next. Find out more about our approach at clp.world or get in touch to discuss over a cup of coffee during Prime Time.
Dr. Marcus Gottschalk
CEO at CLP
CLP periodically publishes 500 words that reflect our experiences, research and thought leadership. Download your PDF version here.