How can we change and is it really possible? The majority of personal development books talk about the capacity for change, and every single one will say that it’s possible. But you and I both know that the reality is tough and there are times when it seems like an impossible task. In many ways, the most important questions to ask yourself are ‘why and what do I want to change?’ It’s rather like committing to a gym programme, when the sweat is pouring off our brow and our lungs are burning, we need to have a bloody good reason for why we are putting our bodies through this pain!
Once we understand the ‘why’, and as long as it is important enough, the next stage is the ‘how’?
As far as I know, there are no magic bullets – and believe me, I have looked everywhere for one! Change takes commitment, effort and guts. It isn’t glamorous and it isn’t particularly enjoyable. The thing that makes it seem worth it, is the vision of what we are trying to achieve, the ‘why’ that acts as the fuel to keep us going and the small wins along the way.
A few months ago, I started drumming lessons at the age of 37 – I realise that being a drumming rock God is unlikely, but it is something that I have wanted to do for many years. Now, I have never played before and therefore my teacher began his lessons at the most basic level. After each lesson, I am set exercises to work on before the next session – as I currently don’t have a drum kit, I have to practice on an ‘imaginary’ one (this involves sitting down and seeing in my mind’s eye where each different component is, and then hitting the invisible snare, high hat etc).
This has made me much more aware of the process of how we take on board new information. Each time I bash away on my imaginary kit, I am burning a new set of connections in my brain. Like ramblers in a field, I am wearing away a new path in the grass.
When I don’t practice, my next lesson is scratchy. When I practice, the lesson is more fluid.
This is how we change. We must practice at it. We must develop new behaviours, new actions and keep repeating them. It is a process that can’t be achieved intellectually, it has to be experienced. It must be done instead of just thought.
So, why is change so tough? Because we are trying to form a new path in a field that is already covered with deep trenches developed by us over years of walking!
But, it is possible. We just have to make the commitment to walk the miles.