We all find it difficult to stick to our new year resolutions beyond a few months. A lot of people wish to focus on their health and start exercising. Many people I know want to quit smoking. We have a lot of “wishes” on improvement, but we often fail to take some real actions.
Because change is hard and most of the times, we are resistant to change. Not only because it pulls us out of our comfort zone, but also because when we initiate a change, we don’t see the end results very clearly.
My gym instructor recently shared a very good insight. He observed that people who constantly focus on the pain when exercising give up sooner. He also noted that people who look for instant changes in their health after a few days of exercising also get disappointed soon.
That insight goes well with my own experience which suggests that all meaningful changes take time, demand persistent effort and are driven by strength of our belief that things will be better after a change is implemented, be it improving processes or getting in a better shape.
I realized that we only change when we “have to” change (externally driven) or when we strongly believe in the result of change (internally driven). Most people/organizations don’t think about meaningful changes unless the consequences of not changing are serious or our survival is at stake. In my view, it is always better to be internally driven to changes and improvement (and hence constantly improve) than to be forced upon by external situations. Because the latter often tends to be more painful.
How much you improve (as an individual or as an organization) is directly proportional to the strength of your belief in the benefits of change.
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P.S. Read this interesting quote on Twitter, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
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Have a great day!