It’s Not Your Imagination; Change IS Hard
There are four consistent things in life. You’ve heard of them; birth, death, taxes and change. The truth is, day-to-day everything I do is tied to helping and encouraging people to change. With the caveat, to make change that is sustainable. In all likelihood, you’ve got the same challenge. I am an avid reader, and realize not everybody gets as jazzed about new books as I do. However, I think I’ve found a winner that you will love.
The book, Switch; How to Change Things When Change is Hard, addresses one of my core mantras. (Okay, that might be part of why I enjoyed this material.) When we get the head and the heart to agree on a change, it happens. It’s not about will power and it’s more than want power; it’s about getting the rational and emotional sides of our brain to agree to work together. Some might say it’s about getting the left and right sides of the brain to collaborate.
This read is different than many other books about change because the authors, Chip and Dan Heath are storytellers. Their approach is practical, their stories and examples draw you in and provide a fun, as well as informative read. I like the research that supports their arguments. (For those of you that like those facts.)
I’ve got it on my Kindle and have highlighted quite a bit.
I’ll pull out some bullet points to tease you and see if it seems this would be a good resource for you.
The authors share that when change works, it’s because a specific pattern is followed. Therefore, we can proactively craft a solid change plan. (Despite the emotions that accompany the process.) They reveal that when people change they have a clear direction, internal motivation that has meaning for them and a supportive environment in which to move ahead. The imagery used to explain the process is a rider of an elephant and the path upon which they travel.
The rider represents the right side of the brain. This rational, logical soul sets goals, makes plans and develops long-term visions. While the rider takes the lead for making change, the rider also gets exhausted with too many decisions and options. Think decision paralysis. The book lays out the best way to engage the rider.
The elephant is our emotional side. The elephant is easily distracted, not bound by logic or long-term goals. It is instinctive, impulsive and seeks instant gratification. Because the elephant is bigger and stronger than the rider, it often wins the choice battle; sabotaging self-control, will power and good intentions. There is a smart way to involve the elephant in change.
Finally, the path is the situation or setting where change must occur. As anyone that has worked to incorporate changes, whether for health, in relationships or developing skills at work, obstacles, old habits and thinking patters can get in the way. At least until you read about a better way to travel on the path.
Change IS hard, yet this reading can definitely make it smoother, maybe even easier.
I had a suspicion that the book would be great because I so thoroughly enjoyed their book; Made To Stick which came out a few years ago.