Dan Heath quotes a psychological study where two group of people are given different kinds of foods – one cookies, the other radishes. They are then asked to solve an insolvable puzzle. The high sugar group lasts 2 1/2 times longer than the vegetable group. I am a leadership/change consultant and a trained holistic health counselor/therapist so - I wonder if the radish group realized earlier on that the puzzle was unsolvable since they had healthy food in their systems!
I agree that change requires enormous energy and self control. We have so much energy to expend before we need to replenish, and so much self control before we have a meltdown. Individuals (and organizations) have a limited capacity of how much and what kind of change they can handle. You start with your desire, will and some advice/support on how to change. Then you try. If you don’t get the desired results, you either modify WHAT you are trying to change or HOW you are doing it. Change requires will, action and experimentation. To keep trying requires commitment.
Change is hard because energy and attention are finite resources. It can be easier when we realize that it is about creating different neural connections and/or rewiring well-grooved neural pathways in the brain (changing a habit).
Focusing your attention, repeatedly over time, literally changes the chemical circuitry in your brain. True, sustained change is hard because we often don’t “get it right” on the first, fifth or fiftieth time and we need encouragement, support and tools to stick with it until our brain gets with the program! Staying focused on the positive, the outcome you want, versus what you are not getting, is the key. It’s as simple and hard as this.
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