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No Change, No Change

October 22, 2017

Every day I have a routine of posting some inspirational stuff on my social media, especially on Instagram and on my Facebook Fan Page. This week I’ve been doing a lot of posts relating to change, change management, reflections and the like. In today’s article I want to continue with the same flow but first, let me encourage you to visit my Facebook page or my Instagram page. There is always something to inspire and keep us focused on a daily basis. I write those posts for myself as much as for all those who visit my pages daily. Even as you read this article today, there is something out there on those pages I posted early this morning to keep us focused, and as we start a new week, it would be good for you to make your way to either of the above pages, like and/or follow so that you too get to share in what I post. You will not regret doing so.

Having said that, let me get down to the business of the day.

Let’s talk about YOU. Yes. You.

I am going to ask you a few questions that might not be very interesting to answer because they might force you to really look deep within you, but they are necessary if you are to get anything useful from today’s article.

  • Are you happy with your life as it is today?
  • Are you doing what you really love doing, whether you are studying, or working or in business?
  • Is what you are doing what you really wanted to do or have circumstances forced you to do that?
  • Do you ever think or feel like there could have been more in your life than you have now?
  • Do you feel caged by life and often wonder how you got to where you are today?
  • Do you ever regret some decisions you’ve made in your life that have led you to where you are today?

Well, if you answered “NO” to any of those questions please move on to the sports page because clearly, you are not one of us, and you will not relate to anything I am about to say in the next few several lines.  

But if you have answered “YES” to any or all of those questions, then I believe this article is for us both. I have personally answered YES to almost all those questions.  Remember, like I said in my intro, whatever I share with my readers, be it here or on social media first speaks to me. And yes, I am human too; I make mistakes, I get discouraged, I have fears that I deal with but I have learned how to deal with all those things. That’s how I am able to share the stuff I share with you.

If you are still reading then I know you are one of us, and now that we have all agreed there is something not right, let me ask the next big questions: How do we make it right? How do we move from here?

The answer to these questions is not easy yet it is very simple. CHANGE will take us where we want to go.

Earlier this week I had the chance to go through a story of two mice and two little people captured in a fable called, “Who Moved My Cheese”. Like the title suggests, the fable is about some cheese that went “missing”. There are those who quickly adapted to the idea of the cheese missing and quickly started searching for new cheese, then there are those who were so depressed because their cheese was missing, that they refused to go looking for new cheese.  Some found new cheese quickly enough but for others it took time, or not at all.

By the way if you haven’t read this book I urge you to do so. It is a very good book on change management whether at the corporate level or as an individual. I have introduced it to a few companies and so far the results are amazing. If you would be interested in introducing this to your organization please do let me know.

The author of this book, Spencer Johnson, M.D. was going through some personal challenges and had to find a way of dealing with them. After finding a modus operandi that worked for him and allowed him to get out of that situation, he came up with this fable. Fast forward to today, I am not sure he ever imagined this 45-minute read would become such a bestseller in the world.

Right there we can learn a lesson, that once you embrace change, it transforms your life for the better.

So, how will change help us get out of the issues we are unhappy with? The first clue lies in one of Albert Einstein’s many quotes where he said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  As you know, you are where you are today because of your past actions, actions which were triggered by your thoughts. This means if at the time of acting you had different thoughts, it is possible that you might have gotten different results from those you now have. So the first thing to do is change your thinking.

“Your Thinking” is such a diverse topic in itself because I am not just referring to the things you thought you would do and achieve results. No. I am also referring to how you see yourself now after doing those things that got you into this problem. Do you see yourself as a failure? Do you feel there is no hope for you? Have you given up on life?

How you see yourself at this point in your life will determine the next category of thoughts that you churn out of you mind. Like Henry Ford said, there are two types of people; those who think they can and those who think they can’t. They are both right.  If at this point in your life you think there is nothing that can be done about your life, then there is nothing I can say to you that can change that. It is not until you change your thinking about yourself that you will now start thinking about the right strategies to get out of your situation.

Once you have the right perception about yourself, once you start thinking positively about yourself and you stop hating yourself for the mistakes you made in the past, the next thing is to now look at the changes you need to make to get out of the situation you are in. Sometimes the changes might be simple tweaks like spending more time reading on your field of expertise, or enrolling into college for a course that will help you move from your current level to another, or changing your profession gradually, etc. Every situation has a solution if you look hard enough.

The one reason why most people don’t want to change is because there is a cost  attached to change. Change doesn’t come easy. There is a price to pay for it, be it in hard currency or in kind.  People are ok staying in their uncomfortable comfort zone just to avoid the discomfort of changing. People are so afraid of facing the unknowns that might pop up as they go through change that they stop before they even start. To quote Spenser Johnson himself, What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.”

Let me finish this article by asking a question the author asks through one of the characters in the fable, “What would you do if you weren't afraid?Think about this and see how much you have limited yourself because of fear of change.

Be Ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.

This will never happen without change.

Please get a copy of “Who Moved My Cheese” and get lessons that will help you make tremendous changes to your life.

 

 PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 22nd of October, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words". 

 

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