Change is not "difficult" if we understand how it occurs and follow "the process" (the systematic way of doing it in doable steps).
Once we master "the process", we can apply it to anything we want - and create our being enormously successful in life - successful far beyond what we have imagined. We haven't done this, simply because we did not know the way. Anything is achievable if we "know the way", the simple steps that when put together have us proceed easily and gracefully along the path!
And the irony is that if we do it skillfully, it is both easy and very rewarding!
A FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING
We have an unrealistic, not-thoroughly-understood view of "change". Part of this is from the society we are exposed to and part of it from misinterpretation of our experiences. Because we do not know how to change effectively, as nobody has taught us, we are (as with any skill yet to be learned) ineffective. (Duh! Of course!) Because we have "failed" at it so many times, we conclude falsely that we can't do it and/or that it is hard/difficult/impossible.
Yes, it is difficult to eat an elephant all at once, but it certainly is not difficult to eat it a bite at a time (mmmm, delicious!)
If we know that we are "human beings", then we can seek understanding of how human beings operate. (They operate on a strictly (bio)mechanical basis in a physical world. Without understanding this, we cannot proceed well through life - as we need to know what reality is in order to align with it and to use it. The reality is that "to get somewhere we must step on each step on the path - we cannot suddenly make a 'quantum leap' over many steps, in a reality defying fantasy." Everything that happens in the real world is a result of a sequence of causes, with no "skipping"! (Read And Then A Miracle Happens...Wanna Bet?)
ONE STEP AT A TIME...
But we can do it one step at a time. And each step, no matter what path we are on, is of equal effort as any other (if we do not add extra weightiness and fight against our efforts due to some erroneous belief).
The purpose of this section of this site is to set out what the steps are, in a realistic and very doable way, so that you (or anyone) can achieve any change (end goal) that you want to - to achieve any change that you feel is worth the actual calculated effort (= total number of energy units expended).
(Notice if your reaction to "one step at a time" was one of aversion or "how boring! I want it sooner!". That is a reaction that is based on unrealistic expectations and fantasy. Studying reality will make a huge difference, along with studying how to get and maintain perspective on life.)
SOMETHING "IN EXCHANGE" FOR SOMETHING ELSE
In the real world, we are simply (through the seemingly magic mind's intentions) causing something to happen, one step at a time. The thought generates biochemicals which cause something to happen which causes the next thing to happen and so on and on. It's just physical cause and effect - we are affecting matter and energy and exchanging one thing for another.
If I am to "unwire" a particular neuronal pathway, I either have to let it disintegrate through lack of use or "write over it", which is attaching lots of other things to it, until it is an ineffective mess (that particular pathway, not your brain!). I cannot "will it to be so" with regard to not have a neuronal pathway operate when it gets an associate stimulus - it just operates automatically. We have a broad category for that: we call it "habit".
Put simplistically it is like a groove in the ground that carries water a specific path when there is water entering the area. That will happen every time, despite any wishful or magical thinking. If I want to get a different result from where the water goes right now, I must cut a groove that will lead to a new result. If that groove is not yet cut very deep, as it takes time and effort to dig, the water is still likely to flow through the old groove.
There is more to this analogy, but for now I would like to disavow you of the "somehow" I'm supposed to change and/or "if I will it or wish it, it should change" fantasy into the real world. It is physical. It takes time and effort in digging (and, of course, we want to have a destination for the groove!).
To flip up to the top point. If we decide we want a different results, we must how much the result is worth and then estimate reasonably accurately how much time and effort it will take to obtain the desired result. If the exchange is worth it, then we will spend (exchange) what it takes in time and effort to get that result - and the gain from it. (That's simple economics.)
We don't succeed in change, then, either because
1. We lose sight of the worth of the result and stop efforting because we don't see that the result is worth it.
2. We misestimate the amount of effort , usually underestimating, so we quit when we see that it is too much effort.
3. Another conflicting current need overrides our interest.
4. We run across an obstacle and then give up.
WHAT DO WE "CHANGE"?
A person doesn't "change", per se (except for his cells being replaced and a few physical goings on that have effects). The changes we are talking about are "ways of doing things". We are seeking the change because we want a different result from doing something new and/or not doing what caused the undesired result.
While the overall process is simple, in a sense, it may involve several steps and some repetition - that is not complexity, as it is simply repeating something.
THE BLUNT TRUTH
People fail over and over because they don't use a skillful, effective procedure (a specified path) for change and then, amazingly enough, randomness and going off the path happens - or it takes so much extra, wasted effort that the benefit is not worth the cost.
Scattered, undirected effort is a huge and unnecessary waste and cost.
Using a skillful effective procedure for change solves that.
However, our culture tends to come to some very detrimental conclusions about change. So end up not doing when we absolutely need to do it!
"CLOSING THE GAP"
Problem solving is a process of seeing where we are versus where we want to be and then closing the gap. The problem is not solved when the solution is written down on paper, but only upon successful completion in closing the gap. No completion = no getting of the desired result (duh!). [So problem solving is part of the success process. You cannot be successful in life without doing it well, period! Solving problems well is essential to living a great life.]
Change is simply the process of moving from here to there (the destination).
An excerpt from The Law Of Randomness: The "effective process for change" is one of "non-randomness" and an example of "directness".
If we try to do it in an unsystematic way, we will scatter our energies and we will likely fail. This happens over and over in our society, so we conclude that "change is hard" (wrong!) and that we "might as well not try because we'll just fail anyway and it will be wasted effort and we'll feel lots of pain" (a myth believed by many in our culture).
Change will certainly fail if our efforts are not productive, so we need to use a productive path.
Change will certainly fail if we are not sufficiently motivated by the total reward received over time and not convinced that the reward is greater than the cost.
Change will certainly fail if we have nothing built in to encourage us and remind us and to get us back on track when we (almost inevitably) begin to drift off course.
Of course, we only move toward a destination because of the reward (benefit) we want to get. That's called motivation. If we lose sight of the "why" (the reason, the benefit, the purpose), then we lose our motivation. A skillful process of change will keep the "why" clearly in sight.
And the path must be clear, with all the necessary steps specified, or we will wander off the path, often at the first distracting attraction (such as eating a donut).
Without a path, the destination is not likely to be achieved (and least not very efficiently).
You can "change" - and the results will be better health (not being overweight, no high blood pressure, no sugar metabolism problems), few behavioral problems, and much, much more effectiveness in life - resulting in much more satisfaction and happiness in life.
A PART OF PROBLEM SOLVING
"We create our own addition to suffering by attempting to change but always falling short, mimicking Sisyphus, but voluntarily, out of ignorance. The challenge is to create and follow a system where there is success in virtually every effort at change for the better. It is simply a habit building process, a bit at a time, with no miracles or mythical strength required.
That is my quest, to set up that system and to have you complete your changes - and to have you experience the success and also the benefits of the changed way of operating in life, for a vast increase in happiness!"
DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS CHANGE?
If you really want to bring about this change you say you want, then you would do what is necessary to complete the change, to put it into place. To do that, you need to put in more effort than some simple, simple "instant change" process/form.
So you can use the super-form if you want to see and consider each of the pieces involved in actually making change.
Your choice: Complete the change process or do it partially and try again later...
If it's too difficult for you or you don't have the time, then maybe you should just consider dropping the attempt and just accepting the undesired behavior...
SCHEMATIC OF CAUSAL CHAIN OF CHANGE
ID undesirable behavior, costs/benefits -->
ID replacement desired, benefits of change, resistances/obstacles -->
Decide "net" worth of the change --> Commit --> Set up structure, plan -->
Do [observe/monitor, feedback, adjust (correct), self control.]
Part of the structure can be "partnering".
Point is to increase the odds of successful change.
To effect a change, we are applying our problem solving skills and our habit management skills..
(All of above are built into The Change Worksheet, so you don't have to memorize anything; just follow the form.)
THE OVERVIEW PERSPECTIVE
Problems are simply something one is doing or getting that are not what one wants.
Change is the process of going from what one doesn't want to what one wants (i.e. change is the result of the problem solving process).
Habit is the automatic, repeated way of doing things, a neuronal pattern thoroughly wired in, so it is the path the electricity will naturally follow. The only way out is to replace the habit with something that works. To do that you've got to figure out what works and then install it, to create the new habit.
Not complex, simple, you just need to stick to it, correct as you go, and keep your eye on the prize of getting the new results you want, affirming that goal every morning and evening.
However, we are "human" and it is best to accept that, and then to work with it (instead of against it, in a constant, often losing, battle, which creates in itself another problem!).
The objective of this site is to add the extra power to the process to push the boulder (ongoing problem) over the hill (to solution) instead of doing the Sisyphus thing. ("The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.") If we are repeatedly trying to change, but not succeeding we are wasting alot of energy, and, in the process, creating suffering rather than the benefits of the change. It is vital, and I am committed to achieving it, to push through to success in virtually every effort at change for the better.
Remember, as a human being, you must not expect to be able to leap above being human - you must use the human process - and then you'll succeed.
KEEPING THE PROBLEM
Basically, there are several reasons we don't change:
1. We become oblivious to the harm or loss of potential benefits.
Of course, the solution is to set aside time to focus on this in a systematic
way, most often with assistance.
2. We buy into the myths and excuses behind not changing.
See the article on that: (to be inserted).
3. We don't know how to proceed or even how to specify what is needed.
Clarifying the latter is the purpose of this section.
Necessary learning (so your recognize things and how to work with them)
How the brain/body/chemicals drive our behavior - How to manage them instead
of being run by them
Learn how to be a great problem solver
Implementing (use the form provided, below, for the whole process).
Identify the problems/changes you want to make.
Identify what the costs of the old way are and the benefits of the new way.
Make a specific resolution to do what is needed (10 times more successful than
without a strong resolution.)
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
Do these in this order. Become an expert in solving problems, for you will then not have persistent problems - it'll make a huge difference in your life! Spend a few hours getting the basis down!
I. Logically, then, in order to create change, we need to do the opposite of the above ("doing the opposite of what is not working" is generally a very good strategy in life!!!). This process is explained and shown in action in The Five Stages Of Deliberate Change.
Within that piece, you'll benefit from using these two forms:
1. My Master List Of What Is Harming Me Or Not Serving My Life - This is a list of the things you want to change and a way of prioritizing them. Use this!
It is a form of housecleaning that will have a tremendous effect on your life, as you will have identified what will make a difference and then start to work on it sooner in life, rather than letting those negatives persist!
2. Processing For Deliberate Change - A simple form for making each change,
including the reasons and the action steps, along with a commitment process and a follow-up process.
II. Peruse the many relevant pieces in the Problem-Solving/Decision-Making section and read the overview. Please don't stop at perusing the forms below, as those are just some of the forms and pieces that are in that section:
problem at a higher level, such that you are more able to achieve your desired outcome. Each
piece is necessary - you can't skip these steps and get to the solution, though many try
(unsuccessfully) to do do. You identify the problem and the impact on you and restate your
intention. You then choose a new way of being, and from that new way of being, you pick the
actions needed. I'll guarantee you'll get further with this approach than one without addressing
and then choosing the way of being. The sheet is only one page!
traditional format that has all the steps. It also includes an alternate form for a more thorough
approach where it is warranted. If the problem has any importance to you, you'll use this
practical form to assure a solution.
factors and steps necessary to make the right decisions.
we've got to deconstruct and reconstruct to solve the problem. Separating out what actually
happened and identifying what you said to yourself are integral to the process. Identifying the
consequences (and then the worst and best that could happen) helps "concretize" what one is
dealing with. Then you question and/or dispute the thinking and the assumptions behind the
thinking and the believed consequences and then come up with a new answer and a (incredibly
valuable) new perspective. It works.
the problem, whereas it is actually the cause that is the source of the problem. (Of course,
the symptom is undesired.) This is a commitment form, where you commit to following a
"right thinking" mode rather than keepin' on keepin' on with erroneous beliefs that create the
problem in the first place!!!!