Monday, June 18, 2012

Good Luck with those Ducks!

Terri keeps saying that she needs to start exercising; and she will, once she gets a gym membership, and buys some home gym equipment. Then, she’ll need to get some new workout clothes and a few pairs of shoes. How can she ever get started when it’s just so expensive?

Every day as he pulls into the parking lot, Paul dreams of getting a new job. But those dreams are deferred. Between his current job and his family he simply does not have the time. He’d have to rework his resume, get a few new suits to interview in, and possibly hire a head hunter. It wouldn’t hurt, if he took a few classes at the community college to brush up on Excel and Access first.  Who has time to put together a long, protracted job search?

Both Terri and Paul want all their ‘ducks in a row’ before they begin. And let’s be honest, both of them have a lot of ducks. The phrase refers to a shooting range. You have to have all the little wooden ducks in a row for the person to shoot at. Yet, life isn’t a shooting range. In real life, ducks don’t line up in straight rows, yet we try in vain to line all of our hypothetical duck in a perfect line.

The truth is that getting those ducks in a row or waiting until the stars are in perfect alignment is really just a form of procrastination. It’s an elaborate way to keep you from doing what you know you should do. It’s procrastination cloaked in a pretty blanket of good intentions.

Terri doesn’t need a gym membership or a designer wardrobe to begin exercising. She needs some comfortable clothing and shoes so she can begin walking. Paul’s job search doesn’t have to be another job; he could spend a few minutes each day reworking his resume. Then over the course of several nights, he could upload it to one job search site at a time.

The need to overhaul isn’t confined to just exercise and job search. You can find it in any area where one wants to make a change. By making a big change even more massive in our minds, we stop ourselves from even really making an attempt at it.

The need to overhaul is rooted in the notion that change has to be radical. It has to be a personal revolution. The root of revolution is to revolt. To revolt
is to go again something. And often times, it’s our inner being, who is happy with the status quo and who revolts at our attempts at massive change.

The opposite of revolution is evolution. Evolution is a much slower but equally powerful process. To evolve is to go through a slow and peaceful process of change. Slower changes are easier for us to accept and therefore more likely to stick.

There used to be a commercial that said, “You can’t fool Mother Nature.” Well, she can’t be rushed either. Despite our technological advances, it still takes roughly nine months for a baby to grow to full-term. It still takes a rose bush one to two months to bloom, but we think we can rush to change our own behaviors and habits.

It sounds sneaky but slower changes allow you to sneak up on your psyche and get those changes by it with a lot less resistance.

Going from zero to 60 miles an hour in five seconds is great for a car commercial but not so great in real life. Massive change, especially physical change, can be jarring to your body, even injurious. Ever try quitting caffeine cold turkey? The headaches and irritability can be terrible. Gradual is better.

Slower change is always better than rapid change. When you try to change too rapidly, you’ll run into more resistance, more overwhelm and more frustration. The goal with any goal is to stick with it until you get the results you want. In order to do that you need to find ways to make it easier to stick with the plan than it is to quit it.

No comments: