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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Money & You and all personal development programs are obviously about change.  In coaching, we say that for a client to be able to change, they must first be aware.  Aware of their patterns, aware of their blocks, aware of their goals, vision and destination.

For some people, the desire to change, learn and grow is innate.  There’s an ever-present desire to improve.  For others, that desire doesn’t come until there’s enough pain or a big enough reason that creates a NEED to change…right…now.

The next step is to take stock of where you are right now.  If you want to become financially abundant, the first thing you need to know is what your current financial status is.  If you want to want to lose weight, you need to know what your current eating habits are…how many calories you typically eat in a day.  You get the idea.

Once you understand your starting point, it’s time to pick a destination, some milestones along the way, and chart a route.   Let’s say you want to be earning $100,000 a year, and your current income is $50,000.  Your milestones might be 60K and 75K.  Your route is the financial model you’ll use to get there.  What are your revenue streams?  What might you add?  What can you do to increase your income?  This is the time to not censor yourself and think creatively.

Now do your homework.  Decide what you need….what kind of support, funding, partners, resources, training, services?  This step is important regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, change a habit, learn a language or make more money.

Finally, it’s time to take action.  Start with little steps.  Don’t get stuck in the trap of endless preparation. Stop trying to change. That won’t move you forward.  Take action, and then take another, and another.    As Jedi Master Yoda said, “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'”

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In Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes email this morning he quotes Dan Millman from Everyday Enlightenment:

“The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.”

Not surprisingly, I totally agree.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t have any actual problems…illness, financial problems, relationship problems are all very real.  What it does mean, is how we think about those problems, how we respond or react to them, will make all the difference in how happy or stressed we are and what actions we choose to take.

If we are open to the opportunities presented by life, we begin to view circumstances as neither positive nor negative, but as opportunities for change, learning and choice.  If we choose to embrace life’s occurrences rather than resist or move into a place of fear, we allow ourselves to “go with the flow” of life, thereby reducing stress, and gaining what Millman calls “everyday enlightenment.”

Case in point:  I had a client who called me one day to tell me that she’d just returned from a business trip to find that her home had just had a major fire.  Her family was fine, but the home was in an unlivable condition.  In that instant she had a choice…to bemoan her fate, or to embrace the opportunity that it presented.  And there was a very clear opportunity for her…she could move into her weekend home and arrange to telecommute to her job part of the time.  While the opportunity or learning from every situation is not always as immediately clear, the choice to embrace each one with a positive outlook is.

Often it’s not even situations that we resist, but change of any kind, whether positive or negative.  We resist change because not only does it upset the the status quo, it also plunges us into the scary unknown.  When faced with change (like your pediatrician retiring to open a toy store in Taos, NM) our first response is to think of how that will negatively impact us (oh no, I have to find or get used to a new doctor, will they be as good, are they taking new patients, will they accept my insurance, will my child like them?)  or how that change may add an extra layer of to-dos (I have to research good pediatricians, ask for people’s experiences with them, make appointments, interview them, get the records moved…)

If instead of resisting, we seek the opportunity and possibilities in each situation, we often find that not only is it far less stressful than resistance, but there is even a benefit (the new doctor’s office is closer, they are more up-to-date, etc.) to looking at things differently.

As with everything, you need to create a new habit to replace an old one.  To create the new habit of not resisting change, start by deliberately embracing change in small ways.  Change the route you take to work, change the way you deal with emails and call someone to respond to a question rather than emailing, hold your phone in your other hand, change the order you do things in the evening.  Once you’ve mastered the art of small changes, you’ll begin to find it easier to weigh your options when situations occur.  And you’re well on your way to “everyday enlightenment.”

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