Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Point of All Change

I looked into his eyes and I thought to myself, "I don't believe a word he's saying. He's not ready for change. Even though he hates his situation, every word coming out of his mouth is bologna."

The man in front of me had been in prison. He'd stolen money. He'd used drugs until his body ached. And this had been going on for years and years. Stealing, using, legal discipline, incarceration - and bologna.

Even with all of that reason to change, he wasn't there yet.

When people are "there" you see a fight in their eyes that is unflinching. With every bump and landmine they hang on to their resolution with white knuckles and a Rambo-like tenacity. There is no option but recovery. Period.

You can't make people get to that place. Parents, teachers, parole officers - you can't force it upon people, you can't debate them into the reasoning of it, and you can't bribe them. They have to get to that point of change all on their own.

Sometimes it is letting people down that gets them to that point of change, sometimes it is being sick and tired of being sick and tired, sometimes it is desperation, sometimes pure self-preservation. But once they are there, they're there and there is no holding back and there is visible evidence of change.

That is why when an addict tells me they are making baby steps to recovery I have to argue their sincerity and their will.

You don't make baby steps in recovery. Random, infantile steps will never get you up Mt. Everest. Addiction is a Mt. Everest. Cancer is a Mt. Everest. Debt and fear is a Mt. Everest.

As with many things in life, you cannot take baby steps to make monumental change in your life.

Monumental change requires mature INCREMENTAL steps. Focused, INCREMENTAL and chartable steps. Not nebulous, haphazard, naive steps.

In addiction, in business, in health and fitness, and in finances, if we want real change we must be able to plot our course on paper, outline our objectives in a timeline and hold ourselves accountable through sequential record keeping.

Zero alcohol in 30 days. Check.
Five AA Meetings in 7 days. Check.
45 minutes of cardio today. Check.
Saved $120 this month. Check.
Prayed and read The Word 20 minutes. Check.

There are qualifiers to the reality that supercedes "oh, but I really, really want to change".

As Yoda said to young Luke Skywalker - "there is no TRY".

The word "manifest" - comes from "manna" meaning "in hand" - is it concrete, solid, tangible change that is being manifested in your life, your daily routines, your actions?

Are you at the point of change in an area of your life? Are you manifesting change?

Are you making INCREMENTAL focused, chartable movement towards your goal no matter the landmines or . . . are you sheepishly downing a bologna sandwich?

Nobody can make change happen - nobody can compel you to that pivitol point of change. The great thing is - YOU can.