05 Dec

The Myth of the “Big” Change

Most of us have the innate sense that we could be more, do more, and have more.  So why aren’t we?  Why don’t we?

We see the people who have what we want in a certain area of life and we are in awe.  The person who is ultra-fit, or who has total financial freedom, or has a dynamic and disciplined spiritual life, or (insert your goal here) all seem light years from us.  And when thinking about reaching for those goals in our own lives, we never exit the starting blocks because we are convinced that being at the level of an ultra-achiever would require monumental change and a herculean effort.

That myth, the myth of the big change, is perhaps the biggest stumbling block on the road of success.  In success, there are no shortcuts.  If there was some giant action that any of us could take to go from over-weight and out-of-shape to toned and fit in a matter of days or weeks, that would be called a short-cut.  There is no such thing.

We sense that to be the person we want to be would require us to do something extraordinary.  That would mean a shortcut is possible.  People don’t get fit or financially free or spiritually mature or excellent in their field overnight.  There is NOTHING you can do to go from average to world-class quickly.  And no one that you admire in any given area got there by doing something big, dramatic, superhuman, or any of the other things we think happens to get to the top.

This is GREAT news.  It means that anyone can get to where they want to go.

Instead of dreading or being paralyzed by the thought of having to be a new person overnight and change everything right now, all we have to do is embrace the concept of incremental improvement.  Someone who is overweight is thinking that to get fit they need to go “Biggest Loser” and give up all sweets, all snacks, all carbs, and workout till you puke 2 hours a day every week.  Not true.  Instead of the “Big Change,” make the little change.

Pick any area of your life and decide to get 1% better this week.  Yes.  Just one.  If you improved 1% every week for a year, you’d be 52% better by the end of the year.  Actually, you’d be even better than that.  You’d be 60.2% better because the effect compounds over time.  After two years, you would be 277% better than when you started.  That’s an improvement of of almost 3x!

Stop letting your fear or intimidation of making drastic changes hold you back.  Stop believing you have to be super-human to be the person you dream you can be.

Embrace incremental change.  Pick a goal and this week, be ONE percent better!  Rinse and repeat.  Your life will never be the same.