Chapter 27 of my First book: The Top 10 CHANGE ENABLERS. That I begged, borrowed and stole. Feel free to do likewise
CHAPTER 27: The Top 10 CHANGE ENABLERS. That I begged, borrowed and stole. Feel free to do likewise
I hesitated to re-use this picture for this section.
It only shows my change on the outside.
Yet my self-transformation,
From Old Dave (on the left) to Newer Dave (on the right),
covered so much more than what can be seen on the outside.
But I decided to share it nonetheless.
Since, unfortunately in life,
if we don’t take the time to really get to understand
ourselves (i.e. self-awareness)
and understand others (i.e. awareness of others).
Then that is all we really get to see.
We miss out on all the rest.
Including our hearts and emotions and souls.
“The sooner you step away from your comfort zone; the sooner you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable” – Eddie Harris Jr.
Sharing MY Top 10 LIST of change enablers in the Hope that you will add one or more to YOURS!
I hesitated to use my before and after picture of me and my son at the beginning of this section. It is one of the first pictures that one comes across on my website. It was one of my favourites in helping me convey just how much change I have gone through over the past few years. People don’t recognize me anymore.
The problem is, and I have just recently become aware of this myself, is that most of MY change took place after this picture was taken. That change happened on the inside. My new healthy lifestyle had an impact on my outer self, one easily photographed, but more importantly, it gave me the strength and confidence and courage to pursue the other changes. The other changes that ultimately ended up having the greatest impact on my self-transformation, and those are the ones, that take place on the inside.
I do not believe that I would be on the same journey in life, that I am on today, if I had not taken care of the part of me that people can see, the outside piece. I was so physically unhealthy in those days that I was very likely going to die, but fixing that was only the beginning. The courage to finally leave my comfort home and trade in my “Captain Comfort Zone” Cape for my “Captain Courageous” Cape was enabled by a whole bunch of things that impacted me on both the outside and inside of me.
Hopefully I have conveyed that message to you in the previous sections. In this section, I have done my best to narrow these enablers down to one of my favorite types of lists, a TOP 10 List. In this case, a Dave’s Top Ten List. The top ten enablers that resonated with me. The top 10 enablers that worked for me. Here’s hoping that some of those enablers resonate with YOU.
Here’s hoping that some of those enablers, which I have begged, borrowed and stole might work for YOU. Feel free to beg, borrow and steal to YOUR Heart’s content. To YOUR Body’s content. To YOUR Mind’s content. To Your Soul’s content.
Change Enabler #1: A Positive Attitude and Growth Mindset. The Choice is YOURS!
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes” – Extract from the poem “Attitude” by Charles Swindoll
Attitude. Mindset. Momentum. The choice and consequences are yours. Choose wisely. In coaching they remind us that everyone has a choice. Well, I believe in that now. The choice is ours, and in my case, mine, and in your case, yours. The choice is yours and by association, the resulting consequences that go with that choice are yours. When it comes to choosing between a positive versus a negative attitude, the choice and resulting consequence are yours. When it comes to choosing between a growth versus a fixed mindset, the choice and resulting consequence are yours. When it comes to creating momentum, you can choose to move forward, or backward or just do nothing. The choice and consequences are yours. And in the case of momentum, the consequence is that your choices are going to take you in the direction you choose, faster than might otherwise be possible. So choose your direction wisely.
Change Enabler #2: JUST CONNECT with YOURSELF. Get to know YOU. The AUTHENTIC YOU
“WHO ARE YOU? Who, who, who, who?” – A few Lyrics from the hit song by the rock group “THE WHO”
Making it EASYer on yourself starts with getting to know yourself better. Really getting to know yourself. Your hopes, your dreams, your values, your strengths, your preferences etc. They become your GPS and roadmap as you embark on and shape your journey of change. Deviate too much from your path and don’t be surprised if your GPS offers you a suggested route to get back on track. Back on track toward your destination, whatever that might be. It will suggest that route to get back on track but it is up to you to pursue it. And by YOU, I mean the Authentic you. Your GPS, not someone else’s.
Change Enabler #3: JUST CONNECT with OTHERS.
“Accept all feedback as data. Willingly accept all feedback as bits of information or data points that can help inform your actions (not decide your direction) when weighed against other data points you have received”
Expand your lens and expand your world of possibility. I could write another book based on all the great ideas and insights and lessons learned that I have been exposed to by connecting with others over the past couple of years. Kind and caring others. Positive and encouraging others. I hope that YOU know who YOU are. I am blessed to have you all in my community, and in my life. They say that “Misery likes company”. What I discovered was that “Positivity also likes company”. That was the type of company that I decided to keep, the positive and motivating kind. Not only did my lens expand and open up on a whole new world of ideas that I would never have considered on my own, but it also allowed me to get to know myself better. Expanding my own lens on WHO I am by connecting with others. How cool is that!
Change Enabler #4: JUST TRY IT (Try it out for fit)
Just do it. But “Just do it YOUR WAY!” FAIL at it. Learn from it. But just keep moving forward.
FAIL = First Attempt In Learning.
“Fortune helps those that dare”- Virgil
Time start moving now. You are starting to get to know yourself better. Your lens and the your corresponding world of possibilities are starting to expand by connecting with others. By possibilities, I am referring to the theoretical kind of possibilities. Now, it is time to make the theory real, by experiencing it. By feeling it. It is time to Walk the Talk. Time to learn. Time to grow. F**k Next Steps. More like, what is THE next step. It can be one step forward, and two steps back at first, as long as there is some momentum. Momentum leads to learning. Learning leads to growing. Growing leads to changing. Changing leads to shifting. Shifting leads to transforming. So, time to kindly ask your inner critic to take the back seat. You and your inner coach have some exploring to do. Remember, it is when YOU start to WALK the TALK, that the action and the resulting change starts to take place. So, put your seat belts on, because when the momentum kicks in, YOU are in for quite the ride. Enjoy!
Change Enabler #5: One word. GRIT
Grit Defined: Perseverance and passion for long term goals. Now recognized as one of the key determinations of success and life satisfaction.
The 2 C words. Confidence and Courage. Guess what? They take time and effort to develop and then more time and effort to maintain. So, a little of the P word, Perseverance, will certainly help along the way. Actually, a lot of perseverance. And, discipline. Until you are able to make your desired state a habit, discipline and perseverance will become your best friends. Don’t forget to thank them with an occasional word of acknowledgement and a pat on the back. And by occasionally, I mean often, very often. Celebrate your accomplishments. Celebrate your learnings. Celebrate your failures. Self-celebrate and celebrate with others. Oh, and when it comes to summoning and maintain the discipline and strength to persevere, it does not hurt to be passionate about what it is that you are trying to accomplish in the first place. What I found was that there was a pretty strong correlation between my score on my passion metre and my ability to summon the energy and courage to persevere. Passion plus Perseverance = GRIT. The accountant in me likes that equation.
Change Enabler #6: Energize YOURSELF. Often!
“I have the power to manage the ENERGY plant that is my body” – A quote from a dear friend of mine. Someone who has helped more in enabling my transition of transformation than she is probably even aware.
If awareness truly is 9/10th of the journey, then it would stand to reason that the sooner that we become aware of what gives us energy and what taketh it away, the better. Not only the WHAT, but the WHO. Remember, you are the average of the 5 people you hang around with the most. Do those folks add, or diminish your energy? Inquiring minds want to know! And don’t forget. It is YOUR energy. Only you have control over it, and if and when you do take more control over it. Wow! Talk about an energy boost. As a dear friend of mine put it when describing some of the magic that she harnessed in making and maintaining her recent life altering transformation; “I came to the realization that I have the power to manage the ENERGY plant that is my body”. My Body. My Energy plant. A plant that can produce energy and I have total control over mine”. Wow! How cool is that! So, although I am not a big fan of advice, especially of the unsolicited kind, I will provide you with the following, lets call it, a suggestion; Use YOUR ENERGY wisely, on both the activity, and people sides of the equation.
Change Enabler #7: Don’t forget about your foundation. Your personal Foundation.
Rome was not built in a day
I am an accountant and not an engineer, but if there is one thing that my change journey over the past few years has taught me, it is the importance of the strength of one’s personal foundation. The Foundation to support all the learning and growth that change entails is not only important, it is a key enabler of change. In my haste and excitement to change, I crashed and burned more than once. If you don’t believe me, I will show you my crash marks, and my burn marks. They have healed now and they were not that bad, but I did end up with a few scrapes and bruises along the way. And don’t forget that personal, means YOU. That is right, your personal foundation is all about YOU. It is what is supporting you. The more you change, the more it will require a change, and that means work. Work on your foundation, which in turn, means work on YOU.
It does not have to be hard work. You can make it EASYer on yourself. It can be fun as well. Again, totally up to YOU”. But it does mean work. So, if you would like to make some positive changes in your life but don’t quite have the time. You know, there are only so many minutes in the day. The career. The kids. The dog. The lawn. The cottage. Insert YOUR excuse here. Well, you might want to try again later, when you have more time.
But for those of you who are willing to make the time, remember this. Although it is your foundation, that does not mean that you have to go it alone. Grab a hold of some tools. Ones that work for you. Come up with a strategy and/or approach and/or supporting processes and/or supporting protocols. Again, ones that work best for YOU. Partner with others. Out-source stuff. In-source stuff. Do fewer things. Do more of the right things. Whatever it takes for you. Whatever works for you. Whatever Works for you in building, maintaining and expanding upon the personal foundation to support you on your journey. In my humble opinion, there is nothing like a strong foundation to provide one with the strength, confidence and courage to reach for one’s dreams. To live one’s dreams. Whatever those dreams may be.
Change Enabler #8: Love yourself. Yes. The L Word. Don’t be afraid to use it on Yourself. Often
I LOVE YOU Buddy!
Screw self-care. We are talking about some serious life-altering, self-transformational change here. Time to bring out the big guns. The L word. Love. Self-Love. That does not imply that you stop loving others. Just the opposite. What I have found was that the more loving I was with myself, the more loving I felt toward others. Pretty soon I was throwing around the L word, a word I had rarely used in the past, like it was the hottest buzz word out there. For me it was. My LOVE bucket started to runneth over and, wow, did that come in handy on those days when I was not having fun, and my energy was down. And when my energy was down, guess what else would come down? My oxygen mask. I would grab it. Doing so had served me well in the past. I was confident that it would serve me well in the present. And guess what else? In the oxygen mixture, there was a nice littler dose of self-love. I am not sure how and when that got mixed in there, but I am grateful it has. It took me over 50 years, but better late than never. I love YOU buddy!
Change Enabler #9: BELIEVE in YOURself. Trust YOURself. It takes time. Hang in there!
“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too” –
Extract from the Poem IF by Rudyard Kipling. BTW, I am assuming that this applies to women as well.
“Do what you love and the Money will Follow”. I am a believer now. Thanks Mom! I love YOU.
To believe in your dreams. To believe in yourself. To truly believe. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of evidence. It takes a lot of GRIT. There are a lot of questions to answer. Many of the WHY? variety. I can’t tell you how many times I felt convinced that I believed in what I was doing, only to wake up late one night, in a cold sweat, worrying about the journey that I was taking myself on, and self-doubting myself and my abilities to get there. It took some time for me to make that shift. That mind-shift to become a true believer.
It is hard to describe the feeling one gets once they truly make that shift. The energy that one gets. All of a sudden, nothing seems impossible anymore. The world really does become your oyster. My dreams are now my motivator. I am living them everyday. I am working on them and experiencing them everyday. They are not some far off hope and destination. How cool is that! My motivator, not that long ago, a few years ago, was to not die and leave my two beautiful children without a father. Wow! Quite the shift. Quite the difference a few years can make. I am more than quite pleased. I am more than quite thankful. I am more than quite grateful. It takes time, in many cases as measured in years, so hang in there. Keep believing, because don’t forget, your inner critic is waiting there, ready to pounce, the minute you stop. The minute you stop believing, believing in yourself and your life dreams.
Change Enabler #10: Never forget. It’s all about YOU. YOU and YOUR choices.
And speaking of choices? Wanting to make it happen, is a choice. So, is sticking to it.
“If you think you can or think you can’t. You are right” – Henry Ford
This is your life, not someone else’s. You are unique. Your situation is unique. No one knows YOU better than YOU do. No one knows your dreams and your capabilities better than you do. No one knows your situation like you do. No one understands the background and context for your desired change than you do. No one has explored more opportunities and/or strategies in making that change happen than you. So, who better to be in the drivers’ seat than you? Who better to be making the choices than you? And guess what? Like it or not, YOU are the one in the driver’s seat. You are the one driving. You set the pace and you set the direction. Challenges and input can be welcomed or ignored, but the decision is ultimately up to YOU. You can keep moving forward and live the life of your dreams. Or you can remain in neutral and let life pass you by. Your choice. I suggest the former. That is the path that I have chosen and I have not looked back in the rear-view mirror since.
So, What did I learn?
How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)
Change is a process. It takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts. The top 10 enablers are just that, enablers. They need to be used in order to enable change, and then to maintain it, and that takes time and that takes effort. It is a marathon and not a sprint. So, adding taking some time out to recharge and energize yourself, every once in awhile (or often), to that change process might just make that journey EASYer on YOURself!
Oh! and taking a little time out to be grateful, also goes a long way. Talk about making a habit out of something. That is what I am trying to do. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing that I am trying to do now, is to think of all of the amazing things and people that I am so grateful to have as part of my life. Sometimes, I am grateful for ME for having had the courage to continue to make positive changes in my life. Sometimes I am grateful for having so, so many other loving and caring people in my life. On some mornings, I am grateful for both.
There are so many positive things going on in my life. So many positive activities and people these days that I feel spoiled. Quite the change from where I was before, in my life. Almost the opposite. Talk about feeling grateful. Grateful that I ended up pulling a “Costanza”.
So, thank you Dave for finally deciding to make that life altering midlife self-transformation. And thank you everyone else, for having helped me pull it off, by helping me to make that journey, EASYer on my self. You all know who you are. Thank you for being there for me. I am so grateful.
That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹)
What key change enabler(s) are at the top of YOUR list?
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