Inspiration ... or Desperation?
Why do people choose to change? Or, on the other hand, choose not to?
I learned, in a class not too long ago, that "why" comes in two flavors: inspiration and desperation. And, despite me wishing that all people changed their minds, their attitudes, their business practices, etc. in response to inspiration (toward pleasure), I'm reminded every day how it's really more likely that if anyone changes anything, it's out of desperation (away from pain).
One of the differentiators may be how the stimulus is interpreted (that which causes either pleasure or pain). Is it out of a response or a reaction? To do either involves choice. Reacting means we have given that choice to someone or something outside of ourselves. We find ourselves in reaction mode when we do not have time to create the future because we are so busy handling the present. Heck, in reaction mode, the future can only look a lot like the present because it doesn't require any original thought on our part.
When we respond, we take back control. We anticipate things to come and think about them before saying or doing anything. We get to decide how, and really if, we allow outside forces to affect us, both externally and internally. When we respond instead of react, we actually feel more at ease (or less in dis-ease) and actually have many more opportunities to move toward pleasure instead of away from pain.
Despite the fact that nearly all of us are able to respond to things instead of react to them (that's why it's assumed that when we get to a certain age, we are response-able), it appears that not all of us are willing to do so.
One way to determine whether you are spending more time reacting or responding is to check your results. What's happening in your life? Are you happy, fulfilled, energized, surrounded by great people, feeling pretty fortunate? Or more the opposite - like a victim of your surroundings and upbringing? In other words, when you do make a move in your life, is it away from things or toward them? Think about jobs you've had.
I know for me it took 4 different career moves for me to realize that in each case I was moving away from pain (in desperation) and the cause of that desperation kept following me to the next move. At some point it finally occurred to me that the only thing each of those jobs had in common was me and unless I changed something other than my external circumstance, I was going to keep getting the same result.
Becoming an entrepreneur, albeit an accidental one at first, was the first time I really moved toward something instead of away from it. And that first step in 2003 was taken on really shaky, unsteady and unsure legs. In June of 2005 when I launched Bock's Office, I think I was finally beginning to understand that it is possible - and I was willing - to respond and create something instead of react and wait for something to be created for me.
Where are you in your reaction/response journey? Do you identify more with pleasure or pain? The first step is to become aware of the distinction.
If you're ready to take your future into your own hands, consider joining a Think and Grow Rich study group. We'll be launching several in-person, semi-virtual and virtual groups over the summer to help you determine that for yourself by studying the principles of this classic book, and their application to your own life.
No matter which camp you find yourself in - inspiration or desperation - if you're feeling any restlessness or discontent, this may be the time to act.
A year from now you will wish you had started today! Our next in-person group starts Thursday, May 13 in Fargo. If an 8-week study won't fit into your plans, mark your calendar now for the Genius & Purpose workshops June 23 & 24 in Fargo where Dick Richards will guide us in uncovering, naming, and putting into practice our Genius.
When you're ready to move into response mode, you will be amazed and delighted at all the people and resources at your beck and call. Look for opportunities and they'll be there. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they'll show up.
Which do you prefer? The time is now!