Inspiration versus perspiration
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Not surprisingly, we often talk to clients about making changes in their lives, particularly at this time of year.
These range from the small and easily manageable to much larger and more radical. Some are voluntary. Others have been forced on them by circumstances. Or, perhaps, by others whether with the best of motivations or not (!). And, without digressing too far, we all know there is a very fine line between “help” and “interference”….
The question that always comes up is how to make changes more easily. Well, let’s be honest, as painless and quick as possible.
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that there’s an easy answer to this question. The bad news is that it isn’t necessarily the one the client wants to hear.
By its very nature, change can be very scary. It takes us out of our comfort zone, whether doing something differently or completely new. And with this comes the fear that “here be dragons.”
So what’s the easy answer to this question?
Well, it’s all to do with motivation. The “why”. Why do they want to make this change?
And this is where the bad news comes in. It’s the main reason so many people fail to make changes in their lives. The “why” must come in the language of feelings NOT in cold, hard facts.
Why is this?
Quite simply because humans are driven by their feelings. And, if you’re in any doubt about this, try thinking about anything without having a feeling – positive or negative – about it. You just can’t.
To make a change easily, the motivation – the why – must come from you. BE PERSONAL TO YOU AND FEEL GOOD. It must come from inside, rather than outside. Not from cold logic. Nor from others telling you that something may be good for you or in your best interests.
And it doesn’t matter whether your motivations make sense to anyone else or not. All you need are at least one – or, ideally more – reasons why you want to do it WHICH FEEL GOOD TO YOU. And, once you connect to these feelings, something magical happens. You become INSPIRED to do it. Just thinking about it feels good and you want to go and do it.
Any change should feel good when you think about it. Feel good to go and do it. And, finally, feel good having done it and making it part of your life.
INSPIRATION is a limitless fuel supply. It feels great and makes even the most radical change easy.
Now contrast this with the other method all too many people make the mistake of relying on. PERSPIRATION or, as it’s more commonly known, WILLPOWER. And doesn’t that conjure up pictures of gritted teeth and sheer effort? “I’ll do this if it’s the last thing I do.”
Rather than going with the flow, it’s all about external effort and force to get something done. It doesn’t feel good to do but, the logic goes, it’ll feel good when we get there. Unfortunately, this never seems to be the case.
The reason why relying on external force – willpower – never works is that it can only be done by with a conscious effort. In other words you have to make a conscious decision to do it and, as soon as you stop thinking about it, the game’s over.
And this is why change becomes so difficult. We’re approaching it in the wrong way and relying on the wrong fuel to get it done. By its very nature, willpower is a finite resource. The tank quickly runs dry and has to be refilled. Compare that with inspiration which is effortless, an inexhaustible fuel.
As always, the choice is yours.
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