Myth About Change
“The only constant is change” ~ Plato
Recently I have been rereading the books and listening to the audio books by Tony Robbins. What caught my attention is on the part where Tony Robbins mentioned that change happens in an instant. Majority of the people think that changing is hard and when they want to turn their life around, they will need to spend years to change it.
However Tony Robbins differs that and he convinced me too. He said that change is immediate and the only thing that is holding us back from change is the process that leads to our decision to change. But once we had decided that we want to change, the change can happen at that very moment.
Process Of Changing
Let us take a look at me for example. During the period when I was serving the army, I am allocated to be a medic. It is contradicting but I did not do much exercise when I was in the army as the medics are required to read more books then exercise. It also doesn’t help when I am always eating when I have the free time.
As a result I am growing horizontally and my weight increases from 70kg (154lbs) to 77kg (169lbs). Being overweight isn’t fun and I am suffering physically and emotionally. My friends noticed the extra pounds that I had gained and made fun of me. My jeans got tighter and I need to put in more effort to squeeze into it. I felt tired easily and just simply walking can make me perspire profusely.
Even though I am suffering and there are times (many times!) that I had wanted to start to control my diet and exercise routine to get me back to my healthy weight range. But I do not have enough leverage to put me into action. This means that I continue to suffer daily with my ever increasing waist line.
I had refused to change my diet and start my exercise routine because I link so much pain to it and link too much pleasure into eating junk food.
This is how it looks like:
Pain (Diet and Exercise):
- It is tiring to exercise daily
- Replacing the junk food means I will be eating food that are not tasty. How can some plain lettuce and almonds be tasty?
- I do not have enough time to finish up my work let alone time for exercise.
- I do not want to be left out when my friends are eating out.
Pleasure (Continuing my old way of eating and lifestyle):
- Who hates Macdonald?
- Burgers are my favorite.
- Anything fried is tasty.
- Less time for exercise means more time for games and more sleep.
How can I make any changes when I have so much pleasure in my old of lifestyle and think about so much pain in a better lifestyle? This will only cause me to stay in my unhealthy lifestyle.
The Moment Of Change
Even though I am suffering when I was overweight, there isn’t enough pain for me to quit my unhealthy lifestyle. That is why I continue to live with it for a few more months.
It is until one moment when I just couldn’t take it anymore. I hated how I look in mirror, how lethargic I felt and how many people are poking fun at my new found weight. It was at that very moment that I decided that I am going to do something to get myself back to my original weight, feel good about myself, feel sexier 😉 and looks great every time I look at myself in the mirror.
Note:(As you can see in the above paragraph, I am starting to move away from pain (friends making fun of me and etc) and towards pleasure (feeling good about myself, looking good).
That is the moment. The moment of change when I had decided to take action and make changes to my life.
Once I had decided to change, I immediately went ahead and took action. I went online to search for exercise routines and diets that I can follow. I scheduled my exercise routines as the most important thing in the day. I started exercising 6 days a week and removed refined carbohydrates from my diet. Which means no white rice, bread, noodles and yes you, bet no burgers. I also packed my own lunch and dinner so I will not eat anything that will hinder my plan of losing weight.
I wanted to bring my weight down from 77kg (169.4lbs) to my original weight of around 70kg (154lbs) + – 1 kg (2.2lbs). But at the end of my plan, my weight drop to 69kg (151.8lbs) and I gained lean muscle at the same time too. Change suddenly seems easy, isn’t it?
Decide To Make The Change Now
As you can see, I can change at that very moment when I decided that I wanted to but I did not do that and kept on hanging to my old unhealthy lifestyle which causes more suffering for me.
This shows that change doesn’t need to take a life time to happen. To make the change, all you need to do is to link enough pain to something that you want to change and link enough pleasure to something you want to change into and make the decision to go forward.
It is possible to change in an instant and it does not matter if you are unhappy about your appearance, your financial situation, your job or whatever that you are not happy about. All it takes is to make it so painful for you to stay in your current situation and you will automatically decide to change and move away from it.
How To Have Accelerated Change
As you can see in the above picture, accelerated change is a 5 steps process.
Note: It is suppose to be link pleasure to new lifestyle instead of link pain to new lifestyle.
1st Step: Link Pain To Old Lifestyle
Our mind thinks in pictures and memories are more vivid when they appear in the form of images. Let me show it to you.
Don’t think about a pink elephant with black polka dots.
What happens? Immediately an image of a pink elephant with black polka dots will spring into your mind. Right now we got to use this to technique to help us link pain to what we want to change.
Let us take losing weight as an example. What can be painful for you if you do not lose weight now?
- I don’t look good.
- I feel bad when I look at myself in the mirror.
- It is hard to squeeze into my favorite clothes.
- My choice of clothes is limited.
- My friends make fun of me.
- I can’t get a boyfriend/girlfriend.
- He/she rejected me and said that I am too fat.
- and etc. Anything that can let you feel the pain of not changing will help.
Close your eyes and think about these points in pictures. Think of your friends jeering you, pointing at you and laughing at you because you are fat. Think of how you are not confident enough to confess to someone you love because you are mindful of your self image. Think of how someone that you love rejected you because of your weight.
Digging out these past experiences and reliving them (exaggerating them helps) will cause you to feel frustrated, angry, sad, and annoyed. These are the feelings that will be the leverage to help you make the change you desire. Run these images in your head until you just can’t take it anymore and you just want to get out of this immediately and make the change that you want.
2nd Step: Linking Pleasure To New Changes
Linking pleasure to your new changes will further ensure a higher probability of following through. It is the same exercise as the 1st step but this time round you will need to think of the pleasure you will gain when you successfully make the changes that you want.
- I look good and feel good.
- My friends are in awe of my body.
- My friends and pays compliment to my body.
- I feel energetic every day!
- People come to me for tips on how to improve their physique.
- I look good in anything.
- Shopping for clothes can never be any easier.
- I shut the mouth of those people who make fun of me.
Think of all these points in images. See the smirk look you have and how smart you feel. Imagine it and be in it. Think about how you will smile and how confident you will be after achieving your results.
3rd Step: Decide To Change Now
With the pain pushing you away from your old lifestyle and pleasure pulling you towards your new lifestyle, now you will need to decide that you want to change now. You need to be committed and make the decision that you will not accept your old habits anymore and you are moving forward and towards something better.
This step is actually the simplest since you already laid the foundation for your change in step 1 and 2. More often than not, you will be dying for change after linking so much pain to your old habits. Step 2 will only help you reinforce your desire to change.
So after deciding that you are going to change, you will need to proceed to…
4th Step: Take Action
This is a critical step. With so much emotions, drive and motivation after completing step 1,2 and 3, you will need to take action now. You will not leave this out and think that you will start tomorrow because by the time the feelings, emotions, drive, motivation and other positive feelings you had generated will be dissipated. This will lowers the probability that you will take action.
Set your goals now and write down the deadline of when you want to achieve it. (Read more on the SMART rules of setting goals.) Create an action plan, fits it into your schedule and make it a priority. If you want extra motivation, go out there and find groups of people who share the same goals as you. Join their group or form your own mastermind group. You can either find your own friends or search through forums or Facebook groups.
5th Step: Results
It is finally the day for you to evaluate your results. Give yourself a pat on the back for following through as I can tell you most will not make it through the whole process. Some may had made major changes to their life and others may only manage to create some minor changes, but it does not matter.
All it matters is that you now know that you can change immediately if you have the right strategy and if you want to. So if there is something that you are unhappy about in your life, use the above steps again and make the necessary changes again.
(You may want to read the article on the Ultimate Success Formula on how to achieve your desired results.)
You can use the 5 step formula to change any part of you life that you are unsatisfied about. The great thing about this 5 step formula is that it allows us to see that change can be immediate and it does not take years to make the change you desired. All it takes is just an instant. An instant where you just can’t stand _______ (fill in the blank of what you are unsatisfied in your life) anymore and you decide from that moment you will change and do something about it.
This is a rather long article with around 2000 words to it. I want to thank you for reading it from the start to finish and I hope I made you realize that you have the power to change at this very moment and you don’t have to take years to start making positive changes to your life.
To your success,