The Way Forward

Moving ahead, moving forward, is not always a straight path.  It involves sidesteps, moving back to gain perspective, and jumping over obstacles.  No one can do this for you, you must do it yourself.  Self-awareness is key; be aware of your strengths and weaknesses but do not dwell on them.  Simply spend time working on weak areas using your strengths to make change.

Ever been to an optometrist?  When they check your vision, they have a very methodical approach.  Starting with an approximation known to be less than what you need, they ask a series of basic questions to focus in on the right lens for you.  “One, or two?  One, or two?” then “Three, or four?” And so on.  Apply this approach to life and you can make an astounding amount of permanent change fairly quickly.

Find something you want to change, and make a small adjustment.  After a while, ask yourself “Better, or worse?”  If it is better, keep the change and make another small adjustment in that direction.  If it is worse, or makes no difference, strike out in a different direction until you find a way to improve.

Big life changes are incredibly difficult to make overnight.  Tiny changes ingrained as habits are relatively simple and become more or less permanent in short order.  For example, if you want to quit smoking, “I will never smoke again” is a promise almost impossible to keep.  It involves an infinite value, never, and therefore will tend to overwhelm.  Instead, try “I will not smoke today.”  You can hang on for a day if you are serious.  The next day, say the same thing.  One day at a time, like “baby steps” for adults with an addiction.

The important thing is to approach change like a geologist.  Pressure over time is how they see change.  The constant pressure ineveitably creates change.  There is no avoiding it.  So the next time you want to make a positive change in your life, don’t rush it.  Just keep pushing and the change will come, one step at a time.

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