The Missing Ingredient to Lasting Change

lasting change - grapefruit

Do you want to make a lasting change?

But sometimes feel you’re going mad?

You want to make that change but somehow day after day… you just don’t manage it?

Disappointingly, each morning you wake up and everything is… exactly the same.

Despite all your determination. All your resolve.

There’s a very good reason that happens.

Let’s look at an example: Your garage is in a poor state, leaning dangerously sideways, roof rotten and the paint peeling off. Yikes, what a dilapidated eyesore!

So you stand inside and determinedly try to push it upright again, in the hope that it will magically keep it’s shape. You try to attach the rotten roof timbers back together, with just some nails and a crazy idea that the rot will wondrously just stop.
You collect up all the flaked paint from the floor and try to stick it back on with scotch tape and a delusional notion that it will somehow now look decent again.

That’s not going to work. What is needed is a lasting change, not a botch job. A whole new garage, not the old one with a few desperate repairs.

But how to make a lasting change?

Keeping with the garage analogy, would you buy a new garage from your traveling garage guy and just erect it next to the old one? Probably not. The original one would collapse at some point, damaging, or destroying your new one.

And even if it managed somehow to stay up, it would constantly distract you from your shiny new garage.
Instead you’d probably take the old one down before erecting the new one.

Similarly, if you want to make a change you need to get rid of all those old, broken ideas first before those shiny new ones can take pride of place.

But how do you get rid of those busted-ass ideas? They’re surprisingly hard to dislodge. You try to pull them out, but they break in half like rotten boards, leaving the stump still embedded in your mind.

What you need is a help, a catalyst. In the case of the old garage, you could hire a demolition expert and dynamite it (probably a little overkill and the neighbors might not be too pleased if they have to pick bits of garage out of their prize borders for weeks.)

Or you could hire a mini-dozer and do the job yourself.

And you could use the same approach for those hard to dislodge ideas. Dynamiting them out of your brain is  risky, costly and might backfire. Instead let opportunity be your helper and do the job yourself.

The English Oxford Dictionary sums it up perfectly:

1A time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

“…that makes it possible to do something.” In this case, make a change.

All you need to do is welcome opportunity in. For instance:
Change you want: Get fitter
Busted-ass idea: I don’t exercise
Opportunity: You find out your local gym is having a sale on membership. Or you notice an affordable exercise machine in the local ads.

All you need to do is welcome that opportunity in and take the membership or buy the machine.

Change you want: Find a partner
Busted-ass idea: I don’t know anyone
Opportunity: There are plenty of online (and offline) dating agencies or social clubs for people to meet.

All you need to do is welcome that opportunity in and join an online or offline dating agency or social club.

Change you want: Learn a second language.
Busted-ass idea: I haven’t got the time
Opportunity:There are lots of online, fast-results language courses and offline intensive language courses out there.

All you need to do is welcome that opportunity in and choose which method you’ll use.

I know this is a little simplistic, but the point is it’s a common misconception to think it’s hard to find the opportunity for change. Opportunity is all around you. Finding it is usually pretty straightforward.

And so is welcoming it in. All you need to do is decide you’re going to.

“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes”. Benjamin Disraeli

Here are 3 reasons opportunity allows you to make a change:

1. Instant change
By letting opportunity walk in through your door, you’ve already created a change. Your normal routine and old habits have been shaken up. That puts you in a great place to finish the job by tearing them down and replacing them with those shiny new ones that will support the change you want to make.

2. Promise of better
Opportunity is like a glittering, surprise gift, filled with the promise that something is going to improve in your life. That feeds your positive thoughts and breeds optimistic belief that you can have this wondrous new improvement – change needs positive belief or it will fade and wither… in moments.

3. Tangible picture
Perhaps opportunity’s most powerful magic is that it’s real. You aren’t sitting for hours desperately trying to vizualize yourself after managing to make your desired change, or forever cutting out paper pictures to stick on your vision board. You are standing in the middle of the opportunity. That means you can already feel the beginnings of change – so much more powerful than trying to imagine them.

“A grapefruit is just a lemon that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.” Oscar Wilde

Welcome Opportunity in and Make a Lasting Change

Well, you’re not going mad – phew!

Trying over and over to make a change and failing, isn’t a failing on your part.

You’ve just been standing inside your rotten, dilapidated garage trying to work with old and busted stuff that is never going to make a shiny new place for you to park your car.

That’s opportunity’s job.

It’s primed, ready and panting, itching to help you ease into the lasting change you’re aching to have or become.

Are you going to open your door and let it in?


Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Laura Tong

Laura is on a mission to help you reduce stress and grow your happiness by simplifying your life. Download her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict)

Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.

Laura 's writing regularly features on such top blogs as Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and Goodlife ZEN. Her articles have been read and shared by thousands (and even translated into Serbian and Burmese).

She’s a published author (traditional and indie) and has written books as diverse as luxury travel, surreal fiction, autobiographical and personal development. You can get her latest book here:The Life-Changing Power of NO!

Laura is also Editor of Write To Done & Assistant Editor at GoodlifeZEN and hundreds of students have taken her course on building confidence.

Laura’s other passions include painting, renovating her house in France and building everything from Ozark float boats to hovercraft. She also loves travelling, adventuring and discovering just how awesome people are the world over. Follow Laura on twitter

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