Recently I’ve noticed how filled my newsfeed is with posts about people being tired, unhealthy, or broke but it seems no one is willing to put forth the effort to make a real change.
So many people want change but they don’t want to change.
Last Sunday, my pastor touched on this subject in terms of repentance. A lot of people think of repentance as feeling bad for something they did wrong (in this context, a sin). But that’s not what repentance is. American philosopher, Dallas Willard says repentance is to reconsider your strategy for living. Repentance involves action – making a change in strategy to avoid repeating a mistake. Wanting to change something is a feeling; but actually changing it involves action.
I’m sure everyone has at least one thing (if not 10+ things) they would like to change in their life. In my opinion these people (meaning everyone) fall into three groups in regards to change.
Group 1 (The Noncommittals): Those that want change, but are also ok if change doesn’t happen right away (i.e. they want change but they don’t want to change)
This group is for those who want to want to change but don’t really want to. A lot of people like the idea of quitting smoking but they don’t actually want to quit smoking therefore they aren’t going to quit smoking no matter how much they try. I fall into the noncommitals group when it comes to the snooze button on my alarm. I want to want to stop hitting the snooze button but I don’t really want to because my bed is so comfy and cozy and understanding of my sleep needs. Until I make my mind up to say no to the snooze button and take action to change (as in disabling that feature on my alarm or moving my alarm far away from my bed), I will continue to snooze away my mornings. In order for real change to occur you have to get to the point where you no longer tolerate the status quo, or, more simply – we never change what we tolerate.
Group 2 (The Quick Fix Group): Those that want change, they will take action to change, but not action that is inconvenient, hard, or out of their comfort zone (i.e. they want change but they don’t really want to change)
This group is comprised folks who are on the lookout for “get rich quick schemes” and “secret diets.” It’s not a secret that healthy weight loss requires exercise and healthy eating. But that takes real, intentional action. It takes time and energy. Why do that when there are so many easier alternatives or “quick fixes”? (That’s a rhetorical question) Today there are pills, wraps, and patches that “speed up metabolism,” “increase energy,” and “provide weight loss” without any effort at all. The pills, wraps, and patches may provide short term results but they don’t require (or even encourage) a change in habit. The results are not sustainable. It’s not a change. It’s a quick fix. These products are wildly popular because they are a great solution for people who want change but don’t want to change.
Group 3 (The Game Changers): They want change, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that change (i.e. they want to reconsider their strategy for living)
This is the only group that is going to have real success in changing. They take change seriously. They are ready to take real, intentional action to start a new strategy. They don’t care if the new strategy is uncomfortable or hard because they know if they don’t try something different everything will stay the same. After all the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
Here’s my challenge to you. Think of 1-3 things that you really want to change in your life. For this to work you have to be real with yourself and determine that you actually want to change (you can’t just want to want to change like the noncommitals). Now, write down 3 action steps you can take to change your current strategy for living in order to make that change. Be a game changer and take the steps to improve instead of feeling bad (or complaining on facebook) about your status quo.