So you’ve decided to make some changes in your life. You’ve got your eye on the prize, and you’re going after it. You’re going to be stronger, better! Today is the day. You’re ready!
You start out high energy, and momentum carries the today. Yes! Day One is under your belt. You feel stronger already. This is awesome!
Day Two. Momentum drops as reality sets in. Okay, this is a little harder than you thought. But you’re doing this. You resolve to keep going.
Day Three. Sigh! The shine is off the penny. Why did you decide on this change, again? Things weren’t really so bad before, were they? Nobody’s perfect, after all. You’ve got enough on your plate without taking on another struggle.
Day Four. Okay, forget this. What were you thinking? You slip back to that vice. That habit. That couch. Ahhhh…. That feels so much better. You don’t really need that change, do you?
And you go back to the path of least resistance, where it feels easy and comfortable – until it isn’t.
And then you start the game again.
Why Is It So Hard To Make Changes?
The late Jim Rohn was a brilliant man and a student of human nature.
And he made a profound observation: “No matter what they say, people always do what they want to do.”
Now, when I first heard this, it was in the context of multi-level marketing. (Yep, I did my time there. Talk about an education in human nature!) And, boy howdy, was Mr. Rohn ever right.
I could talk to a prospect, and he’d swear up and down that he was totally on board. He couldn’t wait to join my team. But then I’d follow up on the day that we’d scheduled, and the guy would be totally MIA. Why? Because he didn’t really want to join an MLM company – regardless of what he told me or himself.
Or maybe I would have a new team member – all excited to build her business and start making money. To do that, of course, she needed to make sales and grow her team. So she’d do the training. She’d do the planning. She’d buy the sales materials. She’d promise to make the calls. But did she? No. Why? Because regardless of what she said to herself or to me, she didn’t really want to sell or recruit team members.
(BTW, very few people actually DO want to sell or recruit – let alone have the skills to build and manage their own MLM business – which is why 97% of wanna-be’s fizzle out. It’s a brutal business model and not for the faint-hearted.)
But I digress.
No matter what they say, people always do what they want to do. ~ Jim Rohn
The point is that these people very, very much wanted to change their lives for the better. They very, very much wanted financial independence. They very, very much wanted control of their time and their future. But they most certainly didn’t want to sell products or recruit others to do the same.
They weren’t willing to do what it took to make their MLM business succeed. And so they didn’t.
What Does This Mean For Us?
That simple lesson has stayed with me for years. I learned it in regard to MLM, but it certainly doesn’t stop there.
No matter what part of life we’re discussing, human nature is the same: Out of the gate, we may start strong. But in the end, we finish according to what we want – consciously or unconsciously.
Applying this truth to our own decisions makes good sense, and I’ve done so many times.
It’s good and wonderful to want a certain result. We all have wishes for that rosy future.
I want to be fit and healthy. I want to have a clean house. I want perfect skin. I want an amazing relationship with those I love. I want financial security. I want enough money to be extremely generous to those in need.
Okay, great. But now, do I also want to do what it takes to get all of that?
Am I willing?
Because, no matter what I tell myself, in the end I’m going to do what I actually want to do. Regardless of how much I may wish the results were otherwise.
Getting Real About What We Want
There’s a little story in John 5:5-9 that, in my opinion, illustrates this part of human nature beautifully.
Jesus comes upon a crippled beggar who’s spent the last 38 years laying near healing waters, waiting for someone to help him into the pool.
Before he heals the beggar, Jesus asks him, “Do you want to get better?”
Now, when I first read that, I wondered at the obvious question. Of course the guy wanted to get better! Why even ask something so crazy?
But then, remember that Jesus was smart. Even smarter than the brilliant Jim Rohn. He knew human nature and our weakness to settle for the easiest way out. After 38 years of laying by that pool, accepting handouts and his own fate, did the beggar truly want to be well? Or was he maybe, truly okay with the lifestyle he’d learned to manage? Was he willing to be healed and leave that life behind? Did he even believe it was possible?
I think that’s a great question for our own selves, when it comes to our desire for change.
Sure, we say we want to be fit and healthy. But face it – if we’ve been stuffing our faces and laying on the couch for a decade, part of that scene is working for us: Food tastes good, and it’s comforting, numbing and satisfying. It’s something to do when we’re bored. We never miss an episode of The Bachelor, and we don’t have to put up with sore muscles.
We can “get better” any time we want to. But do we want to? Are we willing?
We can apply this to everything on our wish list.
Wishes are great, and we all have them. But if they’re ever to move beyond wishes into actual goals, we need to get real about what we’re willing to trade for their reality.
What To Do Next
So now what? Now it’s your turn.
Think about that change you want to make:
- Why do you want it?
- Why does it matter? How will you look or feel different after it’s accomplished?
- How will life be better?
- How important is it to make this change?
And now think about what it will take to make that change a reality:
- What will you need to give up?
- What will you need to go after?
- How uncomfortable will you be, for how long?
- Is it worth it?
- What will you need to trade for the change you want?
In the end, it really just comes down to this one question: Are you willing?
Then let’s go.
Go shine your light –