Can a person actually change?
Can a person actually change?
By Douglas Vermeeren
Recently I had a friend express some concerns about some of the things that were going on in his relationship. He said it didn’t really matter how much he tried that he continued the same patterns that were devastating his marriage and family life. After arguments he would feel so bad that he would indulge in alcoholic behavior that would inevitably make the situation worse.
This post is really to help him with a few thoughts I had since we chatted, but feel free to listen in.
Although each of our mothers has told us that it takes ‘two to tangle’ in a fight. I have seen from my experience in the martial arts that if one of those fighters changes the rules of the confrontation that often times the fight doesn’t have to happen at all.
That’s what this post is about is change.
After talking about a few strategies my friend had tried the question came, “Can a person really change?”
The answer is YES! In fact, change is always happening. The thing that is more impossible than change is to stay the same. Even if you argue that you face every day more or less the same way, the situations you face are not the same. Change is happening around you and you are being effected by it. The only choice you have with change is that you can choose to act instead of being acted upon.
The greatest tool that we have to create the life we want is our ability to choose. Your tomorrow doesn’t have to look like your yesterday. You can make that choice. You’ve probably heard it said, that ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again.’ I prefer to say, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, remember nothing is the same as it was at first.’
Most people understand they have choice. The challenge most people experience is that they never invest the mental effort to decide what it is they really want. Therefore their choices and actions never create anything specific.
In the case of my friend, some of us do have ideas of what we want but we never really commit to those ideas until we run the risk of losing what we wanted. We then scurry in desperation to find bandaids to hold what we want in place before it disappears. We need to decide what we want and do something about it while it is still within our grasp.
If we are prepared to invest our efforts in what we want we will miss out.
Each day we make new choices, some of them work out really well, some we learn from and hopefully make better choices the next time.
But the only way we can grow into making better choices is to have a valuable destination in mind. It must be a destination that is important to us. We aren’t ever willing to work for things which don’t have meaning to us. When we have a valuable destination before us, then our brains can be convinced to get to work. (Convincing the brain can often be the hardest part. In the workshops, The Neuroscience of Success, I share a really great strategy that convinces the brain called ‘The Council of 5’.)
Creating change is a system and process that involves the brain. That process is scientifically called neuroplasticity. Simply, stated neuroplasticity is the brains ability to rewire itself to accommodate developments or change in situations or experience. One neuroscientist put it simply this way, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” In other words, that which we devote our attention, practice and performance to creates new neural networks in our brain and certain tasks become easier.
Heber J. Grant said it this way, “”That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our power to do so is increased.”
So can positive changes happen? Can a person change their life? Can a person repair things that aren’t working in their life? Absolutely.
So what about in a relationships that are experiencing difficulty? That can change too. But we must remember that both people involved have their freedom to choose. If both are committed, not through compulsion but through choice, there is the ability to repair and strengthen a broken relationship.
But change in a relationship is often like growing flowers, you can’t get them to grow faster by pulling on them. It will take time and nurturing. There will still be bad days and difficult moments. That is where a firm commitment to that valuable destination is crucial. If the destination is truly valuable it must stay in focus even during these moments.
Change can happen in any aspect of a persons life and it can be the source of the greatest joys to come. We are not bound to be as we were. We have the power to choose and with that power can come the greatest possibilities.
Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. Douglas Vermeeren is the author of Guerrilla Achiever (With Jay Levinson) and the creator of The Opus (with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Dr. Joe Vitale, Dr. John Demartini, Dr. Sue Morter, Marci Shimoff, Bill Bartmann, Bob Doyle and Morris Goodman.) Currently Doug is completing another film entitled, How Thoughts Become Things. This film will explore the process of how our thoughts become manifest in our lives as reality. For more on this film go to: www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com For more on Douglas Vermeeren go to: www.SucceedResearch.com Douglas Vermeeren can be reached for speaking engagements and training at 1.877.393.9496.