Tag Archives: change

3 Part Change

Changing habits happens when three parts come together.

  1. Intellectual – You logically understand the change and decide to make it.
  2. Emotional – You build emotional connections to the new pattern and understand the roots of the emotional connections to the old pattern well enough to let them go.
  3. Habitual – You cultivate new routines that push you into the desired behaviors.

What Would You Change?

I have no power. It’s not my job. There’s nothing I can do.

These are examples of the kind of hopeless statements that change.org may just make obsolete. This simple site allows ordinary people to create petitions which lead to citizen and consumer support which leads to media attention which leads to powerful organizations cowing in a way they never would have in the past. What do the powerless achieve through change.org?

  • Fourth graders beat up on Universal Studios.
  • A nanny took on Bank of America.
  • Ecuadorian women took on their government which agrees to their demands.

So what would you change?

More importantly, what’s stopping you?


Tactical and strategic are a continuum. They are not buckets. Do something tactical enough times and it will be strategic. Often times the biggest changes in our worlds occur from the seed of tiny initial actions.

Up the Stream

Lessons from my author’s retreat (cont.).

David Korten shared with me a lesson from his graduate school experience.

A man stands at the side of a river and sees a baby flailing about in the water. He jumps in to save the baby. Back on the riverbank he sees another baby in the water and repeats his heroic action. This repeats again and again and again. While the man’s actions may be viewed as heroic, what is truly needed is for him to head upstream to see why all of these babies are falling into the river in the first place.

We too often address the challenge we see rather than looking upstream. We need to more often seek out the root causes, both on a large scale (e.g., Why is this system failing?) and a small scale (e.g., Why did this person act in this way?).

What’s Your Meme

Lessons from my author’s retreat (cont.).

“A meme is ‘an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.'” (Wikipedia)

E.g., The Lone Ranger is a meme of American society. Reality TV has spread the meme that any one of us can be plucked into fame and that, in fact, 15 minutes of fame is a highly desirable end.

The folks at smartMeme believe that perhaps the best way to change society is to shift the memes.

I think if I could change any meme to reshape society it would be to replace lotto dreams with a desire for spiritual fulfillment.

What meme do you think we most need to replace to improve our society?

You Say You Want a Revolution

Lessons from my author’s retreat (cont.).

Deborah Frieze, author of Walk Out Walk On, shared her model of the cycle of system revolution, that is, how old systems get replaced by new ones. She described the varying roles that people play in the process.

  • Pioneering – Coming up with and pursuing the new ideas.
  • Protecting – Clearing the way for the pioneers and shielding them from the old system.
  • Hospicing – Compassionately caring for the old system as it heads into decline.
  • Illuminating – Helping people see the need to make the leap from the old system to the new system.
  • Clinging (my term, not hers) – Hanging onto the old system at all costs, and fighting the pioneers wherever possible.

What are the major changes happening around you? At work? In the world?

And what role are you playing?

Performance of a Lifetime

Integrity is important. No one likes having their integrity challenged. And so we find it distasteful to “be fake” or somehow act in a way that isn’t who we are.

But who we are in the end is a result of how we choose to act. We are the only ones who get to define ourselves. And so if we want to define ourselves in a new way, that’s not disingenuous. That’s change.

Take someone who is a miserable morning person. If they drink coffee to perk themselves up we don’t consider that disingenuous or fake. It’s just smart – and appreciated.

Striving to be more energized or enthusiastic or calmer or toned down or less eager or more talkative or less talkative isn’t choosing to be fake. It’s choosing to be better. It’s you 2.0, the next generation. It’s an indication of maturity that you should be willing to grow.

“I don’t want to be fake,” is a convenient excuse for accepting a characteristic that holds you back. Don’t allow yourself that. If it’s important, if it will help you, if you want it, redefine yourself. Be a performer. Before you know it, it won’t be a performance anymore. It will be the new you.