I often find people discussing if it’s actually possible to change ourselves for the betterment. Also at times I find people telling each other that all these motivational talks, techniques for self-development and training don’t yield results.
We observe that in bad times, even people with positive mind-set cannot escape the feeling of despair and self-doubt. The only difference is they overcome this feeling and bounce back fast.
For those of you, who believe change for betterment is not possible, I want you to look back upon your own life experiences from this perspective. Is it not true that whenever you had set short term goals for yourselves, you had achieved those goals? Some of those goals were getting selected in school cricket team, winning inter school debate competition, clearing engineering entrance examination, doing certifications in I.T industry, getting job in your desired company etc.
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Each of us had our own reasons and circumstances for setting these short term goals. Most of the times, life puts us in such uncomfortable circumstances that we have no option but to fight back hard for survival. Hence somebody may have put his entire energy in clearing certifications because his boss had made his life a hell in office. Other guy was desperately looking for a new job because he found his boss ignoring him and promoting a colleague who was good at buttering. Some would have even done it out of jealousy also because your friend achieved similar goals and you couldn’t tolerate his taking a lead. For others extreme poverty in family would have given the motivation to achieve big to bring family out of miseries.
Reasons for setting short term goals could be different. But one thing is clear. Whenever you aim for something and you have burning desire to achieve that goal, your energy gets channelized and you get extremely focused. You overcome distractions and your concentration increases tremendously towards finding ways to achieve your goals. The fire inside to achieve a desired objective helps a person to change himself for betterment.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” By Kenneth Blanchard
I will share my own experience. Being a Chartered Accountant in service, I hardly get time to meet fellow Chartered Accountants who are in practice because my job profile does not require this. So I thought that for better networking, I should start attending seminars for Continued Professional Education conducted by various Study circles on week-ends. Can you imagine it took me eight complete months to attend my first seminar? I was happy in my comfort zone all this while. I think as if Kenneth Blanchardhad written those lines for me only.
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All of us have achievements to our credit in different aspects of life at some point or the other. We achieved success because we were committed to that particular goal at that point of time. If we can change ourselves temporarily during those times and bring betterment in our life then it means change is possible. And we have the power to change ourselves. What we need to realize is that if we cultivate the habit of setting short term and long term goals and we have the burning desire to achieve those goals, then nobody can stop us from our journey of self- development. Achievement of goals is possible by bringing small changes in life. When we follow those changes for certain minimum period (normally it takes 21 days), it becomes our habit. Once we have developed a good habit and pursue it, it will become part of our personality.
What we fail to realize is that once in a while when we commit ourselves to achieve a certain goal, though we may achieve that goal but it will not bring significant and visible positive change in our life. Neither this is sufficient motivation for us to believe that we can totally change ourselves. But when we make it a habit of setting and achieving goals regularly over a longer duration, the sum total of all the positive changes we are adapting to will get converted into habits that will bring significant and visible positive changes in our personality.
“Your world will change dramatically once you stop giving yourself reasons why you can’t do the things that are holding you back and you start giving yourself reasons why you can.” By Zero Dean
But what we do is instead of working towards bringing positive changes in our life, we look for reasons how we could maintain status quo. We are all good at giving excuses. For growth in career, we all know the best solution is to increase our skill sets by attending relevant courses or training sessions, gaining relevant experience etc. However many of us blame lack of money as the reason that is stopping us. When it is about taking challenging assignments professionally, we may find ourselves either too young or too old to give it a go.
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Some others believe that they are not yet prepared to take the challenge. We are so afraid of failure and embarrassment that we are not ready to face challenges in life. We don’t want to take challenges in life because we fear that if we fail, others will make fun of us. So we are happy maintaining status quo. Our lust for living a luxurious life has put us in Debt trap. The result is we cannot afford to take any more risks in life.
We fail to understand that when life puts us in unfavorable circumstances and we are pushed to the wall, how is it that we completely change ourselves. How is it that when our survival is at stake, we fight like a brave heart and use all the available weapons? Why do you want to wait for life to teach us a lesson?
If we really want to move forward on the path to Self-development, we have to stop giving excuses to ourselves. We have to accept our shortcomings. No more postponements. We all need to come out of our comfort zones. We have to strengthen our Will Power. We need to realize the power of positive mind-set. We need to realize the power of action and execution.