Initiate Real Change: The Key to Quick, Lasting Change
There are two kinds of people: those who pull the bandaid off slowly and those who waste no time pulling that sucker off. Who are you?
I was fortunate to spend much time at the lake when I was a kid. We lived 15 minutes from the lake. Our family had a seasonal site with a small pull-type trailer that we lived in for the summer.
We had a large family of six, but as kids we never recall the camper being too small or not having an abundance of money. What we had was family and memories that lasted a lifetime.
My father owned a business in town and worked during the day while we took swimming lessons. Dad would join us for supper at the lake at the end of the workday.
Learning to swim in a lake had challenges of it’s own. The cold, cloudy days would leave us with blue lips and the shivers once the swimming lessons were done.
Entering the water for me was all or none. Walking in slowly seemed to delay the inevitable shock-to-the-system. No, I was gonna rip that bandaid off quickly!
I would slowly back away from the shore making sure my path was clear. Then with one sudden burst of energy, I was sprinting toward the water and once it was too deep to run any further, I would clasp my hands together and dive in.
I was proud to see my son doing the same thing this summer during our trip to the mountains. He even groomed a “runway” to the water’s edge! (see pic above)
There’s no better time to get things done than NOW.
When I was 20 I took my first trip to Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. I suddenly became wowed and fell in love with the mountains.
A few friends and I were always looking for an adventure. We didn’t want to stick to the tourist roadmap of popular destinations, we wanted to know the secrets of the area.
We decided to talk with the locals about things to do that weren’t well-known by tourists. They sent us to Horseshoe Lake—a blue-green lake, nestled among towering spruce trees and shear rock-face. I thought the lake we spent our summers at was cold… this glacier-fed lake was frigid!
Having taken a few trips to the Horseshoe Lake cliffs, I recall one visit where I climbed to the top of a 60ft cliff where there were about five or six guys in their early twenties. You could tell they had been just standing around talking about jumping for quite a while. They would go near the edge and slowly back away the more they talked.
The boys needed a some instruction from someone who had taken the jump before. I quickly showed them what they needed to do as I stepped off the edge for my three second descent into the icy water below.
I swam to the edge the narrow lake and turned to watch the next jumper. I looked up with disappointment as a small procession of young boys walked back down, too afraid to jump.
Quick Decisions Followed by Fast Action
Fast action is the key to personal growth and lasting change. When it comes to some decisions, the more you think about it, the more you talk yourself out of it.
Overthinking can kill a good decision.
I am not talking about a big business decision or running to the altar to get married, but rather about stepping out and doing what you already know is a good decision.
There are many decisions that need quick action rather than delayed thinking. You need to act before your body and brain stop you. Some believe the decision time window is as short as five seconds.
The alarm clock goes off and your brain tries to convince you that you need more sleep and within a couple seconds, you’re hitting the snooze button.
You went to bed thinking, “I’m gonna get up early and exercise” or “I am gonna get up early so I can prepare a healthy breakfast and packed lunch”.
It’s really a quick decision. Is that extra nine minutes going to really do much for your body? No way! It’s all in your head.
How about a decision to call the person who just popped into your head? Your voice may be exactly what they need to hear at that very moment. Even a quick text message could change someone’s day for the better.
You may have even told yourself that you need to read more. The moment you are faced with a quick decision, you turn on the TV convincing yourself that you need to unwind.
Bad habits are a great reason to change, if not for you, for those around you. Perhaps you struggle with smoking cigarettes, drinking too much sugary soda or taking another trip to the buffet line.
For some it may be as simple as putting down your work to spend more time with the kids or an aging parent.
Anyway you look at it, you know you will benefit from a decision that you have been putting off.
It’s a decision, followed by a consistent choice to follow through, each choice becoming easier than the previous until it becomes a habit. Of course, you have to start with the right motives to change.
It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you know what? It’s extremely rewarding to create lasting change.
How to Initiate Real Change
If you have ever driven in the winter, where snow covers the road, you know how the snow packs. Vehicles driving back and forth down the road create some pretty deep ruts. It takes a quick, over-compensated steering wheel turn to get out of a rut.
Sometimes it takes a shock to the system with sudden action to initiate real change. Accountability with those you trust is another great way to help stay encouraged.
Most people wait until Monday to start a diet and others wait to make a New Years Resolution. The key is taking immediate action. Don’t wait for a better time.
What decision are you struggling with taking action on? How long have you been telling yourself “I should really do this.”
Most regret comes from inaction.
We’ve all avoided things we know we should change. NOW is time to act. Don’t over think it or give yourself a way out. Face it. You got this. Lasting change is within your reach!
Don’t look back anymore with regret. It’s time to take action. Act fast, because waiting as long as five seconds can mean a missed opportunity for change. Rip that bandaid off!
Want to browse through our collection of quotes and articles about change? Click here.
P.S. In the next article, I will go in depth about what changed in my life literally overnight. You don’t want to miss it.