People, and most other animals, are by nature pattern oriented. As a species, it's what got us this far. We adapt patterns based on our surroundings, our environment. Up till about 100 years ago, our environment changed very slowly. It gave us time to adapt. Island people, Eskimos, desert nomadic people, and people who lived in forest gained skills based on their surrounds. They developed patterns of action, and habits that helped them survive. These skills were taugh, not by words, but by example, and experience. Education used to be mostly immersion.
Back then, people had to work very hard just to make it day-to-day. Your next meal was dependent on your skills. Free time was rare. Very rare.
I believe a big part of our emotional, physical, eduational, and even spiritual problems are based on one thing; too much free time. It's hard to be depressed when you haven't eaten for three or more days. Desperation is the primary motivator. Anxiety doesn't happen when you spend all day doing something that requires physical exertion, and your and your family might not survive if you don't do that task. Everything you need to learn has a very apparent reason, and you're highly motivated to learn. Just ask a child who's floor is dirt, and walls are made from mud.
We live in a society of abundance. We hit the genetic lottery being born here. This is not necessarily a bad thing. We just haven't adapted yet. We abuse the abundances we have because we don't have a reason not too. Someday, there will come a time when we have to change, and we will.
Social change happens on it's own. It has an inter-dependent nature, it own momentum. But what about personal change.
Personal change often requires a level of courage and determination that few people have learned. We see these attributes in our heros, but many people rarely see them in their own lives. They have no example to follow. For those people, personal change is a heroic effort.
As a trainer, the most difficult job is to get our clients to even believe they need to change. Many people worked very hard to achieve what they have. They worked with the lifestyle they wanted as their goal. To hear me tell them they need to change their ways is a slap in the face to their previous years of work and sacrifice. But their new lifestyle is exactly what caused them to seek my services. It's easy to get results when you know you need to change, but when you're comfortable with your life, change is harder than climbing Mount Everest.
People change when they need to, and don't change when they don't need to. It's that simple.
What is the one thing you know you need to change? Now, here's the question that makes all the difference:
Why do you need to change?
"If your reason is strong enough, nothing can stop you. If it's not strong enough, anything will stop you.
'Scuse me now. I need to change my oil.
A view of our street after Hurricane Charley