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by David N Johnson

March 20, 2024

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why people change

Why People Change: It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, isn’t it? Why do some people change and others don’t? We’ve all seen it, the friend who transformed their life overnight, versus the cousin who’s been making the same New Year’s resolutions for a decade. Why do some folks change as effortlessly as chameleons, while others seem stuck in their ways, as immovable as mountains? Let’s dive into this puzzle, exploring the paths of personal transformation and the roadblocks of resistance.

The Winds of Change: Why People Change

Imagine a butterfly. It starts as a caterpillar, munching leaves, unaware of the skies it’s destined to explore. The key to its transformation? The right conditions. Similarly, humans change under specific circumstances:

1. A Moment of Revelation: Sometimes, it takes a lightning bolt of insight—a significant life event, a book, or even a conversation that flips the switch. Like when Mike, who never ran a mile in his life, watched a marathon and thought, “Why not me?” Six months later, Mike’s crossing his own finish line, panting, sweaty, but utterly transformed.

2. Discomfort and Dissatisfaction: Comfort zones are cozy, but they’re the arch-nemesis of change. Often, it’s the discomfort, the feeling of being utterly fed up, that propels people forward. Picture Sarah, who after one too many soul-sucking days at her job, decided to turn her baking hobby into a business. It was the discomfort that baked her new career path.

3. Support Systems: Nobody’s an island, right? Friends, family, mentors; they’re the wind beneath the wings of change. They encourage, push, and sometimes drag people towards their better selves. It’s like having a personal cheerleading squad, minus the pom-poms.

The Roots That Bind: Why Others Remain the Same

Now, on the flip side, why do some folks stay planted in place, despite the best intentions?

1. Fear of the Unknown: Change is a leap into the dark, and let’s face it, that’s terrifying. The fear of failure, of what lies beyond the comfort zone, can freeze people in their tracks. It’s the “devil you know” syndrome, where the familiar, no matter how bad, feels safer than the unknown.

2. Lack of Immediate Results: We live in a world of instant gratification. If change doesn’t come fast enough, discouragement sets in. It’s like going to the gym for a week, not seeing abs, and deciding you’re destined to be soft around the edges. Change often requires the patience of a saint and the persistence of a toddler learning to walk.

3. Identity and Belief Systems: Ever heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, it’s not about age but about identity. People cling to beliefs about who they are, and sometimes, the idea of change challenges their core identity. It’s like asking someone to swap their favorite old, comfy sneakers for a new pair—it feels odd, unfamiliar, and they just want their old sneakers back, holes and all.

The Journey of a Thousand Miles: Why People Change

The road to change is both deeply personal and universally challenging. It’s a journey of a thousand miles that begins with a single step, and sometimes, a stumble. Whether you’re the chameleon or the mountain, remember that change is not just about the destination but the transformation along the way. Who knows? With a bit of insight, discomfort, and a cheerleading squad, even the most steadfast mountain can start to move, one rock at a time.

So, next time you’re pondering why you or someone else hasn’t changed, remember, it’s not a race. It’s a marathon, with water breaks, cheering crowds, and the occasional blister. Keep running, keep transforming, and above all, enjoy the journey.

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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