Week Ten.

“Self-control is an exhaustible resource.”

The book: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath

The memory:

Let’s take a pause on the memories. Because, let’s face it: not every post can be about my parents, childhood, or Vietnam. I’ve got 42 more posts to go, and that’s a lot of revealing. These posts are still giving me anxiety attacks.

I’m going to delineate from my usual postings and follow suit with the nature of the book: a very practical, hands on tool book for evoking change in the corporate setting. It is a really great book, full of anecdotes, research, and practical tools, “examining the well-trod subject of change from a new vantage point,” according to an SSIR book review. Even if you’re not studying or practicing change leadership, the book is really quite useful in at least understanding why it may be hard for people to change their behavior, and how you can instigate that little change you’re hoping to see in your life.

A quick summary of the book is as follows: (Or, on second thought, here’s an article that …is the entire book):

Three surprises about change:

1)    What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem

2)    What looks like laziness is often exhaustion

3)    What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity

So, in order to change things, you must:

  1. Direct the Rider (Reach the rational side)
    1. Follow the Bright Spots: Investigate what’s working and clone it.
    2. Script the Critical Moves: Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviors.
    3. Point to the Destination: Change is easier when you know where you’re going and why it’s worth it.
  2. Motivate the Elephant (Reach the emotional side)
    1. Find the Feeling: Knowing something isn’t enough to cause change. Make people feel something.
    2. Shrink the Change: Break down the change until it no longer spooks the Elephant.
    3. Grow your People: Cultivate a sense of identity and instill the growth mindset.
  3. Shape the Path
    1. Tweak the Environment: When the situation changes, the behavior changes. So change the situation.
    2. Build Habits: When behavior is habitual, it’s ‘free’ — it doesn’t tax the Rider. Look for ways to encourage habits.
    3. Rally the Herd: Behavior is contagious. Help it spread.

Week 10 Switch

So! I’ve been inspired and am going to change something.

In order to embrace a more holistic “summer of self-incubation,” attend to my health, and heed years upon years of advice, I am scripting those critical moves (pre-sleep yoga stretches, meditating, & letting myself “sleep in”) to listen to my body and prioritize sleep. This may seem like a common-sense endeavor (…yes, Ai, of course you should sleep more), but the distance between what one should do and what one actually does stretches for miles.

The benefits of sleep are astounding. Nature’s remedy for everything.

Happy changing!

End, “Memory” Ten.

Next week: ‘Let Us Compare Mythologies’ by Leonard Cohen


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