I like the idea of ongoing change, and no better book exists in my view than Change: What Really Leads to Lasting Personal Transformation by Jeffrey A. Kottler (BR00118). I blogged about it extensively, but that doesn’t mean shorter pieces out there don’t catch my interest. Like this one from GetPocket although the original was Inc. This one takes the premise of “planning” your reinvention rather than settling for reacting to something and creating a spontaneous reinvention. It outlines some reactive ones (like a change in the market changing your business life), shifting businesses to a more sustainable model (although no reason that can’t apply to your personal life too), or a change in lifestyle (similar focus). However, the one I liked was the one the author called the “big Aha! moment” as a catalyst.
Many people waste years looking for a magic bullet and wallowing in their misery, I guess I wasn’t meant to do that.
The last chapter of Jeffrey Kottler’s book, “Change”, was one of the ones I was most looking forward to reading — “Why Changes Don’t Often Last”. The sobering statistics are quite common in pop psych — the huge numbers of people who set New Year’s resolutions but abandon them before the first week is out (often from trying for perfection in “Just Do It” mode rather than incremental chain-growth like the Seinfeld method mentioned earlier), and that 80% of those who join gyms stop going after the first few visits even though they keep paying for membership for much longer (the illusion of still being committed that would be shattered by formally quitting their membership).
Oddly enough, I was quite surprised at the beginning of the chapter that those who study change don’t have a firm grasp of why it fails. First and foremost, those who are heavy at work in the change industry — like therapists or weightloss consultants — don’t know what happens after the patient reaches a goal. » Read the rest
Jeffrey Kottler says he saved the most difficult subject for last in his book, “Change”, and it is addressed by Chapter 13, “Soliciting Support and Resolving Conflicts in Relationships”. He isn’t kidding. There are some really tough things in this chapter, often dealing with abusive spouses, parents with addictions, and family problems out the wazoo. It is both a problem in and of itself as well as an obstacle to other changes being accomplished. A list he includes of the types of changes you would like to make in relationships is an extremely powerful one, simply put:
Changing the patterns of those that are frustrating, unsatisfying, or unfulfilling;
Setting boundaries for relationships that aren’t meeting your needs or are taking a bite out of your soul;
Reducing the level and intensity of conflicts with others, especially those locked into repetitive patterns;
Ending relationships that don’t seem amenable to necessary changes;
Enhancing intimacy with friends and loved ones;
Feeling and expressing more love and caring in current relationships;
Initiating and broadening new relationships that meet interests and needs that are currently unsatisfied;
Experiencing more authentic, caring, honest, respectful, and fun exchanges with people on a daily basis;
Processing and recovering from perceived slights and relational difficulties in the past;
Practicing forgiveness to let some things go and move forward without lingering resentment; and,
Learning from past mistakes, misjudgements, and relationship breaches in order to enhance future connections.
I am not sure how to review Chapter 12 of Jeffrey Kottler’s book “Change”. The chapter isn’t bad, and it focuses quite well on “Changing People’s Lives While Transforming Your Own”. The problem is that it is a bit narrowly-focused.
If the change you are looking for in life is that you are unhappy, I suspect it is a decent chapter. It deals with altruism vs. reciprocity, the “helper’s high”, being part of something bigger than yourself, paying back (altruism born of similar suffering), or even “my life is my message”. Namely living according to your principles, transformation through service. All laudable, good elements.
But if you are dealing with a problem like weightloss, or a specific addiction, but you are generally happy in your life, or you are already in a service mindset, it wouldn’t be a very helpful chapter. I’m not sure it is even worthy of being a separate chapter. » Read the rest