6 Mechanisms of Change

I have been reviewing my writings and sources on change and development and I realised that there are six mechanisms behind personal change:

1. Positive attitude

2. Your worldview

3. Action learning

4. Language

5. Sensemaking

6. Faith and trust

Where Is My Life Manual?

Me Day 3.276 © Erik Back 2012

Thinking about life sometimes gives me a headache. Actually I have one right now. I’m so puzzled and frustrated about life right now and it is giving my brain a work overload.

Life never stands still, it is in constant flux and all I can do is try to keep up. Like Eric Hoffer said: In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

I like change but right now life is changing so fast that I just want to look up in my life manual to see what is going on and when it will slow down again.

Next week my girlfriend is no longer my girlfriend and I will have to get used to call her my wife while watching her grow to the size of a whale. She’s pregnant and it is fantastic. Five months already and in September my life as it is now will be a long forgotten past.

It’s interesting that we have books that describe the development of every single day of the embryo and foetus. Every stage is described in amazing details. It is fascinating to read about but it is also thought provoking how predictable the development is.

Humans follow a development pattern and we go through certain stages of life, but for some reason life is kept a secret for us as soon as we grow up to become adults.

I’m still looking for the book that describes day number 15.245 in an adult males life.

Are we predictable?

I don’t want to be 15 years or 20 years again. I have been on that stage of life and every time I meet people of a certain age I can recognise the characteristics of the way they think, act and perceive the world.

They seem to have the same struggles in their physical and mental development and I catch myself thinking: You’ll understand when you get older.

I hated when grown-ups told me that.

We are all unique but we seem to go through life in very predictable stages and yet these stages come as a surprise to us.

Am I experiencing the same emotions and perplexity that every other man is experiencing at day 15.245?

We are writing tons of books on self-development and we love them. But can we influence our own development or is it just a naïve stage we are going through? When I reach day 30.356, will I say: Oh, you’ll understand when you get older?

Is self-development just a predictable stage of life?

Chapter 23: Day 15.245

Today the male will be at a stage of bewilderment and hair will start growing on his back.

Do we really need a life manual if our nature is to believe that we can change development? At the age of 7.280 days I wouldn’t be much concerned about the hair that pops up on day 15.245. If I read such a manual at the age of 7.280 I wouldn’t believe it.

Are we so convinced about life at a certain stage of life that we refuse to see the pattern we follow until we pass that stage?

Even though I have been through recognisable stages of life I still believe I can be different than the rest of the male population at the age of 17.324 days.

I will learn and grow wiser.

Meanwhile I will accept and continue my stage of life-development and use my passion of writing to share my experience with you.

If you are older than 15.245 days you will probably say: You’ll understand when you get older; and if you haven’t reached day 15.245 yet you will read, learn and believe you can change the pattern.

Good Sense of Living

Today I realised that I have to change my domain name and move my blog. Why? – Because my blog has become cluttered and unfocused. Well, it’s not unfocused anymore but my writings for the past 6 months have been a long process where I have gained a lot of experience.

It has been a learning process but I have to face the fact that my domain does not reflect what I want to write about. My focus and niche has developed slowly and I think it is time to start over with an uncluttered domain that leaves no doubt about what my blog is about.

I have bought a dot-com domain and it is called Good Sense of Living and that is where I will be blogging in the future.

How to Smile Like Julia Roberts

Mona Lisa © by Joaquín Martínez Rosado

The most famous smile in the world is Mona Lisa’s Smile by Leonardo Da Vinci. I can only think of one person that is as famous for her smile and that is Julia Roberts who actually played the role of Mona Lisa in 2003.

Julia Robert’s smile even has a price of 1.5 million dollars. That was the amount she was paid to smile in an Italian commercial.

The Secret of a Smile

Have you noticed that when people relax in their facial muscles the corners of the mouth turn downwards? That happens when you concentrate and it is quite natural, but is it suitable for the situation?

When the corners of your mouth turn downwards you look grumpy and distant. It doesn’t mean that you are grumpy and distant but the world around you will perceive you like that.

When depressed smiling is not the first thing that springs to your mind, but do it anyway because smiling will cheer you up and people around you appear more kind and happy to see you.

E.g. if you have to ask a colleague for advice, then who would you rather ask, they grumpy manager or the smiling assistant?

If you want other people to care for you, to notice you, to do something for you or to listen to you, then smile and people will be there for you. Your smile will make other people happy and they will return the smile and make you happy.

You smile by turning your corners of the mouth up a bit. They don’t have to turn upwards, but at least make them straight. It doesn’t take much effort; practise this in front of a mirror and you will see the massive change your smile makes to your face and attitude.

You also have to pull the muscles at the corners of your eyes a little bit. It is easy to practise this in front of a mirror and be aware of your smile when you are among other people.

Exercises to a Fantastic Smile

1. Do 100 daily smiles in front of the mirror. You need to tighten the muscles completely. It makes you look funny, but I will strengthen the muscles you need to smile.

2. Collect smiles: Walk through town and catch people’s eyes while you turn your muscles a bit to straight or upward. Notice how many people will smile back at you and how that gives you a prickling sensation.

Inspiring Change Makes New Habits

Change Allley sign © by Matt From London

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.”

– Henry Brooks Adams

A bit of chaos is very inspiring, the last 24 hours I have been experiencing with different layouts for my blog. Yesterday it seemed like I had ruined everything but now I think something good is coming out of the chaos I created.

I must admit that I started the change with a bit of fear. There was something inside me, a little voice, that said: – You are going to loose all your work for the past four months! The voice almost convinced me. But at the same time I knew that I had to update my applications for this blog. I did what I had to do and I did not loose my work.

I also knew that I was not happy with my first layout, but I had grown used to it and it was easy to manage and I felt secure. But it was false security because there were a number of tasks I had postponed a million times. One of them was making a backup. I have now automated the process and the blog is making a backup every day and emails me that everything is ok and I do not have to worry – yeah! That is certainly going to be a good habit.

Change something and make chaos!

Although a lot of new tasks are waiting I feel and inspiring new energy and I cannot wait to continue my work on the layout. I urge you to make some changes that can create a bit of chaos. Do something radical that will shake your world and you sit down thinking: – Oh no, what have I done!

Trust me, out of the chaos you create something new and wonderful will grow.