There is at least One Irrefutable and Universal Truth
You may not know Tom Allender, but you’d be lucky if you did.
Several years ago, my wife mentioned that Tom had a reputation as a very insightful and heartfelt speaker and was appearing at the local parish in a few weeks to talk about relationships.
I was a little skeptical of getting “preached to” about relationships, but my wife was eager to attend, so I agreed to join her.
He was terrific and wasn’t at all “preachy” … and as he got started, you could see couples beginning to squirm, turning to each other and whispering versions of …
“How did he know that [about us]?”
… or “Have you already talked to him?” …
“I didn’t see him peeking in our window.” ….
There is at least One Universal Truth
It quickly became clear that he could pinpoint the universality of the many things we face in our relationships with each other.
What I distinctly remember is his story about the married man who approached him one day to ask about an upcoming couples’ retreat:
“Father,” he said, “I hope you still have room for us because my wife really needs help with some issues in our relationship.”
Without skipping a beat, Fr. Allender responded, “Son, if you’re coming to get help for your wife, don’t bother.
The only person you can really change is yourself.
If you really want to strengthen your marriage, come along to work on the things that you can do better to improve your relationship.
She’ll do the same and in that process, you might just find some common ground so that you can work on some of those things together.”
It’s a pretty rare day when we don’t think about changing someone else, isn’t it?
If we could just get other people to change, to do things our way, to see the path as we do ….
First, the Bad News
[pullquote]“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” ~ Charles Darwin[/pullquote]
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the bad news first … so let’s acknowledge that the greatest barrier is one we create for ourselves.
It’s our reflex reaction to change everything – and fix all of our problems at once.
I got this. I’m on it.
We imagine that if we really hunker down, we can change all the things that need to be changed and then, everything will be right with the world.
But, what happens when we try to change everything at once?
We end up stymied by the enormity of the challenge.
We run out of steam and ultimately create no real change at all.
Now, the Good News
We’re in control of our own actions so at least WE can START making some changes.
Oops, but there’s just a little more bad news first.
There’s only ONE thing we can really change.
How do we do that?
Start with something small.
Pick out one thing that you can change.
Maybe it’s something as simple as being on time … maybe it’s facing up to a lingering personnel problem … maybe it’s just making sure you’ve returned all your calls by the end of the day … for once.
So, change one thing today.
Slow & Steady like the legendary Groundhog
Just one thing, a small thing even, but do something concrete so you can immediately see the results of that change.
Then, give yourself a round of applause … and inhale the fumes of change as you internalize the fact that you actually CAN create change.
You just did it and even though it was small, you can do it again.
When you make changes one at a time, you build the confidence … and experience the euphoria that meaningful change can bring.
As these successes accumulate, you’ll lift the burden of inaction and stimulate greater effectiveness as a leader, father, spouse, person.
Here’s one simple way to begin
If you don’t want to get bogged down on where to start, here’s a simple way to begin.
Pick out 3 people in your office, go to them and compliment them on something they’ve done.
Something that you worked on together
… something they did for someone else
… the new hairdo
… anything with which you can engage them.
This is foolproof – and not many things are.
Why is this a foolproof way to kickstart the change process?
First, it’s something we all can do better … spending more time focusing on what’s good instead of what’s wrong.
On the flip side, if you can’t find 3 people to compliment, your first change can be …
… to change your perspective by paying more attention to the people around you and the positive things they do every day.
The good news? It’s never too late to change.
You can start today with one simple thing.
Maybe two but no more.
Another one tomorrow.
Keep it going.
One day at a time.
Create a schedule of the little things you’re going to change each day this week.
Kickstart the engine of change – TODAY – and watch that engine spring to life.
You can do it.
Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines!
Question: What’s the one change you’re going to make … starting right now?