“You change a man’s point of view, you change everything ” – John Danaher
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Taking on a new challenge can prove painful. Hours, days and weeks of hard work can run us down. Before we get there, one vital step in the pursuit of change can prove to be the most difficult and the most painful. Many seek the “hack”, the one program that can produce a desired outcome. But it’s not the 8-week program or the 7-step process to success which guarantees change, it’s something far bigger.
You can teach a man a skill, maybe a technique. You can pass on information or data designed to sway an opinion. You can teach them a plethora of things and you may get a result. But, you change a man’s point of view and you can change his life.
The Life Hack
Many times I am asked how to start down the path of change. What tips can I pass on to the beginner of that path. Maybe, there is a hack that can reset the years of inaction or the neglect caused by a sedentary lifestyle. We currently live in the era of information. You can find articles on just about anything, providing all the information needed to start a good fitness program or life goal. Gyms pop up at every corner promising and at times delivering hard fast results. Yet why are so few of us wiling to take that step?
The Fixed Mindset
As we move along our lives we may develop a fixed mindset. We reinforce the ego and turn away from anything which may challenge that ego. Things we do not understand are “stupid” and serve no purpose in our current state. Our point of view is narrowed and fixed. The things which are outside of that scope are not important, since they do not confirm the choices we’ve made and the life we have forged.
The hardest thing for a grown man to do is realize he is not where he wants to be and admit it’s because of his own actions or lack thereof. An honest self-assessment can tear a man to pieces. So we move on and only further build the ego which has not done us well.
When I think about the one thing that can produce change, it comes down to point of view. You can preach until it consumes you, yet the recipient may not find your information useful. You can provide pages of information and teach techniques, yet your efforts fall on deaf ears. What needs to happen is mindset shift. An honest change in the way we perceive the world. This is difficult and can prove to be a very painful step forward, but once this has begun, things begin to get interesting. It’s as if the person finally “gets it”. He comes to terms with the errors that have held him back and pushes forward with an open mind.
The person about to embark on a journey down progress boulevard needs to find value in what it is he is doing. He needs to see the path and understand its importance. This is not always easy. There are often bumps in the road and the destination may not always be so clear. But if you change your point of view, it doesn’t matter. You do not need to be reminded or motivated, because your drive has become intrinsic. You fall in love with the pursuit and not the imagined result. Training becomes part of who you are and that’s it. Your ego has taken a back seat to change.
So how does one change his point of view? Well, there is one sure way and most will not enjoy it: Hurry up, find something to fail at.
Failure is a hard reminder that we are not where we want to be and we are not nearly as awesome as we thought. Many steer clear from failure because living with a false sense of confidence is far easier. Failure can tear apart your ego. But just like the tears in muscle fibers heal and strengthen, so does the your character after experiencing failure; however, the key is to keep going. Which brings us to our next step.
Rinse and Repeat
Once you have failed miserably, it’s time to dust off and step back into the ring. Failing sucks, but what is far worse is throwing your hands up in the air and quitting. Find the cracks in your mindset and fix them. It may take several cycles of failure and action, but eventually you’ll get there.
Fail and Learn Consistently
Now, you need to repeat the process again and again. Once you think you’re good at something, do it until you fail again. Life should always be a series of adaptations and learning. This is the mindset you need to have if you are to stay on any path toward progress.
Change Your Life
When we look at what it is that we need to change in our lives, on the surface it may be our diet, exercise, test scores, job performance or ability when in reality it is our point of view. We need to believe in the cause before we dive into the content. We need to take a hard look at ourselves, which can prove painful. We need to become life-long learners, always seeking new ways to better ourselves. If we change our point of view, we can change our lives.