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Bright Spots December 23, 2011

Posted by Jason in Management.
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The Heath Brothers are all about change.  But really, we all are.  The subtitle of their book Switch is “How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.”  That seems a  bit redundant.

Humans are hard-wired to resist change.  Psychologists, sociologists, and advertisers have known this for a long time.  It is the rest of us – the owners of such irrational brains – that seem consistently surprised that most of the things we would like to (or need to) change take plenty of hard work.

So with the close of another year and a reflection on just how difficult it has been to change ourselves, our businesses, and even our countries, it is appropriate to recall some of what the Heaths call “bright spots.”

Their bright spots are the things that highlight that progress is being made.  The small wins and micro-steps that occur day to day, but that are often invisible when we lift our gaze to the goals that still seem quite far away.  But they are there, and in fact we need them – we are biologically wired to stick to the safe path and avoid unnecessary risks.  These small wins allow our minds to grasp the possibilities and literally reshape our thinking.  Our hesitancy to take the first step along the path is many times greater than that keeping us from the second and subsequent steps.

So it is as many of us look forward to 2012, make our resolutions, set high goals, and then – come February – discover that, “gosh, this is hard work!”  So many of us examine our weaknesses and resolve to reverse them – the ultimate definition of personal change.  Alternatively, we could examine our strengths and achievements over the past year – and build on them.  I guarantee that even if your life was turned upside-down during the last year or two, there have been small successes.  You never know when one of those will be the key to the next door.

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