Change takes hard work. Some would say, that means change is unlikely.
For those with a fixed mindset, meaningful change simply doesn’t happen. That’s not true, but even those of us with a growth mindset struggle to make the changes in our lives that we desire.
Research out of the University of Chicago shows, however, that while change requires work, it isn’t necessarily herculean. We tend to believe that change for the better is harder than change for the worse, but that’s not true.
For example, it seems easy to change into a problem drinker. It’s as easy as falling off a bar stool in fact — if you sit there long enough. But that’s still as effortful a change as something positive, like learning an instrument or working out regularly.
The Chicago studies give us an important clue about where we go wrong. We confuse the fact that change requires effort with the myth that success is unlikely. The evidence actually suggests that change is hard much in the same way that it’s hard to finish a marathon or learn a new language. Of course it requires effort. But the fact that it requires effort doesn’t negate the fact that the majority of people who commit to it will eventually succeed.
If change is hard, but not unlikely, what does it come down to? Seems to be a matter of motivation.
A person who enjoys drinking can see a clear path to becoming a drunk. A person who enjoys exercise sees an equally clear path to completing a marathon. In reality, both take dedication to a sustained activity. Many people find excessive alcohol consumption as intolerable as I find running.
Humans are uniquely adaptable creatures. Sometimes change blindsides us and forces us to adapt, and sometime we consciously decide to become someone else in some aspect of our lives.
Change happens, but the first step is to know it’s doable. If you intrinsically want it, that is.
You grind it out every day and embrace it no matter how much it hurts, right? Wrong. Fitness fans don’t cop to it often, but people regret workouts all the time, and cause serious damage in the process.
One week, you’re working out every day. The next, something gets in the way and you skip a day. Then you skip another day. Then a week. Then it’s been six weeks, then six months, then six years.
A couple of weeks ago, we learned that being in nature makes us happy, even though we do less and less of it. Turns out it may also extend your life (at least for the ladies).
If the benefits of nature have you sold, maybe a camping trip is the key. Check out Travel Channel’s must-have list for camping gear and prepare for your next great camping trip or outdoor adventure.
Jamaica Me Operate
Jamaica, like other developing nations before it, is trying to boost its economy by wooing “medical tourists” to fly in for an inexpensive knee replacement or nose job. The idea is to persuade American doctors to fly in to do those sinus repairs and arthroscopies — while enjoying a Caribbean vacation.
Simply put, creativity happens when your mind is unfocused, daydreaming, or idle. This is why we have so many “a ha” moments in the shower.
Choose to Decide
Here’s an extensive resource page from James Clear on decision making. Really a guide to critical thinking (when you think about it).
We explored a bit of the book Stealing Fire earlier in the year. This piece goes a little deeper on how altered brain states lead to exceptional human achievement.
Five minutes. It’s not a lot of time. Or is it? As it happens, investing just five minutes in certain key activities can yield amazing benefits for your health and happiness.
Suck It Up
It’s so easy to dream. Maybe that’s because your mind can seduce you so much so that the idea of something becomes more satisfying than the thing itself, so you stop at the idea and never make it real.
Please forward this issue of Further to a friend who could benefit from it. Or use these easy social options: