Maybe you have not made it yet. Maybe you are unsure if all the changes you think you need to make really are what stands between you and your goals. You think know what it will take. Hard work. Willpower. Self-discipline. And if you have been working on trying to make the changes of your dreams without success, you may think its because you are not trying hard enough.
In a new self-help book by Alan Deutschman, called Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Deutsmann explains that failure is not a byproduct of laziness or lack of self-control. In this book, Deutschman, was determined to get to the bottom of what makes people and corporations able to change- especially when they have tried and failed. What he found is that people get unstuck not through willpower but through finding a mentor — someone who’s reached that same goal; so that the “if they can do it, so can I” mentality will take over.
By identifying and learning the new skills necessary from your mentor, this will allow you to “reframe” who you are — a thinner you, a successful salesperson, an artistic entrepreneur — instead of the one, in your own mind, who failed over and over. By shadowing the person you identify as a mentor, your chances for true and lasting change dramatically are altered.
Ironically Deutschman’s book title comes from those who literally have to change or die–its reference comes from people like heart-bypass patients, who must change their lifestyle or face surgery after surgery or death. Astonishingly, nine out of ten of these individuals Deutschman, through his research, learned don’t make the changes that would save their lives, though the stakes couldn’t be higher.
After Deutschman came upon this statistic, he heard about a doctor who had turned those numbers upside down. Dean Ornish, M.D. a San Francisco Bay Area professor of medicine, requires patients to make the most radical changes of all, including switching to an extremely low-fat vegetarian diet and doing regular yoga and meditation practice. Yet nearly eight in ten of his patients- many of them steak eating CEO’s- make those major changes and maintain them for years after they’ve left Ornish’s program.
According to Deutschman, the key to the program’s success is the relationships his patients develop by showing up to support groups and classes that are the program’s hallmark. They find others like them going home to chant “om” or munching on kale and realize it can be done.
So think about the parallels to this story in your own life and desire to change. Change is a result of allowing yourself to truly be influenced and surrounded by those who are “walking the walk”, so you too can learn how to.
Maybe this means surrounding yourself with new people that are achieving what you dream. Or maybe this means seeking out several mentors who you will shadow and heed their every word of advice until you have achieved your vision.
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten….