What Motivates People to Change?

In this discussion and excerpt from my book, Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life, learn what prevents people from changing behavior and what best motivates them to change.

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life
Are you actively working to change some aspect of your relationship, and of your behavior, and can’t understand how someone else (perhaps the “significant other” in your life) and either doesn’t have a clue that anything is wrong with the situation, or with him or her, or seems inexplicably unwilling to do anything about it?

Why, you ask, are you so willing to change and the other person is not? I’ve asked myself that many times, since I’m one of those who constantly scrutinizes my problems to see how I might be contributing to the situation. That doesn’t mean I’ve been completely successful in changing some of my more tenacious bad habits, but I do work at it (which can, paradoxically, also be a curse for those of us who are recovering perfectionists). Nevertheless, for many years I found it difficult to understand why others weren’t as introspective as I. Read More

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Part 8

In Chapter 3, “How Has My Past Influenced My Life Today?” explore how your family and your past decisions affect choices you make today.
You can access the already published posts here.

CHAPTER THREE

How Has My Past
Influenced My Life Today?

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your LifeWhether our family consisted of a mother and father, a single parent, a mother and three step- fathers or three step-mothers and one father, two moms or two dads, grandparents who took over the parenting role, foster parents, a commune in the woods, or any other combination of people who take on the responsibility of raising children, it was within that family that we learned our first lessons about goal-setting and the possibility for change.

Within strong and well-functioning families children are able to learn that they have the ability to make wise choices and to be responsible for the consequences of their choices. They learn that striving and failing is part of the human condition and that we all fail at one time or another.

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Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Part 7

In the conclusion to Chapter 2, “Who Am I Today?” explore how you can be sure the dreams you hold are yours, and not someone else’s.
You can access the already published posts here.

CHAPTER TWO
Who Am I Today?
[Continued]

Stories That Heal

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your LifeToo often, people must experience greater tragedy than the ordinary misfortunes that come into every life. In these cases, it is often in the telling of the tragedy that victims are released from the pain and paralysis of the past.An example of this was the basis of a riveting play titled, I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, by Sonja Linden. The play grew out of the story of a young woman from Rwanda who lost almost her entire family in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis by the Hutus in the 1990s. What started out as the writing of her family’s experience of genocide, so that people would not forget what happened, became, in addition, an act of healing.

For two-and-a-half years she had worked on her book in the refugee camp, wrestling day after day with her enormously painful story, often tearing up the previous day’s work at five o’clock in the morning when she started her daily writing. Even while she was immersed in the process of writing her book, however, she recognized its therapeutic value and said that writing helped her take the pain “away from my heart.” Consequently, she discovered that through telling her story she came to feel “clean” and her nightmares and headaches ceased. As I watched the play and heard her horrendous tale, my heart cried for her and I will not forget her family, or the suffering of her people, which was, of course, the original purpose of writing her story. Read More

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Part 6

In the first part of Chapter 2, “Who Am I Today?” begin to examine who you are so that you can be sure that you are following your dreams, and not someone else’s.
You can access the already published posts here

CHAPTER TWO
Who Am I Today?

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your LifeLet’s assume you want to change your life in some fairly significant way. You want to lose weight, transform a reserved personality into one you think others will admire, earn a graduate degree, or start proceedings for a long- delayed divorce. Before those things can happen, however, you have to start with who you are today — heavier than you’d like to be, shy, without a degree, still married.

Pretending otherwise is a bit like asking Map Quest to give you driving directions to your destination from a different street than the one you live on, or even from a different city. You may want to be someplace else. You may be heading there. You may firmly believe your life will be better when you get there — and one day you may arrive to find it perfectly to your liking. But today you are who you are and where you are. even if you’re lost, acknowledging that fact can stop you from going around in circles.

The problem with acknowledging where you are, however, is that you often don’t know where you are because you can’t see the wider picture. Read More

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Part 5

In the final part of Chapter 1, “What Do I Know About the Process of Change?” Learn about a metaphor you can use to begin the process of change.
You can access the already published posts here.

CHAPTER ONE
What Do I Know About
the Process of Change?
[Continued]

A Room With a View

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your LifeLet’s use another metaphor to describe how you can create new pathways in your brain, keep the best from your past, move out of your comfort zone, take a few Kaizen steps, and move toward a new future.

Imagine that in the house or apartment where you live today you discover a door you’ve not seen before. on the door is a sign that says, “silence when entering this place of creativity and change.” You’re not sure what you’ll find when you open the door, but you decide to investigate. So you turn the knob and see a staircase leading up to a small, very quiet room with clear windows facing in every direction.

In the center is a swivel chair where you can sit most comfortably and look out toward the world as it is today, and how you imagine the world might be in the future. Best of all, there is a table where you can open your backpack and some shelves where you can sort the load you’ve been carrying for such a long time. Read More