We are almost done with the first quarter of the year and most of us are still the same person we were last year. We made resolutions to lose weight. We made anti-resolutions to be a little more outspoken. We made tiny affirmations that we would change something about ourselves this year. How many of us still have that change in the forefront of our minds and work everyday to try and change that one thing that we thought so hard on just three short months ago?
The truth is maybe, optimistically, 2% of the people that got their gyms memberships and ‘changed’ their diet are not going to the gym. They are probably even still paying for their gym memberships thanks to autopay. Their ‘diet’ has given way to their lifestyle that hasn’t changed with fast food and running kids from place to place. Most households eat when they can. They don’t have the planned dinner with everyone sitting around the table asking how everyone’s day was. I know that my family doesn’t do that.
If your resolution was to change something about your personality, you probably have a harder road ahead of you than just stating this hopeful change while drinking champagne and eating smoked meat on crackers. Our personality is something that is very hard to change. In fact, we are wired from birth to react to our environments, people and situations in certain ways. Less than the two percent that bought their gym memberships at the beginning of the year are heading to the path of enlightenment.
Changing is like multitasking in many ways. Change starts with one thing first. In yoga class, we were told about the water drip that eventually broke the stone. Changes within our selves are done the same way. One drop at a time starts to carve the stone. After a long time of repetition the water starts to make a hollow in the rock. Then, after some more time the stone bares a hole or it breaks. The same principle applies with canyons and rivers.
While we are all on our own path, it is hard to ignore that we are all the same in the fact that we are slow to change and fast to respond. We are in a world of such instant gradification that we expect change to happen overnight. I have witnessed people be cured from diseasse. I have heard stories of people going from a criminal to a saint. I have seen people go from depression to unicorn including myself. All of these stories were drips of water hitting a stone for years before a difference even started to surface. Even a river takes centuries to make a canyon. Regardless of how monumental the change, be realistic and be persistent.