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Change Dynamics: Creating Sustainable Change

Change dynamics

Firstly, don’t change for anyone else.

Change must come from within. Sure, someone or something might prompt you to make a change, but unless you truly believe that there is need for change then it won’t be sustainable. Perhaps someone you care about is particularly disenchanted with something you’ve said or done. Maybe they have highlighted this as being a recurring issue that you need to address. If this encourages you to reflect on your behaviour, and you conclude that there is indeed need for change, great. But ultimately, it must be your decision. Just remember, you may not be the only one that stands to gain from your positive change. So be wary of who you allow to influence your decisions, and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

So, you’ve established the need for change.

Good start. Critical self-reflection is indeed a sign of intelligence. And as a contrast, one of the biggest cop-outs is “everyone should love me for me!”. Well, that may be true in many cases, but not if you’re a selfish, nasty individual. So anyway, you’ve highlighted an area of your life that you believe could use some improving. Is it an area that you have direct control over? Hopefully. Relying on other people’s change in order for yours to be successful is not a wise move. This should be a consideration before you embark on your important and life-changing journey. Okay, you’ve established that your change is necessary and in your direct control. Now you need to develop a course of action that will help guide your change.

What does your area of change physically look like?

That is to say, what actions are you trying to change? Your area of change will likely relate to a particular pattern of behaviour, so you need to understand specifically what actions you need to change. You should also consider the situations in which you are likely to perform these actions, so that you can be aware of when these negative behaviours are most likely to strike. Once you’ve considered that, you then need to consider those actions that will embody your new and positive change. Consider why these actions are important to your overall success, and the resulting positivity that will come of them. Now all you need to do (in a nutshell) is sub-out the bad actions for the good ones…

Is sustainable change really that simple?

You probably already know the answer to that question, so we won’t patronise you by saying ‘no’. In our article about laziness, we noted that creating a new habit can take some time. Changing or breaking a pattern of behaviour can also be challenging, and won’t happen overnight. It will take hours of critical self-reflection, and possibly some foreign and uncomfortable situations. Whilst we are speaking quite broadly, these feelings of discomfort/uncertainty are generally a pretty good sign that you’re on the right track. After all, it can be quite confronting to reflect on a situation from your past and realise just how far you once were from the person that you are trying to become. There may even be times when you once again find yourself making the same poor choices that you have been consciously trying to avoid. Absorb the negative emotions that come with this, and accept the consequences. Remember the disappointment and use it to motivate you. There is an element of trial and error in most things we do in life. So, do not judge yourself on your mistakes, but rather on the way in which you respond.

Accepting past mistakes (and their consequences).

Again, our mistakes do not have to define us. But whilst you’ve been on your journey towards enlightenment (good for you), your mistakes of the past have not been erased. Nor will they. Ever. Whilst it would certainly be convenient to simply say ‘I’ve changed, therefore I should not face consequences’, it may not seem particularly fair to the person/persons that you once wronged. Imagine a system where inmates could be paroled on account of their personal belief that they had changed (Australia circa 2050 if our justice system continues to head in the current direction). If you are truly committed to positive and sustainable change, you need to understand the following dynamics of control: The control that you have over your actions, and the control that you do not have over the consequences of your actions. Take responsibility for your mistakes, and rectify them/seek forgiveness where possible, but never deny them. This is an important learning mechanism that can be a major driver for sustainable change.

A final thought…

Be the change that you want to see in society. Lead from the front, and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you know to be right and true. Absorb the negative emotions that come with each of your inevitable failures. This must happen before you can experience true success, just ask MJ. Have the strength to be accountable for your actions, and remember that it is okay to adjust your behaviour and your views, as you learn more about the world and your environment. And, whilst you embark on your journey of change, your idea of what success looks like might also change too. Finally, you will make mistakes, so pride yourself on how you respond to them.

Thank-you again for reading! We really hope that some of today’s post was of benefit to you. Perhaps you’d like to leave us a comment below? Until next time…

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What Does Valentines Day Mean in 2019?

The Short Advice and his Valentine on Valentines Day 2018

For many of us, love has become a need that is as readily met as our primary needs of food, water and shelter.

And so, we do often take love for granted. Thats why Valentines Day serves as a great opportunity to celebrate love, and to express your gratitude to your significant other for their affection and support. However, some people would prefer to ignore this special day…

Because commerce ruins everything.

Well, not really, but it is an interesting perspective. The commercialisation of significant dates in our calendars brings out the inner cynic that lives in the shallows of us all. And fair enough too. So, should you completely can Valentines Day? We say no. And here’s why…

Celebrate your love, AND slap the man.

Kill two birds with one stone on Valentines Day 2018! Take a moment to do something nice for your loved one. Focus on the parts of your relationship that are special and unique. Express your love and devotion, but make it personal. Write your own love letter, rather than have Hallmark Cards do it for you! Besides, wouldn’t that be a far greater gift for your much-deserving counterpart? We definitely think so. But what else can we do on Valentines Day to slap the sales and marketing team at every department store that’s selling love heart chocolates?

Some things to do for free on Valentines Day 2018 include…

Picnicking (if weather permits), home-cooked candle-lit dinners (because where is the effort in paying for a meal?), hand-written love notes (OMG beb I love you, 4 real), making and presenting a photo album, or simply reminiscing on all of the reasons you have to be grateful for one another. So, don’t get duped by the sales team this V-Day, and the common misconception that you should express your love by overdrawing your account. If you can implement the ‘Celebrate and Slap’ protocol this Valentines Day, you’re bound to have a more fulfilling experience. Perhaps you could also invite a few of your single friends around for dinner too? Wouldn’t that be a selfless and inclusive act to show your people that your plutonic love knows no bounds? Absolutely it would.

Maybe you are that single friend that doesn’t have a Valentine this year?

For too many people, this is perceived as being an absolute disaster. “Nobody loves me, I am disgusting and repulsive, I’ll never find the one, I am destined to die alone and miserable…”. Hmmm. It’s no secret that having love and happiness thrown in your face when you’re feeling a bit vulnerable can certainly highlight one’s insecurities. But it is important to remember that we’re all insecure, and feelings of negativity are perfectly normal too. It is how we respond to these emotions and insecurities that will define the course of our future happiness. So don’t dwell on your shortcomings, remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for. Today is not the day to let your fearful-self take you on a rollercoaster ride of swiping right and sending bulk messages to every person you’ve ever been romantically involved with. You CAN be stronger than that.

“But if I don’t find someone now, I’ll be lonely forever!”.

Being happy alone is an art. It’s okay to want to be in a relationship, but if you allow it to dictate your every move, you’ll forget about what makes you special, and so will everyone else. It takes strength and determination to focus on our own personal development, but when we do, when we truly commit ourselves to the idea, our happiness can soar. Our goals become far more realistic, our passion is noticeable to others, and, ultimately, we become more attractive in the eyes of potential love interests. But perhaps that is now a secondary concern for you, and reaching other life goals has now become equally as important…

In the coming weeks…

We will be discussing the art of being happy alone in greater length, so be sure to subscribe to post updates so that you too can become a desirable candidate for Valentines Day celebrations in 2019 😉 (if thats what you want, of course). As always, thank-you for reading, and we’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below.