Friday, September 17, 2010

The Levels of Change

A few weeks back, I had a meeting with the most inspirational, grounding and motivating man I father. We conversed about life, the journeys we take, and the plans we make that will always fall victim to chances we take and it was here that he told me about this idea his mother told him. My grandmother once said that every 7 years in a person's life something drastic will change.

Change...the one constant in life, can lead to amazing possibilities or fearful anxieties. The only thing I know is that change is the one thing I need at this very moment in life. But what does change look like when you are making the decision to change something in your life? Is it your job, your home, your relationship, you environment, your body, your education or your outlook? Trying to change all of these things at once will leave you more lost and confused and definitely in a sea of me I'm on a life raft in that sea.

So where does change begin? This week in my quest for clarity and improved decision making logic I began to read some information about the levels of change. And this is what I found:

The first level of change is Environment.
This being the most external part of you, it is the easiest thing to change, therefore is the first part to transformation. Environment: your home, your job, your office space, your bedroom, your city, the pictures on your walls, the position of your furniture, the route you take to work, the places you frequent, and the friends you have.

The second level of change is Behavior.
This is again an external part of you. Your actions. This is the 2nd easiest thing to change, therefore is the 2nd tier of transformation. Behaviors: the routines you have, the smiles you give, the things you say, the generosity you lend, the time you take for others/ yourself, the exercise you do, the places you visit, and the activities that occupy your time. Say YES to the things that scare you and YES to the invitations around you.

The third level of change is Capabilities.
This is the first internal change you make along the line of transformation. So often we are defined by our capabilities. What can you do? Where does your experience lay? What are you good at? Changing your capabilities is a huge transformational step but probably will feel the most rewarding. Capabilities: your education, your talents, your wisdom, your experiences, your creative savvy, your technical skill, your passions, your unused time to dedicate to something else, your ability to love and embrace and journey.

The final level of change is Identity.
This is the final level of change because it is the ultimate part to transformation. If you make it through each level then you have changed your Identity. This can be the identity that others persevere you to be, the identity you have know of yourself, or the identity of the person you want to be.

Thinking about the
Identity you want to have (who do you want to be? how do you want others to see you?), can help you select the little changes to make alone the way.

Examples: I want to be a traveler.
1st: I hang up
pictures of destination I wish to travel to. 2nd: I look for airfare deals, adventure programs and talk to strangers at bars with accents. 3rd: Pick a destination and start to learn a language. Please and Thank You is always the 1st step. 4th: you embark.

Or more simply,
I want to be healthier. 1st: Remove unnecessary junk food items from kitchen. 2nd: Walk to work, from work, replace escalator with stairs. 3rd: seek new ways to move..take a yoga class, a swimming class, rent a bike. 4th: do you feel better?

Now, this of course doesn't mean you have to do each step and conclude at an Identity but the key to change is that any step along the way is a change, a growth and a step in the right direction.

So on my personal quest for change I'm going to see how many things in my environment I can change. I've never been a small step kind of person. First step, getting rid of excess. Local SF charities get your trucks ready!

1 comment:

Jim Kempski said...

Great article. Personal change is a way to improve yourself, to yourself.