Change. It’s one of life’s constants, and one of the few guarantees that can be made to all humans. Although our Universe is in constant motion and flux, change management is rarely taught, or even discussed. What’s required for humans to engineer change? How do we become thoughtful agents of positive change?
I’ve given these questions considerable thought, and we teach the topic in our executive coaching program on shared leadership (DoorTwo Motivating Transformational Leaders). The answer, it turns out, is surprisingly simple and immediately accessible to all. We are each initiating and creating change with great frequency, whether we know it or not. Positive transformation occurs when we do so with intention.
Change is created from within. For our experiences in the outer world to become something different, we must first create change in our inner world. Change creation is an inside job. The energy we project becomes the experience we expect, which is then mirrored back to us in our daily lives. All change is created twice—first in our mind, and then in what we perceive to be our external reality. In this way, change creation follows a sequence that I call “Within—Beside—Beyond.” The key is simply to make the process intentional.
First, decide to become something different. This happens by looking within yourself and envisioning the change you would like to experience, and then picture yourself becoming it. This exercise needs to happen over and over again, in our mind. For example, if I want the world to become more loving and kind, I consciously choose to become more loving and kind. I set out each day to seek out the love and kindness that already exists within humanity. You find more of it, and you add to it. That’s the “within” stage of change creation, and it triggers all that follows.
Those “beside” you—your family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers—now begin to experience you differently. They become recipients of your increased love and kindness. And for them, this is also a change. Their world has literally changed by what you have intentionally become. This triggers the “beyond” phase, as those interacting with you return to their own inner circles carrying a higher dose of love and kindness. This is how our personal change ripples into the beyond.
In a Universe where everything is interconnected, when one thing changes, everything changes.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
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