1: How does meaningful change actually happen in our lives?
Dr. Daniel Friedland, author of Leading Well from Within, believes we can learn to coach ourselves so we can rise through powerful cycles of continual learning and growth.
Think back on a time when we experienced a meaningful change.
Often, change begins with an experience. Something happens. Perhaps it’s an event. A significant event. Maybe it’s a comment someone makes. Or something we read that strikes us in a particular way.
But does an experience by itself bring about change?
While the experience itself is vital, more is needed to bring about meaningful change.
Real change actually occurs when we reflect on the experience and then take action.
In other words, ideas don’t change the world. Reflection on the idea followed by action changes the world.
2: Danny outlines how the Infinite Curriculum works. It is infinite because it never stops.
First, we have an experience or take in content.
Second, we reflect on that experience or content.
Third, we decide to take action.
Which leads to another experience… about which we reflect… and then we decide to take action… and so on…
3: Another (better?) question is: Why don’t we change more? We would like to make plenty of changes to improve our lives. We want to change! But we don’t.
As humans, we are good at step one. We read the book. We attend the workshop. We watch the TED talk.
Unfortunately, we aren’t as good at steps two and three. We don’t make time to reflect. Life is busy. We’re in a hurry.
Or, assume we do complete step two: we reflect. We put together a plan.
But we then fail to act. We don’t follow through. Perhaps our plan is too big. We want to swallow the entire ocean. Today. Now.
Or we get distracted. Perhaps our perfectionism kicks in, and we realize we aren’t very good (yet) at whatever it is we want to do. So we quit. Or, as in my case, we want to keep learning. Endlessly. More learning! Learning is fun!
Step one is relatively easy. Steps two and three? Not so much.
So, what can we do?
Step two – reflection – is all about asking good questions. Why is this important? To me, to my family, or to my team? When have I been successful in the past? What does this say about my strengths? How can I capitalize on my strengths to take action? What’s a good next step? What’s an “experiment” I could run?
Step three is like the Nike commercial tells us: Just do it. Today! Schedule it. Put it on the calendar. State our intention publicly. Ask someone to hold us accountable.
That’s how change actually happens. Experience. Reflection. Action. The infinite curriculum.
That’s how we get better at getting better.
It’s also why I invite all of us to reflect and then take action at the end of each of my blogs. Including this one 🙂
Reflection: Consider a change I’d like to make in my life. Why is this change important to me? What is a good next step?
Action: Commit. Do it today.