Keeping Change Changed

Ever stopped to think about why the minimalist change – or any change for that matter – that you really wanted in your life but haven’t managed to see emerge yet hasn’t stuck? I’m sure your intentions were solid, but it just hasn’t happened. The solution is simple…

Those who know me know that I am a great fan of 80’s music. It was the soundtrack to those formative years which, no matter who you are, takes a definitive and sentimental hold on you. I’m not even embarrassed by this. I had my first teenage kiss to Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” (you know – the soppy song that was on the Karate Kid soundtrack. If you are thinking Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s kid, you are too young to know!). I can sing the guitar solo’s to almost every song from 1977 until 1993. I could speak to you in lyrics from almost every charting song in that decade. And I am proud to say that I am passing the 80’s music bug onto my daughter (currently 13).

One of my favourite songs of that time is Spinal Tap’s “The Majesty of Rock”. Something about the comedy aspect combined with great 80’s rock… Anyway, towards the end of the song, lead singer David St Hubbins (aka comedy actor Michael McKean) sings this great and highly obvious line:

…and I’m sure each of you quite agree:
The more it stays the same,
The less it changes!

Highly obvious, except far too often missed by us all…

So back to the change that didn’t happen for you. Why not? Some possibilities include:
– you made it too complex;
– you lost the factor that motivated you to want to change;
– you thought it out too much;
– you’re still waiting for the “perfect” time to start;
– you have a lazy streak and you just haven’t got around to starting yet.

There are many more but I hedge a bet that most of them will be solved by a simple remedy which Spinal Tap alludes to in their song.

If you want to make change happen you have to do it. Nike was sort of right – just do it is the way to make change happen. If it stays the same, it just doesn’t change. So change something!! Here are four things I have done about the change I want to see out of the inspiration from my recent trip to work with refugees on the Thai/Burma border.

On this trip I caught up with a girl I met last year – a Karen refugee whose family had abandoned her – who finished Year 12 in a refugee camp and started a teaching qualification in a refugee village. Something told me we should do something for her. So my family and I decided to “adopt” her, pay for her study and expenses, and also become her family and treat her like an extra child – should she ever need anything we will try and provide it for her. Of course, we had to confirm that this was doable and the commitment possible. But we didn’t agonise over it. Once we decided we could do this, we did it. We committed, and we did it. No wait, just do.
If it is not something you can just do outright, make a start on it somehow. If it is that big, no doubt there are steps. Don’t just plan (we can all do that) but make a start on step one (see just do it above)!

For the past 9 months I have had an idea that I can’t do yet. I want to do a charity run over 266km. But I have at least started by making a plan. This required me to make some enquiries. The pay off is that the person I have had to make enquiries to is also a mentor to whom I have obviously had to tell about my idea. And now he knows, I feel that backing out is not an option. The key here is that if you can’t make a start, tell someone what you intend to do. Whether that is one close friend who will keep you accountable or every person who will ever come across your Facebook page, there is something about putting your intentions out there that makes you stick to your guns. Once people know, it’s so much harder to back out.

For me it is pictures; photos I have taken from my trip. These remind me of why I want to do what I want to do and change what I want to change. If you can find a way to keep your motivation current, you’ll never lose the drive that propelled you towards the change you want to make.

What is so NoXS Minimal about this? None of these solutions are complicated. It really is this simple. All the complexities don’t have to come into it. At all. Making the change isn’t complex. You’ve made it that way. Do it, start and/or tell someone. If it seems any less NoXS Minimal than that, I contend that it is because you have made it that way – either by accident or by choice.

What NoXS Minimal advice might you share that you have used to help change happen in your life?

Remember, the more it stays the same, the less it changes. Don’t let it stay the same.

Live Simply & Simply Live,

Mark G


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