Consider the outcome, instead of the effort

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Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.” 

When I share about the changes I’ve undertaken in the second half of my life, relative to the first, I often hear the reply, “oh, I could never do that.”

Let’s put aside the details people react to, and consider the outlook. For the vast majority of possibilities, of course they could. Of course you could. Of course I could.

It’s not that we can’t. It’s that it seems hard, or unpalatable, or not worth the effort.

For many of the changes I’ve ended up making — my stock illustration is that I don’t eat refined sugar or refined grain, a.k.a. flour, but that’s just to illustrate! — I said and/or thought all of those things. It’s too hard! It’s inconvenient. Why should I?

But it was only by taking the actions, and experiencing the changes that new actions brought, that I could understand.

Most of my instances of “I can’t…” were patently false, and IMHO, so are most of yours. Far closer to the truth is “I choose not to, based on what I know, or think I know.”

For a change you’d want, I suggest considering where you want to be, rather than what you think it will take to get there. Not only will the journey be different than you conceive at the start, but *you* will be different, by virtue of what you experience on the way.

Start with one small change, something you think you can do. Commit to that change for a definite period, ideally with the help of someone you trust. Seek out community on the matter. Accept help.

Give your little change a decent shot at success. Even if it doesn’t do what you’d hoped, you’ll know whether it was worth trying, instead of just thinking you do.


Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
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