Lasting change is born in a moment of resolve. In that moment, we create a new standard that drives us forward in our commitment to change.
Yesterday I wrote about how in order to create lasting change we must compel change. We must allow ourselves to feel the depths of emotions that bring us to a threshold. The threshold is the point at which we say,
I’ve had enough.
This moment creates resolve to change.
Change Happens Regardless of Resolve
The truth is that change will happen even without resolve.
Within our physical body, cells die and new cells grow every day. Every day, we wake up in a new body.
Every day, the world is different. The weather is different. The environment is different. The energy is different.
Everything is in a state of motion at all times, even when it feels like we are standing still or stuck in one place.
People, things, circumstances, our world: it all changes over time, whether we intend for it to happen or not. In ten years, you and I will be different people from who we are today. The world will be a different place. Even if we do nothing.
The catch is that standing still may not lead us to the change we desire.
The Drive to Improve is About Standards
What creates meaningful change — what turns change into evolution — is standards.
If you are angry and frustrated with the status quo — in your life, in your community, in the world — and you allow yourself to feel that pain, it eventually catalyzes a new standard.
Culturally, all movements — from civil rights to gender rights to “Just Say No” to debates about health care and gun control — are about defining standards.
In your personal life, you declare standards for the elements of how you will live, including:
- The behaviors you are willing to accept — from yourself and others.
- How you will allow others to speak to you or treat you.
- The way in which you will speak to and treat others.
- How you will speak to and treat yourself.
- What and who you will allow into your body, mind, spirit and life.
The Drive to “Make it Better”
The anger and frustration you feel with the status quo comes from a place of deep knowing that the world can be better, and that you can be better — however you define “better.”
When you feel frustrated and angry with the status quo — with how you are treated, with how others are treated, with the accepted norms and conventions, with any part of life — embrace those feelings. This is the sign that it’s time to set a new standard.
When you commit to that new standard, you create the conditions that support lasting and meaningful change.
Where in your life do you need to create a new standard? What’s the standard that you will create today to catalyze meaningful and lasting change?
I’d love for you to share your responses in the comments.