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The engine that drives change
Master Trainer, Conscious Leader, Co-founder, Author
Commitment is a state of what is. When you are present, you are willing to face your circumstances.
All change will encounter some resistance—it is natural.
The change formula = vision x dissatisfaction + first steps
Lesson: Mastering Presence with Diana Chapman
Step #10 Change Formula: The engine that drives change
When you are present as a conscious leader, you recognize that commitment is a state of "what is.” What is occurring is your commitment. And when you're present, you're willing to actually see it all and face it. A lot of people, they don't want to face their commitments and so they numb themselves out. They numb themselves out by looking at their devices, they numb themselves out by exercising, they numb themselves out by drinking, eating, sports, all kinds of things to get away from the thing they're unwilling to face, that's actually a commitment that they've got going on. And it's so painful, that they just keep numbing and that's part of how they keep the painful commitment going. Because there's not enough pain yet to force them to shift it out.
We call it "Change Formula.” The "Change Formula" goes like this: in order to change, we almost all are going to have resistance show up. It's just being human. Resistance is normal. And so the only thing we know that is bigger than resistance is a formula that says: "Vision x Dissatisfaction + First Steps.” If that is dialed in, you can get bigger than your resistance and change.
So that "Vision x Dissatisfaction," I want you to think of it like an engine. You have to have a certain amount of one or the other. So let's just say we need the sum to be 100. So you could have 1 x 100; so a little bit of vision with a lot of dissatisfaction, is how most people change, right? You see people say, "I hit bottom and then I radically changed my life." That's a pretty common way human beings change.
So you could also say, "I've got some vision. I'm pretty excited about some vision. I've got some dissatisfaction, maybe 10 x 10, and the combination is moving me to go beyond my resistance." And then another option, which we say to leaders, is, "You could have a ton of vision, 100% vision with just a tiny bit of dissatisfaction; and your vision is so igniting that you're willing to risk all kinds of things that potentially might be uncomfortable to create this new possibility."
So "Vision x Dissatisfaction" is the engine that gets revved up. And for most people, for example, when they put a New Year's resolution together, we would say the reason why it didn't stick is you didn't have enough of this. You created your first steps, but the "Vision x Dissatisfaction", you wish it were bigger, you wish it were. So we would say, "Go take a look at what it is that you're not facing about your dissatisfaction the way it is." Most people don't look; they're numbing themselves out with life.
So stop numbing. And so we actually encourage you to do a practice where you get rid of three of your top things that you numb yourself with, or reduce them significantly. So instead of checking your email many times a day, or 20 times, 100 times a day, choose two or three times a day that you'll check your email. And don't go habituate away from the moment, because that's part of how you stay away from your dissatisfaction. So if you could really face that, that might then be the motivation that will help you move through your resistance.
Even, for example, I think people will use therapy as a way to vent a little bit every week, or every other week, some of the dissatisfaction. So they don't have to really sit with it and stay with it and feel it. So that they could just keep talking about the issue or complaining about the issue a little bit, vents off a little bit, and they can stand that issue for years. Instead of feel the real cause that would have them start to go, "I'm out of here. I've got to change this pattern."
And then, of course, "Vision x Dissatisfaction" then we need your first steps, really clear, measureable, action steps. Who is going to do what, by when, and that those are very well defined. And that combination then can help you move through any resistance you've got to your unconscious commitments.