3 STEPS TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF CHANGE
I said to a friend recently that my sons weren’t that enterprising. Immediately after I said it, however, I thought to myself, Wait, is that the right word? Is “enterprising” what I meant? Is this word a good description of them? So I quickly looked up “enterprising” on my handy-dandy little dictionary app on my phone. Here’s what I found:
en•ter•pris•ing (ˈɛn tərˌpraɪ zɪŋ) adj.
1. ready to undertake important, difficult, or new projects; energetic in carrying out an undertaking.
2. characterized by imagination and initiative.
Yep. That’s the word I meant. It’s the word that does not particularly describe my boys. But truth be told, they probably come by it naturally from yours truly.
Taking initiative. Stepping out. Going for it. Being bold. Energetically embarking on something new.
These are exciting words to consider, aren’t they?
I have found when I’m stuck, frustrated, or down-right unhappy about a situation, I have to take some initiative or nothing will change. I can sit and dislike (or even hate) my circumstances, but if I sit back and do nothing, that’s a sure-fire way of assuring nothing will happen. Can you relate?
We continue to groan or mope about the long list of “unpleasant” circumstances that surround us. We even disengage from it all. And quite frankly, sometimes it’s easier to disengage, isn’t it? When we are disengaged (i.e. unattached, in complete avoidance mode, etc.), it’s almost like we don’t have to deal with it. We know the issue or problem is there. It exists. We can see it on the surface. But when we continue to look the other way, it goes away…at least temporarily.
Here’s the thing…if we remain in a state of disengagement from the things that aren’t “right” in our world, nothing will improve. Until we engage, take initiative, step out, go for it, be bold, and energetically embark on something new, there will be no change.
How do we go from inaction to enterprise?
Here are 3 things that I find absolutely necessary to begin the process of change:
- Play the movie forward – (I read this idea in a book by Henry Cloud called 9 Things You Simply Must Do.) If you don’t like your current situation, and you do nothing to improve it, just think what it will be like next month or next year. Play the scene out in your head. Envision the consequences of your inaction. Picture the key players or key components of your current struggle in the near future if you fail to do an intervention. What do you see? If you don’t do something, the unpleasant circumstance won’t improve at all. It will deteriorate into something far worse for you.
- Get your feet wet – In the book of Joshua the Israelites were ready to cross into the Promised Land—the land God promised them, the land overflowing with milk and honey. Only one obstacle stood in their way—the Jordan River. God told the priests (who would be the first to cross) when they reached the edge of the Jordan’s water to go stand in the river. He told them as soon as the priests set foot in the Jordan its waters flowing downstream would be cut off and stand up in a heap. The key to the whole process of crossing the Jordan River was to get their feet wet first.
- Have accountability – We cannot make lasting change on our own. How many times have we tried to convince ourselves that we’re strong enough, smart enough, patient enough, diligent enough, wise enough, determined enough, or powerful enough to make a necessary change? And months later, or perhaps years later, we’re still struggling with the same issue. Get someone to journey with you. Share the struggle with a close friend or confidante—someone who will love you with both grace and toughness. Find someone who will encourage and push you.
The way I see it, most of us are decent, upstanding, pretty successful people. But every now and then we get stuck at the base of a mountain we know we need to climb but for whatever reason just can’t. Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Let the enterprising begin!