Remember the Peanuts cartoon with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and all his friends?
American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz wrote and illustrated
the famous series which featured a group of young children and one memorable
dog. In the strips, there were rarely any adults seen or heard, but the life
lessons were no less power-packed!
In one of my favorite comic strips, Charlie Brown says to
his friend Linus: “Perhaps you can give me an answer, Linus. What would you do
if you felt that no one liked you?”
Linus replies, “I’d try to look at myself objectively, and
see what I could do to improve. That’s my answer, Charlie Brown.”
To which Charlie replies, “I hate that answer!”
Resistance to change is universal.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a fun fact: in 1993, there were
approximately 1600 members of the International Flat Earth Research Society of
America. And this quote from their president, Charles K. Johnson, explains it
all, “When I saw the globe in grade school I didn’t accept it then and I don’t
accept it now.”
People do not naturally resist change. People naturally
resist being changed.
I hear so many young leaders and entrepreneurs around the
world talking about their passion to see change in the world. And I love
hearing all their dreams and strategies being put into action to help bring
about positive change.
The only problem is, before anything can change around you there must first be a change inside you.
I love this thought from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you
want to see in the world.” The distance between where you stand right now and
where you want to be is measured by the changes you are willing to make in your
Creating positive change begins with a dedication to first change your self.
According to John Maxwell, there are three catalysts for
- People change when they hurt enough that they
have to change
- People change when they learn enough that they
want to change
- People change when they receive enough that they
are able to change.
Take Alfred Nobel for example. He was a Swedish chemist who
made a fortune by inventing dynamite and other powerful explosives that
equipped weapons of mass destruction. They named the Nobel Peace Prize after
him. See the irony yet? But that’s only the first chapter of Alfred’s story.
When his brother died, a newspaper mistakenly printed
Alfred’s obituary instead. The obituary described the dead man as one who made
it possible to kill more people, more quickly than anyone in history. Alfred
was shaken after reading this account of his life and devoted the vast majority
of his wealth toward efforts that benefit humanity.
What can we learn from Alfred’s story?
- It’s never too late to change.
- Change in the world starts with change in you.
You can make a choice to change today.
Consider these questions:
- What changes do you need to make right now that
you have been unwilling to make?
- What is holding you back the most from achieving
your personal and/or professional goals?
- What change do you need to make in yourself that
will lead to positive change in the people around you?
When positive change is successful, while it may be difficult and could be painful, I guarantee that you will always look back and call it growth.
John Maxwell Leadership Podcast