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15 Percent Change

15 Percent Change

I once watched a television show where the characters claimed that people can only change about 15% from who they are.  They claimed that even though we may want to change we can’t change the core of who we are and what we believe.  

While I understand the logic and have seen many people who claim to want to change but really only slightly change their behaviors, I think we are capable of much greater change than 15%.  

When I was younger, I always claimed that I want to change but then I would quit as soon as it became difficult.  I tended to go back to my old actions and habits and decide that I wasn’t capable of making a particular change.

But then an interesting thing started to happen.  Instead of focusing on the outcome or the goal, I started to make systematic adjustments to my habits.  Once I shifted the way I approached change, I was able to take giant steps forward and continuously improve.  

I started to realize that the systems and habits control who we are.  We are able to change our systems but we can only do that by focusing on them and adjusting them so that they are taking us where want to go.

If we think that effort alone is going to change our core systems and habits we are being naïve.  These tend to be ingrained behaviors and thoughts that formed over many years.  To change them takes more than a simple change of heart or a wish for something better.

So maybe the 15% claim is accurate when we are talking about change due to effort alone.  But I would argue that we are capable of much greater change if we are able to tap into the systems and habits in our lives and make deliberate adjustments.  This is the way to drastically change to become who we want to be!