I listen to a lot of reggae music. The upbeat vibe and positive lyrics tend to uplift my mood. I also find the musical patterns that are played in reggae music are interesting and unique.
One of the recurring themes in reggae music is to start a revolution. They are often speaking about political issues and revolting against oppressive governments that try and strip the rights away from its people.
But I think we can take this same mindset towards ourselves. We can start a revolution of improvement. We can say, “Enough is enough” when it comes to our destructive behaviors and habits.
But we have to start to think like we are planning a coup. A coup is a sudden overthrow of a government or political party. A small group rises up and takes control of aspects of the government (usually the military) in order to start a new government.
We have to think of those ingrained habits as the force we have to overthrow. Using this example it might seem that a sudden change is all it should take. But the sudden change is just the beginning.
Many coups fail because they can’t sustain that change. They cause a problem for the current government but don’t follow through. Over time they are pushed back down and things go back to normal.
In our self-improvement journey we experience the same thing. We start big and expect effort and motivation to be enough to create lasting change. It does create a temporary change but that is soon overtaken by the systems and habits that have been created and empowered for years.
So we have to think beyond the initial charge towards our goals. We have to work at finding ways to sustain what we are doing. This may mean starting smaller or finding ways to make it more difficult to slide back to old habits.
If we can start a self-improvement revolution and work to change, we have to make sure we follow that up with a sustainability plan. We have to be able to keep going long enough to form new systems and habits.
But if we can, then improvement is possible. We can start to look at life as a journey towards a better you and then constantly work towards that concept.
But we can’t get too caught up in the emotion of the revolution. We have to combine that initial motivation with a sustained effort that will result in new structures, systems, patterns, habits and routines.
We can use the systems and habits techniques to create new behavior patterns. We can develop the right habits to drive us towards success. It will likely take time and a focused effort but being able to sustain change is much important than being able to create temporary change. Improvement lies in sustained not temporary change.