Preparing for the worst in order to live at your best

Another reason people don’t make needed change is what psychologists call “normalcy bias,” where they underestimate the possibility and effects of disasters occurring. But life has a way of throwing curve balls. For example, I have a good friend who’s brother recently died in an freak accident. My friend is most devastated by what she didn’t do and the love she neglected to show to her brother.

Change the default option

Simply by changing the default option of certain choices is an easy way to immediately change behavior. People often take the first choice given them.

Taking on greater responsibility

Another way to immediately change your behavior is to take on greater responsibility. It was only a month or two after becoming a foster parent that a sense of urgency filled my heart. No longer did my career decisions only affect me. I now had three kids to provide for. That responsibility compelled me to take massive action toward my goal of becoming a professional writer.

Change environment

In her book Grit, psychologist Angela Duckworth tells the story of trying to potty-train her three-year-old daughter. Duckworth and her husband spent months trying to coax and cajole their child to use the toilet, to no avail.

Conclusion

Systemically, when you change the part, you simultaneously change the whole. Unless the whole changes, small modifications will probably not be sustained. Thus, in order to change anything, you often must change everything.

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Benjamin Hardy, PhD

Written by

Husband and father of 5 kids. Organizational Psychologist. Currently writing my next book: Personality Isn’t Permanent. Learn more: https://benjaminhardy.com/

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org