Change Or Die: “Inspired by the Death of Prince”

Deep down inside we all know that life is short, and that death is inevitable and yet we are infinitely shocked when it happens to someone we love. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with our eyes glued to our cellphone screen, distracted, and then misjudging the final stair. Expecting there to be one more stair than there is, you find yourself momentarily off balance, before your attention shifts back to the present moment, a reality check.

You see, death is an end in itself, but also a new beginning. Even though it’s an undesirable beginning, it’s a necessary part of life, it’s necessary for beauty too. It would be otherwise impossible to appreciate something or someone were it indefinite.

The death of Prince has come as a shock to the music world. Surprisingly, while the world awaits consensus on the cause of death, rumors abound regarding who or what was for his untimely demise. Like death, weight loss (health) is an issue regarding change management, that most of us struggle with daily.

Regardless of the cause of Prince’s death, be it a drug overdose, a bout of flu or tiredness from exertion due to an unrelenting performance schedule, it all boils down to the power of choice, and as a result, embracing change.

Change is the only constant in our unpredictable existence, but in order to embrace it, we must make a conscious choice to do so. Change may be sudden or gradual. Sudden change is somehow easier to deal with, as it gives us no choice but to respond to it. Sudden changes are always severe eg. death, loss of income, broken relationship, severe illness, heart attack or cancer, etc.

Gradual change on the other hand is far more challenging as it happens slowly and over a longer period of time. This requires making a choice to be pro-active while in your comfort zone, and commonly include weight gain, lack of exercise, bad eating habits, getting into debt, “empty” love relationships, amongst other things.

Prince had the choice to change his ways either by seeking professional help for his drug addiction, or to properly manage his punishing, unrelenting, performing schedule.

The media and the public are busy pointing fingers of blame at different quarters and people for this. We live in a society where “accountability” for our actions no longer matters, it’s always “somebody else’s fault”. We all want to blame somebody else, not taking responsibility for our actions.

This same attitude is applied to all aspects of our lives. People are struggling to lose weight and to be healthy; the blame is often placed heavily on the media, food manufacturers, lack of time, etc.

As much as all these reasons may be valid and concrete, we all forget to factor in that we are struggling in terms of our change management strategy.

To understand change we must understand what the letters in the word C.H.A.N.G.E stand for.

 

C- Consequences

Ask yourself what the consequences will be if you don’t change? What are the long term consequences if you do not watch what you feed both your body and your mind? Can you live with the consequences?

H-Habit

Our habits are like unquestionable commands. We are what we do most consistently. Most of us struggle to change our habits as it means taking away instant gratification and replacing it with future pleasure that might be weeks, months or years away.

This requires planning and strict personal discipline.

A – Attitude

Our attitude determines our actions. Actions lead to outcome, therefore a positive attitude = positive action = positive outcome (success). A negative attitude = negative actions = negative outcome (failure).

N- Needs

Will the changes you make fulfil your needs?

If not, then chances are you won’t change, eg. does healthy eating and exercise fulfill your need to be more energetic, to have more and be more?

G- Goals

What S.M.A.R.T. goals do you want to achieve?

Einstein said it well- “We are like a modern luxurious ship that’s equipped with all the luxury, but the only thing we are missing is a compass.”

Without goals, we have no direction. Action without goals is a pipe dream. It’s a bad, long nightmare.

E- Empowerment

Do you feel empowered enough to take on the new challenge? Do you have enough ammunition in your arsenal to tackle change?

This is where it becomes important to properly empower yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually to avoid a relapse.

Accountability becomes an important part of facilitating change. Most people associate accountability with the consequences, however the accountability means taking ownership of one’s thoughts, actions and results. Nobody else can hold you accountable. Only you know if you reached your expectations. Keep a score card. Humans have a tendency to justify mediocre performance blaming it on feelings, excuses, weather or economy. How accountable are you to your life?