Updated: Apr 13
I need your help to change
One day, something stirs in your heart that makes you realize it is time for some changes. These changes could be of a personal nature, such as losing 20 pounds, or it could be on a much larger scale as in organizing and implementing a community project. Whatever you are striving to accomplish, you know the key to going through successful change is having a well thought out plan and motivated people around you, giving you the support and encouragement, you need. These people may even be a team of participates to work alongside you on this vision of change. The challenge is “how” to convince these people in your circle, to see the benefits of this change and get them excited about your conception. If these people tend to resistant change, the feat can become overwhelming for you very quickly.
why won’t you get on board?
All too often, your project of change begins to unravel as soon as you start interacting with other people. People tell you that your idea is not necessary or that it is not worth it. Many times, people let you know, with stern conviction, that it is not a constructive or intelligent endeavor; that you are wasting your time. There are even those people in your life, that will dig in their heels and intentionally try to sabotage your efforts. Unfortunately, this is human nature as people tend to, first protect themselves, before going out on a limb for others. Unless your big venture of change has some direct benefit for them personally, that outweighs the effort they are going to have to put in, their support for you will, mostly likely, be less than effective. How are you to go forward and become successful?
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” – ECCLESIASTES 3:1
if I am to change, I could use your support
As you communicate the benefits to those involved, in hopes of winning them over, you find yourself trying to “sell” the results. It becomes most perplexing why they are not buying in. It is simply a great idea! You try to plow forward in the implementation phase as you witness each person, one at a time, fall by the wayside. Why won’t they listen to you? Can’t they see that not going forward creates a less than desirable lifestyle? You keep your eye on the desired results. You put yourself in the successful vision and you keep going. In many cases, you begin to make progress and may even succeed, all by yourself. You desperately are hoping for recognition. You want those around you to feel proud of your accomplishments. All too often this is not the case. You did your thing. They are doing theirs. Life happens.
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – THEODORE ROOSEVELT
and then I had an AH HA moment
Each day, I read one page from, “The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard”; I highly recommend it and you can reuse it each year. As I read the scripture and commentary one morning, I had a huge AH HA moment with a project I have been trying to undertake the last few months; one which I have experienced great push back with. I instantly realized what I had been doing wrong. I read, “But unity isn’t the goal. Rather, unity is the result…”. I get it now. It’s all about perspective. It usually is, when it comes to working with people. Turns out that your vision of change is not the result to work toward. And trying to sell the idea to everyone is not the goal. So, what is the goal? What is the desired result? What is the difference?
So the goal is not change?
The goal is the very thing you focus on and put all your energy into. When it comes to those people in your world that you want to influence to change, the goal is to bring about unity by having a shared vision and cooperative efforts. Your time and energy are spent working on building relationships that are mutually beneficial. The result is when you have successfully obtained your goal. In the case of working with a group of people you want to support your vision; the result is when everyone reaches a purpose that transcends each individual’s needs and the project begins to move forward with ease. Now these are a lot of fancy words, but when you look at the big picture, it makes sense. People work hard and diligently when they feel that what they are doing is bringing value to their own personal life.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – EPHESIANS 4:2
make your change personal to others
So how do you go about, what now seems to be a much bigger endeavor than what you started out wanting to do? Simple, invest in others with your whole heart. Be there for them. Ask them personal questions so as to learn what their hopes, dreams and needs are. Listen to them, really listen to them. Think of ways to incorporate what you are trying to do in a way that will help them with what they are trying to do. Sometimes it is a matter of unselfishly caring about them and they will unselfishly care about you. Other times, it is finding an emotional connection with your project so that they can feel a personal value and importance and end up not only buying in, but helping you make those needed connections with others.
it’s not about creating change, it’s about creating relationships
God tells us that He has plans for us to prosper and these plans will bring hope to our future. We all realize that His timing is almost never the same as our timing, but the change we need in our life will come in its own time, when the stage is set for the ultimate transition of change. The Bible is filled with instructions on how to effectively work with each other and yet, as humans, we let our pride and selfish ways interfere with the very change that is needed for us to grow into compelling individuals. I ask you to take a step back when you feel friction with others when you are trying to make some healthy changes in your life or your community. Don’t make it about what you need. Make it about what they want. How can you create a mutually satisfying partnership?
Many years my friend, many years....