People don’t change.
Unless they want to change or are made to change.
There are many things that lead to a person change for the worse or change unconsciously
But there are only 3 things that make a person consciously change for the better.
They are inspiration, desperation and humiliation.
Let’s first take a look at the definition of inspiration. The word comes from the Latin word inspirare which means divine guidance. In other words, you start feeling a deep sense of purpose from inside as if you have a divine light guiding you and telling you to do something and you are filled with a burning desire to do it.
Inspiration is something that you may acquire at a very young age or later in life but once you acquire it, it becomes a part of you. In fact the great Wayne Dyer said that once you get inspired with an idea, you don’t take the idea to the destination, the idea possesses you so deeply that it guides you automatically to the destination. One may get their inspiration from a a book that changes their life and way of thinking or a speaker that impacts them or from meeting a person or having an experience that changes their attitude towards life forever.
Desperation is a state where the only choice you have is to change because you are left with no other choice.
If you are told you will be fired in a month if you don’t raise your performance at work and you have no savings and have a family to feed, you are in a state of desperation, you have GOT to change or your family will starve.
If you get a heart attack because of your smoking and you are desperate to survive for the sake of your family, you will quit smoking, because the only other choice is leaving your family without a bread winner.
If you become comfortable with your business because it is bringing steady money and suddenly the economy takes a plunge, your clients pull out and your business is at the risk of going bankrupt, you are desperate to push outside your comfort zone, get really creative and work twice as hard to save your business because if you don’t do that, everything you built will be lost.
There is a story of a general who once led 600 men in a few ships to conquer an island. When they landed on the island they realized that they were vastly outnumbered. Now this general was like King Leonidas in 300 and pumped up his troops through an inspirational speech. But he also did one more thing. He ordered to burn down the ships. He cut off all possible sources of retreat. There was now no way for the soldiers to run back to their ships and sail away if they felt they were going to lose. They had to either fight and WIN OR DIE. There was no running back. Their very survival was at stake. Guess what, they WON.
Humiliation is something which has a strong potential to change a person for good or for worse. Quite often the person facing the humiliation will go into a self destructive spiral and become depressed or they may become so vengeful that they may do things that harm them and people around them.
However, humiliation is that one thing that has immense power to drastically transform a person for the better. Can you recount a time where someone told you that you could not do something, or were worthless or talked behind your back about how you were no good and were going to fail? Chances are many times, that act fueled you with extreme determination to prove that person or group wrong and ironically that humiliation actually helped you achieve success in what you wanted because it forced you to prove your worth.
Steve Jobs had been humiliated on more occasion than once.
His Operating System was copied by Microsoft and Windows ended up doing much better than his operating system in the 80’s.
He was fired from his own company Apple when he brought in John Sculley as the CEO who managed to convince the board of Apple to fire Jobs.
Nokia and Blackberry laughed at him when they heard Apple was trying to make phones.
But Jobs used the failure and humiliation to prove his worth and quickly started a new company called Next Computers. He also started Pixar which was a graphic design company that ultimately created several popular animated movies and was acquired by Disney for 3 billion dollars. Around that stage Apple was not doing very well because of the mess created over the years when Jobs was no longer around.
In a twist of fate, Apple ended up acquiring Next computers solely to bring back Jobs to the company. Jobs had overcome the humiliation he had faced many years ago. After coming back immediately brought back the laser sharp focus that was missing in the company for so many years. Apple created the immensely popular iPod which instantly turned it into an extremely profitable company.
At the time, Jobs decided he would also get into the smartphone market and as mentioned above, other companies laughed at him. But he decided to prove them wrong and got working on the iPhone.
Today Nokia and Blackberry are almost decimated in the smartphone market. The iPhones are by far the most coveted phones on the market. Apple has become the largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization and sales and is far bigger than Microsoft that had once copied its Operating System.
The best revenge in the world is Success.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Have you become stagnant in your career and are looking to get to the next level but cannot figure how to do it. Well, take a look at the 3 things mentioned in this article and deliberately put yourself in situations where one of the three things happen.
You can consciously evoke the three situations mentioned above.
You can constantly be on the look out for sources or people or experiences that inspire you and give you the key you need.
You can burn your boats and cut off all ways which serve as a backup option. When you have a backup you will not be as committed to moving forward as you have a safety net. Only when you burn the boats will you have the burning desire to win because otherwise you die.
You can put yourself in situations where you hang out with people much better than you and realize how little you know. You can say out your intentions aloud to people around you, who will in most cases LAUGH AT YOU. Use their reaction as a motivation to prove how great you can be.
Once you do any of the above you become committed to change and once you get that extreme commitment, nothing can stop you!