BE THE CHANGE

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 08:30 AM IST
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Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron Mcmillan, Al Switzler Publisher: Piatkus Cost :275

Change Anything comes with a risky and audacious promise:  if you apply the principles of this book to your life you will produce sustainable change in your behaviour that will noticeably improve your life! To make such a huge claim about a topic of such immense practical importance is, indeed, audacious.

The authorsgoal is to help you change your own behavior, even long- standing bad habits. Actually, the book centres on habits and presents novel ways to help you beat the intractable bad ones as well as form new good ones.

The book is full of strategies for helping you change various habits, and cites research to support them.

The tone of the book is largely upbeat and positive and claims it can help you get out of debt, beat addictions, lose weight, build healthy relationships, and become more successful in your career if you understand what the authors call the ‘six sources of influence that affect daily decisions.’The authors claim that the concept of willpower is incomplete and only a very small part of overcoming obstacles. They relay six practices to use, including making the right choices pleasurable, finding accomplices in change, and bribing oneself to change.

So does Change Anything live up to its claim? Yes, and No.

YES The fact that I think this book lives up to anything even approaching its bold claim is a high recommendation for this book. Heres what the book delivers that makes me believe that if you actually understand and faithfully use the principles of this book that you can, indeed, change many of your behaviours for the better.

First, the authors free us from a powerful mind trap: the simplistic belief that if only we had more willpower wed succeed in changing our lives. The reality the authors argue for ( persuasively) is that while willpower is still important, changing behaviour turns out to be as much about alt145 skillas it is about alt145 will. And the truth is that certain skills for changing our behaviours can be taught.

The authors also point out that that often ( for ex&le when you go to Las Vegas into a casino) you cant see whats controlling.

However, ‘If you can see it, you can change it’. Change Anything, then, is a book about seeing the hidden influences in our lives and using them to change our behaviour from ones with negative to ones with positive consequences.

The book opens with a series of fascinating experiments on children that provide evidence for all that the authors will present.

Throughout, what the authors teach is supported by research experiments that are not only enlightening but also entertaining.

So why do we fail at personal change? We dont have enough influences working for us and working all together.

It turns out that there are six sources of Influence in our lives. These same six sources of influence can be used to either promote a healthy or unhealthy behaviour.

1. Personal motivation – tap into your existing desires and wants 2. Personal ability – learn new skills to promote change 3. Social motivation – turn accomplices into friends that help you make positive changes 4. Social ability – use confederates to enable good choices 5. Structural motivation – directly link short- term rewards and punishments to your new habits 6. Structural ability – change your environment to one more likely to promote the change you want For each of these six sources of influence, the authors provide specific strategies for change that will use this influence to help you change your behaviour to something positive instead of the default negative behaviour. Their identification of the six sources of influence, combined with their chapter- long discussion of strategies to change each of these influences, is an impressive accomplishment.

I dont want to give away too much of their work, but when I

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