MacDonald: Learning to get out of control to become a change agent |

MacDonald: Learning to get out of control to become a change agent

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Machen MacDonald

People don't like it but they want it. The only thing that is constant is it. Mahatma Gandhi told us we must be it if we wish to see it. Leo Tolstoy, suggests that everyone thinks of doing it to the world, but no one thinks of doing to himself.

The "it" is change.

People really do want it. Think about it. You either want more of something in your life — more money, more time, more energy, more love — or you want less of something — less weight, less pain, less anxiety, less chaos or less uncertainty. Most people want to change what currently is. One path is to simply accept what is and endeavor to experience peace just as it is. That is simple in premise, yet not so easy in practice.

People only complain about what they think should be different but are not willing to take the risk to make it so.

So what is really at risk?

Let's assume you are not a complainer and are willing to take the risk required to gain or experience that which you want. In order to affect the change you seek, either your thinking, feelings or actions must change. Any way you slice it, something has to change.

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So you have determined you want to change. You jump in, expend a lot of energy and resources, and not much changes. What's up with that?

It comes down to lack of focus and an unwillingness to transform at your core.

People who fail to escape the busy trap and break through to effectiveness and productivity are swimming within a mind and environment mired in clutter, which thereby prevents them from having any remaining capacity to focus on what they want. They are surrounded with what they don't want, which becomes their dominant focus. Low and behold, they get more of what they don't want.

If our current self concept is entrenched with that status quo, it's hard to grow. It's not that we get stuck in our comfort zone. Often times, there is nothing comfortable about the zone within which we are stuck. It does, however, become a familiar zone. We start to get really good at stumbling around in that familiar zone. We like the certainty and predictability as it provides a sense of being in control. However, as author Neale Donald Walsch states, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" or, in this case, the familiar zone.

To actually transform out of this familiar zone you must be willing to go to that place you hallucinate will evoke the feeling of being out of control. The good news is often that feeling doesn't last long if at all. So it's not that you must get out of control to change. It's that you must be willing to get out of control. In the willingness comes a trust that you can handle whatever may come about. That's where your power is. That's when you pull things off you may have, up to that point, doubted. It's the same place where the serendipitous or perhaps lucky breaks occur. It's the space that avails you to your epiphanies and resourcefulness.

This next week, play with this two step approach.

1 — Limit or eliminate the distractions that keep you from being able to focus on what you desire.

2 — Be willing to break free of the zone within which you have become familiar.

By continually recalibrating your focus and being willing to really go for its achievement, you will meet a life that far exceeds any inspired mediocrity you now know as the familiar zone.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and (530) 273-8000.

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