Health Articles

The Trajectory of Change

It’s a relatively safe bet that everyone that has ever entered therapy, was looking to change something about their thoughts, feelings, behaviour or perception. It’s a safe bet to make because thinking, emoting, acting and sensing are basically the only 4 aspects of any human experience, period. It’s also a safe bet because, if you don’t change something it stays the same, and people just generally don’t seek help when things are already the way they want them.

Despite the saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, we are always updating our brains and (unless in some way injured or diseased..) our brains are always learning, always creating new neurological connections, even in old age. Its called neurogenesis, and its a scientifically proven fact.

This is great news if you’ve been procrastinating about making a change or delaying what you perceive to be hard work by putting it off for now. You can do that, but is it wise to do that?

I often talk about “anxiety interest” with anxiety ridden clients that procrastinate and avoid doing things until the last possible minute. The longer you delay something (doing your homework for example) the longer you have to worry about it and therefore the more worrying overall that gets done. Get it out of the way and worry less in the long run - simple really.

Now you could leave the change you’ve been meaning to make, hoping to accomplish or needing to implement, but consider this:

The sooner you make the change, the more satisfaction overall you’ll experience from having made it. A friend of mine taught me that mindset one day when he was describing people that invest lots of money updating their home intentionally just before putting it up for sale. They think they are making a wise investment, but wiser would have been enjoying their new kitchen counter and hardwood flooring for a a year or more before selling the property. Same price, but LOTS more personal enjoyment from the exact same renovations.

Personal change is not that different when you think about it. The sooner you make the change, the longer you’ll get to enjoy it - whether that is being a non-smoker, leaner, lighter, healthier, happier, more assertive, more in control, less demanding or less anxious, etc.

This is never more obvious for me than when I have the privilege of working with young impressionable minds. Changes they make in their teens and twenties will be making them happier for decades to come. Its also often easier to make an impact with them, not just because they are more open to change, but because small, almost insignificant shifts can go a long long way.

Imagine how far off target you’d be at the finish, if at the start of a 1 mile straight-line race you were facing just 1 degree off from true? My maths determines you’d be 17.5 metres off from the finish point after you’d run your mile. For a 60 kilometer race that would be over a kilometer off target by the finish line!! Well life is not much different - the sooner you fix your trajectory in life, the closer to the target you’ll end up, and the less energy you’ll have to spend then fixing the error.

It’s for this reason that I’ve recently decided to invest some time getting that message clear in the minds of Canada’s future leaders - our country’s youth. I’ve decided to give them an edge over their competition in life. I’m doing this by making myself available to speak at schools and colleges in and around Toronto and by teaching impressionable students how to program their own minds to succeed at change.

It’s an extension of my work as a mental health professional and just a slight detour from my current corporate keynote “The Subconscious Aspects of Excellence”. The content is not drastically different, although instead of focusing on sales targets and deadlines, in my academically oriented motivational talk “Mind Hacks for the Savvy Student” I teach how the 3 primary pathways for programming your own mind can easily be applied to passing exams with ease and getting ahead in life.

If you have a personal affiliation with an educational facility in Ontario (as a parent, teacher, advisor etc) and you’d like your young adults to get an edge over the other schools churning out new workers and fresh employees this September, don’t dilly dally in calling me to schedule an educational and motivational keynote that teaches 3 simple methods of self-change, one of which is self-hypnosis.