Four vital ingredients of change - we are sure you have heard these before, as they will crop up sooner or later in any self-development talk in some form or other.
What most people will not tell you, though, is how to get there. It is all well enough to say that you need to make a decision, but how do you arrive at one? How do you know it is the right one? What do you do to demonstrate your commitment, how do you arrive at a plan, and how can you make sure that your determination will not waver when things get tough? There are some who will not only give you an inspirational talk but also some guidance on how to get there, but you usually still need to piece things together from different sources.
We decided to put it all into a system for our clients' convenience, so it can be repeated and fallen back on again and again, especially in the context of finding a new job, or launching a new product, which will be such a common occurrence in future.
Above, you can see a high level view of what the system is about, you can see the four ingredients - decision, commitment, plan, and determination - and how to arrive at each step, but this model is still at a high level. You need to EXPLORE and EXPERIMENT to arrive at a viable decision, true. But how do you do that exactly? Do you just blindly jump into things, or throw things out there to see what comes back? Or could there be a system to this as well, i.e. a sub-level to the system?
We believe that there is a sub-level to the system, because we have used it in our own lives (or regretted it when we did not), and to make the sub-steps more memorable, we used mnemonic devices for the sub-steps for each, i.e. either via an acronym or the same letters:
So, what do these acronyms mean?
Well, this short article cannot cover all of them, certainly not in detail, but here is a short summary of the A.R.R.I.V.E. at yourself tool (see "Explore", top right), to get you started:
1) The "A" of "A.R.R.I.V.E."
If you master this, any change coming at you may become the beginning of even greater things, greater joy, greater potential, greater wealth, more opportunities. If you do not master this, a change will likely throw you into chaos, will likely mean you will have less after the change than before, may ruin you financially, and will bring resentment into anything you do going forward. The "A" of "A.R.R.I.V.E." stands for "Accept". This is the essential first step in any change.
What do I mean by that?
It means accept where you are, accept the situation you have found yourself in, and move forward from there.
Yes, it may be supremely unfair how you got here, there may have been a bad actor who should not profit, or somebody may have made a stupid decision based on faulty information that somebody else profited from, and as a result you are out in the dark, and yes, it may be unjust, and life shouldn't be that way, but it is. If you keep rebelling against the unfairness of it all, get lost in the pain that was so unnecessary, and grieve for all that is lost, and keep plotting revenge, you will waste the energy you need for the change. If there was a bad actor, you may be able to make their life or lives difficult, but it will not help you get out of the situation you are in, if anything, you help them to not only destroy your past and present, but also the future. If there was no bad actor, and it is just an unfortunate circumstance, rebelling against it will not help you either, you may even see enemies where there are none, and miss opportunities that could propel you forward. There is nothing like the feeling of making twice the money in the new job after you have been made redundant, or finally finding that mission you were always looking for that may pay less but gives you immeasurably more joy!
Even if you think you really need to deal with what happened, so it will not happen to somebody else in future, accept where you are for the moment, create your new future, get consolidated in that future, and you can deal with what happened then - if you still feel the need to. Sometimes, looking back with some distance will show you that things weren't quite how you had perceived them, or even if they were, you don't want to waste any more time on it. Pour your energy into your future, not into the pain of the present.
Aren't you glad you are reading this cheery article?
2) The first "R" of "A.R.R.I.V.E."
Things get lighter from now on, I promise! We just had to get the "A" out of the way, which so many people get caught up in. So what does the first "R" stand for?
"R" stands for "Relax".
This may be a bit of an anti-climax - we just got all revved up for action, and now we are supposed to relax? Yes, because it is vital to find strategies to relax to move forward. If you do not relax, the fear that a change may induce in us may lead us into tunnel vision, and we may miss vital opportunities this change could bring to our lives. Change will also need energy, so we need to remember early that relaxation in between is vital in order not to burn out before the change is complete.
3) The second "R" of "A.R.R.I.V.E."
Have you ever seen the Lion King? Remember the scene when Simba meets Rafiki, and looks into the pool of water and is reminded "Remember who you are...!"
That's exactly it. The second "R" stands for "Remember".
The scene in the Lion King strikes a cord, because to some degree, we all forgot at some point who we really once were, and there is a pain associated with not living what we think we should be. That pain can either be ignored, and be the background music to our lives, or it can be used to produce the change we want, but first we need to remember what and who we really are.
What lit us up when we were growing up? Why?
Was it really that we wanted to be an astronaut, or were we just fascinated by the freedom and the adventure we associated with it? Were we really after a feeling? What was it?
Are there other ways to experience that same feeling through our lives, maybe even our career or mission?
How can we align our lives with who we are?
Is it possible that we were not able to live who we are initially, because we did not have the skills to make it happen yet, but in recent years we have accumulated these skills via another job, and now it has become a possibility?
The "I" of "A.R.R.I.V.E."
The "I" stands for "Increase".
Increase our field of vision.
Maybe what we are looking at is way too small a section of what is possible. If a cabby loses his job due to automation, he or she may well look into other jobs as a driver, because driving is what he or she has done for 10, 20, 30 years. Therefore, one may be tempted to get a job as a truck driver instead. But trucks will be automated as well, it is not really a future-proof change. At this stage of the process, we look at everything possible and do not want to eliminate options yet, but we really do need to look at everything that is possible. What other skills does the person have? How about hobbies, passions? How about natural inclinations? What was it about the job that made them good, was it really driving in heavy traffic, or was it the ability to relate to customers?
What other possibilities are out there?
Are there jobs and opportunities out there now that did not even exist 10, 20, 30 years ago?
This is where an outside perspective, e.g. through coaching and seminars, can be extremely useful, because it will give some outside input that we oftentimes cannot see by ourselves. A seminar may shed light on possible paths that we never heard of, and a coach may be able to use tools to elicit skills and possibilities that we never even thought of, or never thought we could do. A coach can also encourage us, keep us honest, and keep us accountable when we waver. Sometimes a little bit of help is all we need to make that step that we always wanted to make.
And it continues...
And the list of tools continues, but becomes too long for a short blog post. The "V" and the "E" of the tool, as well as the rest of the tools of the other sub-categories are explained in detail in our book below (available from Amazon), with example stories of how to apply them, and - almost more importantly - of what not to do and why, even if some mistakes can lead to hilarious results :)!
For coaching services, please contact us at +44 (0) 7932 495 334 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation session!
The future can be exciting!