The people that think change is easy are either kidding themselves or are just plain liars.
I started thinking about change during the holidays. I was looking at my list of goals and although I accomplished some of them, there were others still hanging out to dry. I decided to postpone thinking about the why till another day ( procrastination being the strong magnet that it is). As an alternative I knew I deserved a break from such tough thinking work and went to the bookstore instead.
Most of us can count the number of books that have changed our lives. It’s not from the fact that there is a dearth of profound material – not at all. I think most of the time we just aren’t ready for the particular message or sometimes we need the advanced or beginner version of it. But that day a book hopped off the shelf into my hands that was a game changer for me.
The Happiness Project (www.thehappinessproject.com) did that. It’s writer, as a law graduate, clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor and was editor of the Yale Law Review but decided to scrap her law career at the end of her clerkship. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the Justice.
She realized that maybe she wasn’t as happy as she could be and began a project to take an intentional look at what actually made her happy. The book has some really interesting insights and the author, Gretchen Rubin, has a light, whimsical sense of humor.
The real meat of the book came later when I decided to use her methods to create a new customer/prospect experience. I used a few of her methods for identifying the subsets of my customer experience from beginning to end. I then modified the way she kept herself accountable to her project for my own goals and I’m happy to report that the effects are startlingly positive. All of a sudden everything is getting done – ahead of time. I am shocking myself in the most wonderful way. I’m having a great time trying out different ideas on clients and prospects – they are all positive, helpful and sometimes fun. The reaction has been extremely satisfying.
I’ve decided change doesn’t have to be so hard – we can, as the author Gretchen Rubin says,: choose our attitude. I’m enjoying mine and I know that when I’m finished analyzing the customer experience I want to create – my clients will consistently say: “WOW!”
Dale, I also read “The Happiness Project” and reeeally enjoyed it. I love how you are applying some of the principles to your own client interactions. That’s awesome and something I’m going to see if I can weave into my own client interactions. Great article!