Is Overnight Transformation Possible?
If you’re anything like I was, you think dramatic and miraculous change can happen instantly. Overnight transformation? I’ll have one of those!
In me, this belief led to thinking the key to my change was to be found in some self-help book or a Tony Robbins seminar. I spent years desperately searching for the holy grail, with faith that its discovery would transform me instantly.
I was like the gambling junkie, looking for wealth in lottery tickets instead of putting in the hard graft every day that would inevitably move me toward financial freedom I sought.
If I’d redirected all that time and energy toward actioning tried and tested methods for growth, day by day – in increments unnoticeable taken in isolation – I would have transformed.
But I didn’t want hard work. I didn’t even really want a part in my development. I wanted that to be someone else’s responsibility.
And the problem with self-help books is they are more than happy to tell you just what you want to hear. After all, they have sales to make and images to maintain. You want it fast, and they sell fast. You want overnight transformation and they tell you they have the key. But after years of consuming this junk, you start to
This realisation may seem bleak, but I believe the truth always brings salvation (can I get an amen!?). Once you know you have to work to get the things you want (who woulda thunk it), you can actually start doing the things necessary to have success and happiness.
But I’ve Seen Overnight Transformation…
Now, we have all heard about the overnight transformations. How can I acknowledge that people appear to change suddenly and yet not think that is available to me?
You see, roots come before shoots. Growth happens beneath the surface, before it visible on the surface. To use another analogy, the eruption of a volcano, to the human eye, seems to happen all at once. Yet, science tells us that these things brew for centuries at a time. Bubbling away until they can no longer be kept beneath and they break forth violently.
Change doesn’t have to be visible to be present.
An individual can very easily change without consciously deciding to change. And they may be as unaware of the things happening inside as the layman observer is.
Let’s use an example here. Take an alcoholic. At first, they don’t even see their alcoholism as a problem. As they continue to indulge, their addiction starts to impact their relationships. People point out that they drink too much. They brush it away. But the wheels of change may already be in motion.
They think they can stop whenever – if they wanted to. For now though, only the bottom of a bottle stops their drinking, and not for long.
But they’ve started noticing the way their kids look at them – with disappointment; with embarrassment. Their wife has started batting away all sexual advances. And she doesn’t laugh anymore. There is an emptiness behind her eyes.
This begins to eat away at our man.
Ok, yes, there is a problem here. He thinks. I must change.
He tries. But is scared to realise he can’t.
Now, even as his outward behaviour remains the same, a ferocious battle has begun. He drinks, but he hates himself more and more for it. He is traumatised again and again by its effects on his relationships and his career.
His wife threatens to leave him. His kids stop calling him dad.
One day he may wake up and say enough is enough. He may quit and never turn to booze again. He might say, “I woke up one day and realised that drink was destroying my life, so I stopped.”
People ooh and aah and clap. What an inspiration. An overnight success! Just what we want.
He changed when the pleasure/pain scale shifted in favour of unbearable pain. But this wasn’t based off one day or one event. This was an accumulative thing.
So How Do I Change?
Even if change can happen instantly, we don’t want to rely on it. The likelihood that you’ll change overnight is not dissimilar from the likelihood of winning the lottery. Don’t rely on happenstance, don’t wait for luck, be proactive in changing. Focus on changing slowly over months and years. This way, you’ll set yourself up for success.
That means meditating, gratitude journaling, and using CBT every day. It means working on being a little better every day. Pouring more of yourself into your relationships. Being slightly more selfless than you were the day before. Being just a tad more brave than you were the day before. And before you know it, you will have become a new man, and people will say “oh my, an overnight transformation! Just what we want.”
Agree? Disagree? Think overnight transformation IS possible? Let me know in the comments below.
And until next time,