Apparently, these or some of the expressions which are searched on the Internet quite a lot: “Change your life today”, “Change your life now”, “Change your life forever”. A bunch load of people are not living the lives they want to live, and they’re looking for ways to change that.
And I think that’s great. Unfortunately, for a lot of them, the search process in itself is setup for failure. Because they’re looking for quick fixes; for magic solutions to improve their lives: “Do this twice every day for 7 days and your entire life will turn around.”
In this era when things happen at great speeds, there is a fascination with fast and easy solutions which create big, lasting changes. And this fascination fuels an entire industry trying to provide them. An industry which for the most part, doesn’t even come close to fulfilling the “change your life today, now, forever” promise.
Let’s take a look at two very common examples:
1. Diets. There are hundreds of diets out there, which promise miracle results. Yet what they really provide is a relatively fast weight loss which does not last and is often very unhealthy.
Any person who lost a lot of weight and kept it that way can tell you what the solution that works is: eat less and exercise more, eat right and exercise right. Not just a couple of weeks, but as a constant part of your lifestyle. This way, you will slowly but healthy loose weight and you will keep it off you. It seems to be too hard for most people.
2. Subliminal tapes. There is a multi-million dollar industry of self-help tapes with subliminal messages on them, tapes which promise to change you life, improve your confidence, attract wealth and so on, just by listening to them. Because, we are told, the subliminal messages which you cannot hear consciously go directly to your subconscious mind and create powerful changes.
It certainly sounds great. There is just one problem: it doesn’t work! Every independent study on the effectiveness of subliminal tapes has reached the same conclusion: they are a waste of money. They only sell with the help of powerful and deceptive marketing.
As a general rule, quick fixes do not work to change your life. So why are they so popular? I think is has to do with a couple of things:
- People are educated into believing that there are special, secret tricks which if you discover, you can use to change your life today, now, forever.
- People don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into changing their lives, they lack the patience or the will, so they need to believe that quick fixes work.
- People have a generally shallow understanding of the principles that generate results, especially the connection between effort, persistence and success.
What does work? The effective solutions to change your life generally follow the same one fundamental pattern: they involve continuous personal development. They involve changing the outcome by improving your skills, attitudes, knowledge and behaviors in an active, gradual, constant and strategic way.
Continuous personal development promises to change your life, starting now but not in a moment. And there is one trait it has that quick fixes do not: it really, truly works.
Although the interest in changing one’s life is a wide spread one, the interest in continuous personal development is much narrower. So if you have this interest, and you don’t allow yourself to be tempted by the promise to change your life today, now, forever – my congratulations!