Positive Change

All of us are averse to change.  Our body, brain and behavior have a built in tendency for things to stay the same.   As George Leonard describes in his book "Mastery", this resistance to change is called Homeostasis.  Homeostasis resists change bringing our body temperature, blood sugar and many other bodily functions back to a normal balance.  Much like a home heating and air system, it senses when some thing rises or falls and then takes the necessary action to bring it back to a balanced norm.  This is great when it comes to managing our bodily functions, but not as good when it comes to introducing a positive change such as a new workout program.  The problem is that homeostasis doesn't have a value system and doesn't know right from wrong.   It just knows to keep things in motion as they were.  Here are a few ways to master this powerful force:

1) Be aware of how homeostasis works and expect the initial resistance to change. Also expect that those around you will not necessarily accept your new life improvement at first because of their natural resistance.  An entire social system is impacted when any individual part changes.  

2) Be willing to negotiate with your bodies willingness to change.  Don't back off totally or just plow through.  It's ok to take 2 steps forward and 1 step back as you work through a balanced approach. 

3) Develop a support system.  We can do it alone but it always helps to have someone else who can share in your joys and perils.  The path to mastery almost always fosters social groupings. 

4) Create a regular practice in order to form a habit.  Forming the initial habit through practice is the hardest part; once there it becomes the new norm.  

5) Dedicate your self to life long learning which is the special province of those who travel the path of mastery.  The more you understand the force of homeostasis, the more likely you are to master it. 

Positive change is something that we all struggle with.  Homeostasis is one of the laws of nature that we should not fight but rather embrace.  The good news is that once you battle through a new positive change and create a habit, you can leverage the power of homeostasis to accept the new norm and defend it with all her might. 


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