Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Transformation - How Change Happens - Two

This blog is the second in a two-part series on "how change happens".

The previous blog discussed several characteristics of how change happens from the book Your Own Worst Enemy.

In my coaching work, I have noticed several other elements that block transformation.

  • Attachment to being right or doing things a certain way.

  • Unwillingness to imagine other possibilities.

  • Negative beliefs about one's own abilities or purpose in life.

  • Fear of change.

  • Unexamined beliefs regarding how change can or cannot happen.

  • Unresolved issues in another area of life or work.

  • Ignoring inherent messages (intuition).

Similarly, there are several attributes that promote transformation.
  • Willingness to take on the unknown.

  • Faith and/or a positive explanation of the universe (spirituality).

  • Tolerance for a typical amount of discomfort.

  • Ability to "step outside" of typical behavior and thinking patterns (meta-level awareness).

  • Balance of receptivity and action.

  • Persistence.

Next time you are facing the challenge to change something in your work or personal life, you may find it helpful to consider what factors may be helping or hindering your ease of transformation.

Transformation - How Change Happens - One

This blog is the first in a two part series on "how change happens".

One thoughtful description of "how change happens" was written in a book regarding underachievement. In Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement, Ken Christian writes a chapter that includes "Secrets of Change Revealed."

A few of these ideas that I have found true in my own experience are:

  • Change requires that you persist even when your efforts are having no apparent effect other than making you feel disrupted, inconvenienced, and bothered.

  • Change takes time, and early results are often unpleasant. Many attempts to change end because this is not understood or accepted. Change involves making adjustments to the existing system of thoughts and habits operating in the background of your consciousness, and you will have some temporary hell to pay for tampering with it.

  • Chaos and setbacks are proof that you are changing.

  • If you understand this, you will persist in the face of challenges that might otherwise discourage you.

  • Failure is necessary for learning.

  • You cannot change the past.

  • Change builds upon itself.

  • By making one well-selected change, you make another one more likely. ... Positive change thus creates two effects: along with a tangible improvement of some kind, you learn something about how to change.

  • Change requires that you become fully engaged for a period of contemplation, preparation, and decisive action, followed by continuing maintenance.

You may find some of these reflect your own experiences or that you have a different perception. How do you experience change? What are your lessons and knowledge of what works in your business or personal life to create change?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Psychology and Astrology

Here is an interesting study showing the beginnings of convergence of science and astrology (in my mind).

Season of Birth Variations in the Temperament and Character Inventory of Personality in a General Population by Jayanti Chotai, Thomas Forsgren, Lars-Göran Nilsson, Rolf Adolfsson

Division of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Umeå, and Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Neuropsychobiology 2001;44:19-26


Background: Since several studies show season of birth variations in morbidity, suicidal behavior and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) monoamine metabolites, we investigated season of birth variations in personality in the population.

Methods: We analyzed by multiple logistic regressions the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) for 2,130 individuals taking part in the Betula prospective random cohort study of Umeå, Sweden.

Results: The personality dimensions were correlated significantly with age and gender. We stratified the data according to age, gender and the season of TCI measurement. By the median split in each stratum, a high-value group and a low-value group were obtained for each of the personality dimensions. Those born during February to April were significantly more likely than those born during October to January to have high NS (novelty seeking) among women, particularly the subscale NS2 (impulsiveness vs. reflection), and to have high PS (persistence) among men. Temperament profiles also showed season of birth variations.

Conclusions: We discuss the associations in the literature between personality and the monoamines serotonin and dopamine, and suggest that our results are compatible with a hypothesis of season of birth variation in the monoamine turnover. The personality traits are likely to be influenced by several genetic and environmental factors, one of them being the season of birth.