The Inconvenience of Change: Don’t Shout It, Live It! [Jun Loayza]

Don't shout it, live it! What’s holding you back?

My good friend Michael is smart, good-looking, musically talented, and personable.   He transferred to UCLA with me, was my pledge bro in Delta Sigma Pi, and even graduated with the same exact major as me.  Though on paper we may be very similar, there is a HUGE difference in drive, motivation, and ability to CHANGE.

You see, I took the corporate route straight out of college just like he did.  I sat in my cubicle with my suit and tie and did what people told me to do.  The difference is that I hated my job; he still hates his job.  I had the ability to adapt immediately without hesitation and change course to pursue something that I am truly passionate about.  He doesn’t have this ability; he has a hesitation that is holding him back from pursuing something that he loves to do.

Is it laziness?  Is it fear?  What is it that is holding Michael back?

Every time Michael and I hang out, I make sure that he hears it from me.  I tell him what he should be doing, how he should be doing it, why he should leave his job now, and how I did it.  “If I did it, you can do it too!” seems to be my motto in our conversations.

Like many of you who will be reading this, I constantly am trying to push my friends to be more productive, follow their dreams, and do what they love.  But does our preaching really work?

Talking and writing about change are not enough to make it happen.

My answer to the inconvenience of change

I think the question has to be more specific.  I believe people make temporary changes all the time: overweight people make a new years resolution to exercise, people in debt promise themselves that they won’t use their credit card anymore, C students swear they’ll start going to class everyday next semester.

And you know what happens?  After a few months, they’ll just go back to being the same exact way they were.

Permanent change is rare because it means going against your DNA.

How to make people change

You can’t.  You can’t force a change, but you can provide the circumstance to let it happen.  There are two reasons why people make a permanent change: the epiphany moment and change by example.

The epiphany moment

The epiphany moment causes an instant change in a person, like a sudden realization of truth and direction.  If something was previously unclear, the epiphany moment puts things in perspective and causes the person to change immediately.

For example, a polluter doesn’t care about leaving trash at the beach. No matter how many statistics he reads about pollution or how many people tell him that he needs to throw away his trash at the beach, he won’t make the change because it’s inconvenient.

The epiphany moment: The polluter goes to the beach again, and sees a seagull struggling to untangle himself from one of those plastic soda wrappers.  Seeing the poor seagull struggle is concrete, and may leave an impression on the polluter that could cause him to change his ways.

Change by example

Blogging about change is good, but unless you’re actively getting involved, you’re not going to be creating the change.  If you blog about animal rights, you need to be volunteering at a shelter and making a concrete difference to an animal’s life.

Lets stay with the polluter example.  You can’t simply tell your friend to stop polluting; you need to change by example.  If your friend doesn’t throw away his trash when you go to the beach together, then you need to pick it up for him and make sure that he sees you do it.  This kind of change is gradual and not guaranteed, but if you are the example of the change you want to make happen, then there is a possibility that it will.

Stop trying to make it happen

Stop trying to make change happen.  You can’t.  The result will be frustration on your part because all of those around you will ignore your please and cries.  Become the change that you want, and if you lead by example, then those around you may become influenced by you.

If my friend Michael doesn’t go through an epiphany moment, then the only way I can help him is by continuing to change by example.  Because I said “No” to a job I disliked, I have inspired others to do the same.

Don’t shout the change.  Live the change.

Jun LoayzaAUTHOR BIO: Where do I start with this guy? Young, successful, and driven, Jun Loayza is a proverbial ‘jack of all trades’ – he does his thing on his own blog and with the newly launched Viralogy.com, an innovative approach to blog aggregation.  Jun and I met a few months ago on the web and since then, I’ve looked up to him as the epitome of what it means to leave the corporate world and make it happen on your own. At not even 25 years old, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg to what Jun with undoubtedly accomplish in the future.


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16 Responses
  • Anita Lobo Reply

    Great post Jun. Practical, insightful and positive. Live the change is an apt slogan too! Cheers, Anita

    • Jun Loayza Reply

      Thanks Anita. Love your last name by the way: Wolf!!!

  • Anita Lobo Reply

    Great post Jun. Practical, insightful and positive. Live the change is an apt slogan too! Cheers, Anita

    • Jun Loayza Reply

      Thanks Anita. Love your last name by the way: Wolf!!!

  • Pritesh Reply

    Jun:

    Nice post. I agree with you and your thoughts about change. I am on the same wavelength as yours when you said to write or blog about change is really good but it’s really hard to actively involved into it.

    I think we have to ask few questions to ourselves. Why do we complain to have more and more posts on Gen Y or how social media is affecting our lives? Why are we so tired from these posts when we are the ones who actually start or contributing to it? Is it because we like to read them again and again? Or we don’t go outside of our comfort zone and read/write something else? If we really don’t like to read a post on Gen Y, why can’t we just stop writing another one and become a change itself?
    The same way, why do we have more posts on change and how it’s going to affect us? Are we just reading /writing another change post or actually being an example of change itself? Are we really changing ourselves by doing what we really read/write or it just becomes another post in blogsphere?

    A really good example comes to my mind is from Mahatma Gandhi.

    A mother once brought her little girl to Gandhi and asked him, “Will you tell my girl not to eat sugar?”
    “Bring her back in three weeks,” said Gandhi. When the mother returned with the girl in three weeks, Gandhi told the girl gently, “Don’t eat sugar. It is not good for you.”
    “Why did you wait three weeks to tell her that?” asked the mother.
    “Because,” said Gandhi, “three weeks ago I was eating sugar!”

    Why can’t we become a change like Gandhi? Do we always do what we believe or say? If to change ourselves is really hard, how could we change others or how could we help others? Main question is- why can’t we just stop making change to happen and be a change that is easier to follow by others? As Jun said, let’s be a live example of what we would like to change and then rest would be a history.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    • Jun Loayza Reply

      Love the Ghandi example. If you don’t walk the walk, you shouldn’t be preaching about it period.

      Writing about changing and reading about change is great. You can’t spur change without first spreading knowledge. But change does not come from knowledge itself.

      People know that there is a giant plastic swamp in the middle of the Pacific. But people still contribute to pollution. In order to spur change, we would need to drag people and make them see the plastic for themselves. That might cause the epiphany moment.

      If you want people to recycle, you need to first start recycling. Change can come from one person’s example.

      – Jun

    • Matt Reply

      I think a big thing is knowing WHY (something that Akhila talks about in her post today). People typically won’t do something unless they know why they’re doing it – and change can be related to business-logic. Before I go out of my way and ‘inconvenience’ myself, I want to know ‘What’s in it for me?’ – It might be something intangible like ‘feeling good about myself’ or it might be something much more objective, IE: If I donate $50 to XXX cause, I get a free t-shirt, etc. Whatever it is, people want to know why they do something before they do it. Education is the first big hurdle – if you can explain to someone why they should care about the Genocide in Darfur, they might just do something to (help) stop it. We can’t make people change, but we CAN push them in the right direction.

  • Pritesh Reply

    Jun:

    Nice post. I agree with you and your thoughts about change. I am on the same wavelength as yours when you said to write or blog about change is really good but it’s really hard to actively involved into it.

    I think we have to ask few questions to ourselves. Why do we complain to have more and more posts on Gen Y or how social media is affecting our lives? Why are we so tired from these posts when we are the ones who actually start or contributing to it? Is it because we like to read them again and again? Or we don’t go outside of our comfort zone and read/write something else? If we really don’t like to read a post on Gen Y, why can’t we just stop writing another one and become a change itself?
    The same way, why do we have more posts on change and how it’s going to affect us? Are we just reading /writing another change post or actually being an example of change itself? Are we really changing ourselves by doing what we really read/write or it just becomes another post in blogsphere?

    A really good example comes to my mind is from Mahatma Gandhi.

    A mother once brought her little girl to Gandhi and asked him, “Will you tell my girl not to eat sugar?”
    “Bring her back in three weeks,” said Gandhi. When the mother returned with the girl in three weeks, Gandhi told the girl gently, “Don’t eat sugar. It is not good for you.”
    “Why did you wait three weeks to tell her that?” asked the mother.
    “Because,” said Gandhi, “three weeks ago I was eating sugar!”

    Why can’t we become a change like Gandhi? Do we always do what we believe or say? If to change ourselves is really hard, how could we change others or how could we help others? Main question is- why can’t we just stop making change to happen and be a change that is easier to follow by others? As Jun said, let’s be a live example of what we would like to change and then rest would be a history.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    • Jun Loayza Reply

      Love the Ghandi example. If you don’t walk the walk, you shouldn’t be preaching about it period.

      Writing about changing and reading about change is great. You can’t spur change without first spreading knowledge. But change does not come from knowledge itself.

      People know that there is a giant plastic swamp in the middle of the Pacific. But people still contribute to pollution. In order to spur change, we would need to drag people and make them see the plastic for themselves. That might cause the epiphany moment.

      If you want people to recycle, you need to first start recycling. Change can come from one person’s example.

      – Jun

    • Matt Reply

      I think a big thing is knowing WHY (something that Akhila talks about in her post today). People typically won’t do something unless they know why they’re doing it – and change can be related to business-logic. Before I go out of my way and ‘inconvenience’ myself, I want to know ‘What’s in it for me?’ – It might be something intangible like ‘feeling good about myself’ or it might be something much more objective, IE: If I donate $50 to XXX cause, I get a free t-shirt, etc. Whatever it is, people want to know why they do something before they do it. Education is the first big hurdle – if you can explain to someone why they should care about the Genocide in Darfur, they might just do something to (help) stop it. We can’t make people change, but we CAN push them in the right direction.

  • Grace Reply

    Inaction versus action. You can scream and yell all you want, “we need to save the environment,” “we need to get together to fix cause X or cause Y.” It goes on. The fact is, talking about it barely gets you anywhere. I think you bring up a great point here and I’m glad you’ve peppered this fantastic blog post with examples. Kudos!

    • Matt Reply

      @Grace – Talking is just talking, I agree with you there, but raising awareness and educating others is at least PART of the battle – it all comes down to personal intent, we can educate people and push for change all day long, but people aren’t going to change unless they want to, they aren’t going to walk away from the computer and make their own lives better unless the intent is there. What we can do is let others know that the ABILITY to make a difference is there, we can present others with reasons WHY they should change, and then hope that they establish the intent and run with it. That’s what this entire series is about, education and inspiration. What people do with that is ultimately up to them.

  • Grace Reply

    Inaction versus action. You can scream and yell all you want, “we need to save the environment,” “we need to get together to fix cause X or cause Y.” It goes on. The fact is, talking about it barely gets you anywhere. I think you bring up a great point here and I’m glad you’ve peppered this fantastic blog post with examples. Kudos!

    • Matt Reply

      @Grace – Talking is just talking, I agree with you there, but raising awareness and educating others is at least PART of the battle – it all comes down to personal intent, we can educate people and push for change all day long, but people aren’t going to change unless they want to, they aren’t going to walk away from the computer and make their own lives better unless the intent is there. What we can do is let others know that the ABILITY to make a difference is there, we can present others with reasons WHY they should change, and then hope that they establish the intent and run with it. That’s what this entire series is about, education and inspiration. What people do with that is ultimately up to them.

  • Sam Reply

    You are so right, you can’t force someone to change, it has to come from within them. Whether they have an “epiphany moment,” or are inspired by someone else, it has to be fully their decision or else it won’t be genuine and lasting. Your point about change by example is also an important one, especially for bloggers. We have to try our best to practice what we preach. Great post Jun!

  • Sam Reply

    You are so right, you can’t force someone to change, it has to come from within them. Whether they have an “epiphany moment,” or are inspired by someone else, it has to be fully their decision or else it won’t be genuine and lasting. Your point about change by example is also an important one, especially for bloggers. We have to try our best to practice what we preach. Great post Jun!

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