Do You Want to Change?

Finding out “why” you do something isn’t always the answer. Sometimes the issue is more one of making a commitment — to live your life in a better way. I have talked for years about the need for all of us to find “solutions — not excuses.” The mistake people sometimes make is to compulsively pursue “why” when asking the question will get you nowhere. A better approach goes like this: “I don’t know why I’m doing this self-defeating thing. But I know I’m committed to stopping. I will look for methods and people to help me change the behavior I want to change.” There is one sense in which finding out “why” can be helpful. For example: “What do I get out of this behavior?” If you can understand what you feel you’re getting out of irrational behavior, sometimes it won’t seem so irrational. Then, behavioral change becomes a value judgment. Instead of saying, “I must stop” the motivation becomes: “There are good and bad aspects to continuing this behavior. But on the whole, the bad outweigh the good. That’s why I will commit to stop, and to change.” Before changing, the most important initial question can sometimes be: “Do I want to change?”