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How Can People Change?

March 4, 2021

In my last post, we spoke about whether or not people can change. I shared one of my big realizations in life:

“Never Underestimate the Capacity for People to Grow Beyond your Wildest Expectations” -Dr. Eric

However, this begs the question, “How can people change?”

First things first, what do we mean by “change.” The truth is that we see people changing all the time, sometimes for the worst. We also see people growing, moving forward in life, but they haven’t really “changed.” They may have graduate school, starting a new job. That’s great but that’s not the type of “change” we’re looking to understand.

The real question is “How can people change something that appears to be so fundamentally a part of who they are?”

Let’s say a student goes to school, studies very hard, then gets a job and works very hard. Did they change? Was there a secret to it? Not so much.

Let’s say the same student suddenly developed alcoholism, lost their job, stopped paying their bills and was on the street. Did they change? It seems so! (Unless alcoholism was always there?)

Let’s go the opposite direction. How does someone who is suffering from alcoholism make a strong enough change so that it no longer destroys their life? That’s the type of change we want.

If we expand this type of change beyond alcoholism to all forms of negative patterns and behaviors, then we may have found the holy grail of self-improvement! So what is it? How do people change?

The answer is simple to say but difficult to implement. The answer to “How can People Change?” is “Through Sacrifice.”

It is impossible to change if people don’t sacrifice something. The challenge is whether or not you choose the sacrifices for the changes happening in your life. If society chooses those sacrifices for you, then you’re living under society’s design. If you choose the sacrifices you make for your goals, then you’re living under your design. And if you sacrifice in a religious context for a higher power…you get the picture.

I’ll talk more about sacrifice in the next post.

Dr. Eric

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