If you feel like a lot of your life comes down to being a hamster on a wheel, then this blog post may just be worth reading.
transform/21 is the formal name of my “mastering change” newsletter, where I share with my readers the best tools, articles, and ideas I have come across for really understanding now change works and how to put it into personal use for developing your own personal and career success.
The “21” has a double meaning; the first is a reference to personal survival in the 21st century, and my own view that in our 21st century world the hamster wheel is spinning a heck of a lot faster, driven by globalization, new technologies, demographics, and a host of other “big factors”. The world we’re living in is most certainly not the world our parents still sometimes describe to us — where good jobs follow as a consequence of completing an education, companies that exist where we can put down roots and grow our careers for decades at a time, where we can make an elegant shift from working to retirement, and where institutions are there for us when we need them. Doesn’t seem to be our 21st century reality… so to survive and thrive means we need to hone our own skills at being more agile, more adaptable, and more comfortable with ongoing change.
The second meaning is a reference to what change is really all about — mastering habits. At its core, “change” is nothing more than replacing old (bad?) habits (sitting on the couch watching TV, for example) that don’t get us what we know we need with new (good?) habits (going for a walk every evening to improve health and lose weight) that take us where we want to get to. Now for anyone who has ever tried to create a new habit (and hasn’t everyone?) we know it just is not that easy. It turns out to be about creating new neural pathways in our brains, which takes, some of the literature suggests, at least 21 days of repetition before it becomes our “preferred” response. (Now, take that “21” with a grain of salt — there is some interesting research into how long it takes to form ingrained behavior patterns and of course the answer really is: “it depends on the habit”. Read about that here…. for my purposes, I’m going to go with “21” for consistent branding!)
So transform/21 speaks to a methodology of 21 cycles to master change — at a personal, professional, business, and societal level — so we can increasingly become masters of our own destiny in the 21st century. Just in case that’s important to you.
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