What prompts people to change?
As a middle school counselor, I am often faced with situations / relationships that are in need of change. Perhaps a student wants some action to end, a parent wants improved grades, a teacher desires improved attitude (the noun) but does not want to change the process (the verb). People sometimes seek the outcome but reject the action required.
Today’s blog is filled with rambling thoughts about why we may or may not embrace change, and how some people make it happpen while others just talk about it. Change comes from discontent. No person ever observed a happy life, felt fulfilled and succesful, then sat down to outline how to change that life. Most people who seek and accept change are unsatisfied and desiring a different set of circumstances; even more importantly, most people who embrace change are optimistic souls, folks who are convinced that circumstances can be better or situations can be made different. After all, if you are the negative sort, walking around with your head down, why even look up long enough to see if change is possible? A person’s view of change in that circumstance is likely to be more of a complaint. Those who believe change is possible are usually folks with hope, those who have dreams, who believe in payoff for effort. Aha, there lies the rub….folks who do not dream of success, who have no reason to believe that payoff could come for academic improvement (and there are unfortunately many of those students in our education system), may have no reason to embrace change, they have no reason to hope that harder work, smarter work, or even actually doing some work could possibly be a good idea. There is one reason some people make change happen and others don’t, only one reason that some people want and seek change while others seem to deny that change is possible – hope.
Hope is the cornerstone in the foundation of change. Without hope, there is no reason to change. Without a belief in something better or easier or more desirable, more efficient, more rewarding, healthier, tastier, you name it, change would be a moot point. Change must lead to something better in order to be desired.
So, why is a school counselor rambling about change? Teachers, parents, communities, society – all want changes in education, but until students see the payoff, the benefit, change will be minimal at best. if you want to impact a change in your child’s life, you need the child to buy into the issue, to experience hope regarding the solution and to seek the benefit or payoff for the change. That is what prompts change.