Part one of this short series on understanding change, argued that change is something we should all wholeheartedly embrace. Part two, elaborates on why we are often unsuccessful in our efforts to effect change – the familiar safe/change lethal default directive, and suggests that awareness of the directive is the first step to making change.
Simply being aware there is a potentially self-sabotaging familiar safe/change lethal default directive can have a huge impact on our ability to change.
Fortunately we have another innate default drive, that helps us change despite the change lethal default directive. That is our innate drive to explore; we love novelty.
Novelty trumps safe and secure. Otherwise, we would still be hiding out in damp, dark and cold caves, not temperature controlled luxury condos! Someone ‘back-in-the-day’ was tired of living with spiders and little critters, and she decided an upgrade was necessary. A ripple was started, and many centuries later – luxury condo!
So how can we incorporate novelty into the changes we want to make?
When I first started exploring the idea – novelty is good for your brain – I was really disheartened. I read a lot. All kinds of non-fiction stuff – motivation, willpower, learning, perfectionism, mood related matters, and all about brain neuroplasticity. New, intriguing and useful info for me and my musings. But as it turns out, it’s NOT novel! Reading is old hat for the brain since I learned how to read decades ago!
And resistance training bores me immensely! I KNOW it is an activity that is really good for me and my future health and well-being. But that does not make it less boring and it certainly does not make it novel!
I did read that learning a new language or learning to play a musical instrument ‘counts’ as novel for the brain. I tried learning French (I am Canadian after all) but nope, not interested. Perhaps because I took French throughout high school it’s not novel. So, I took up the cello, which I totally and thoroughly love! I am several years into lessons and of late, practicing can be hit or miss. Which makes me wonder if the novel bit is over? Hmm… I wonder how long novel stays novel?
I have yet to find a solution on ‘how to keep novel, novel.’
I wonder, what is the cold cave to luxury condo equivalent nowadays? No doubt someone somewhere has already started a ripple… I wonder where it will lead centuries from now?