Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Change is always hard, but necessary

I have followed John Maxwell for years and I am always challenged by his writing. Once again, he speaks to me through his own life experience...

"The scariest moment of my life came on December 18th, 1998. I was celebrating at our company Christmas party when I began to feel ill. At the end of the evening, an employee gave me a hug goodbye and noticed a cold sweat on the back of my neck. Suddenly, excruciating pain exploded in my chest, and I crumpled to my knees. As I laid on the floor in agony, waiting for the paramedics, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I honestly thought my life was coming to an end.

At the hospital, doctors informed me I had suffered a heart attack. They attended to me and tried several treatments, none of which seemed to be helping. Around 3:00am, a cardiologist arrived on the scene, and he performed an emergency operation to remove a small blood clot from my heart. His skillful care saved my life.

Pain accompanies change. One way or another it’s going to hurt to make adjustments in our lives...that’s the bad news. The good news is that we can choose the pain we endure...the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

The longer you wait to make changes, the costlier they are to make. In 1998, I nearly paid the ultimate price for ignoring my physical fitness. Had I simply made a few tweaks to my weekly regimen as a young leader, and maintained them over time, I never would have found myself in that situation. Thankfully, I received a second chance. However, even after the scare of the heart attack, I have tremendous difficulty prioritizing my health. Ingrained habits aren’t easily overcome.

If you want to change your life, then you need to change something you do daily. In my case, I have learned that physical fitness doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a succession of healthy decisions, made each day, to see progress.

We tend to stay the same until it hurts so bad that we have to do something differently. In my case, the pain was sudden, severe, and possible to ignore. Yet, the warning signs were there all along, and how I wish that I had heeded them!

In which areas of life do you see warning signs? Wherever you see warning sings, don’t delay in making a change. It’s far easier to prevent damage now than to repair it later."

I'm listening to what John is saying...are you?

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