CAN I REALLY CHANGE?
Every New Year we all proclaim that it’s going to be “the best year ever”. We make plans, talk about being a new person and even declare that we are cutting people off who have been unproductive or even toxic in our lives. The truth is that the will power that is necessary to make real change in your life does not have a clock. That will power doesn’t magically appear on January 1st. Instead, real change can be found inside the word itself and inside you.
CHANGE: C - Courage
There will never be real change until you develop the Courage to change. Courage comes from many sources but at the very least it comes from the realization that what you have been doing is not working. The relationship that you love so much doesn’t love you. The drugs and drinking that you enjoy don’t help you achieve your goals. Whatever the issue may be, until you take a long, honest look at it you won’t develop the Courage to change it.
CHANGE: H - Honest
The look that you take at your life has to be Honest. You can not sugar coat it. Look at:
1. Your friends - are they positive? DO they have things to offer your life and your advancement other than fun?
2. Your home - Is it livable? Should you be there? Is it even safe?
3. Your relationships - that man or woman that is laying up with you at your house, are they helping pay bills? Do they respond when something is wrong? Are they contributing to the wellbeing of the situation or have they become childlike in the way that you take care of them?
4. Your job - is it providing for you financially? Are you adding value to the job that you are taking from financially?
These questions and hundreds more are needed so that you can be Honest about the change that you want to make.
CHANGE: A - Attitude
This is the sleeper part to positive change. I call it a sleeper, because you will never change until you develop the Attitude that is different than the one you have right now. Your current Attitude is why you are not achieving at your highest level in school. Your current Attitude is the reason why you aren’t getting the raise or the opportunities that you want at work. Your current Attitude is the reason that you are okay with staying in a relationship that is destructive, violent, and all around terrible. You can not make change when your Attitude remains the same.
Through my experiences as a Municipal Court Judge, I have witnessed people come into my courtroom over and over again for the same things or same offenses. They stand before me talking about a better life, talking about change and asking for a second chance and as sure as the day comes, they end up right back in my court or another court without breaking any negative, unproductive cycles.
The reason that this happens is because they have not mastered the first three elements of this change model. For example let’s look at a domestic violence offender.
C - This person lacks all Courage because they feel that the only way to gain respect is to obtain power in a relationship through abuse.
H - This person is not Honest about the fact that a person committing domestic violence turns into a monster.
A - The Attitude that they are right or justified in their actions is a barrier to any real meaningful change.
Stay with me so we can complete this change model in the next segment.
For more information about the Cycle Breaker Conference contact the East Cleveland Public Library or visit JudgeDawson.com.
Judge William L. Dawson
East Cleveland Municipal Court
Social Media: @judgedawson