How to Harness Change


Get a Learning & Open Mindset… Fast

We all know people that we think of close-minded. Why are they like that? Are we like that?! You betcha. For example, traveling to a foreign land will highlight this within us. So the question becomes, how do we keep that open mind, really learn from others, and get the most out of every situation.


What typically prevents me from having an open mind and willing to learn from others (besides my ego and being arrogant), is because I’m preoccupied.

Feeling frustrated or stressed?Too much going on in your life? Trust when I say — IT WILL PASS. Think about every time you’ve ever been angry or lonely or anything. The emotion eventually passes, right? Realize this too will pass eventually, and in acknowledging that, it passes faster!

  1. Acknowledge you’re feeling which way.
  2. Tell yourself this emotion will eventually pass.
  3. Let the emotion run its course.

Do something NOT in your routine. Our brain is trained to be as lazy as possible, therefore it sticks to routines and habits as much as possible. Break the routine and your brain is forced to think, and voilà, open mind!

  • Take a different route to your destination.
  • Order an unusual dish or drink.
  • Sit in a different location or better yet, stand up!

3 Small Changes That’ll Really Work


Everybody talks about making small changes, but does anything ever change? Usually not because it lacks solid commitment and follow through. We’ll talk a bit more about below, but for now, let’s talk about 3 easy, small changes we can make. If you try any of them but then fall off the wagon quickly, then our talk below will really speak to you. But for now, try these.

Vulnerability — Geez is this word overused. What does it even mean?! Tell people about your insecurities?! “Hi, you don’t know me but I want you to know I have dandruff.” To me, the real goal here is don’t pretend to be confident, pretend to know what people are talking about, or hide your true reactions. Just let people know you have a question, and chances are they feel the same way.

Negativity Kills — Like the Jedi saying goes, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to tweets you’ll regret later.” Bottom line, a negative mindset shuts down the ability to accept or make change. So, every time you find yourself going negative (complaining, whining, commenting) just STOP.

Wake up just 15–30 minutes earlier. You’ve prob heard this advice before, but what will it take for you to really commit to do this? Until you can answer that, chances are you’ll keep snoozing your life away.

Big Changes Require a Bigger Strategy


Sooooo how are you at making changes in your life? At accepting change when it happens to you? Don’t worry, we all suck at it. Since I’m such a routine guy, when I don’t get to enjoy what I love to do, it leaves me all frustrated. For example, one time I was trying to get to a trailhead to start a hike but couldn’t find it. It got so late in the day that even if I found it, I wouldn’t have made it to the campsite before dark. I just couldn’t let go of the goal, when clearly a change in plans was needed. (Feel sorry for the person I was hiking with!)

Change will keep on happening, so let’s try some tactics on how best to handle it. Adapt and be happier.

Think Things Through — We’ve tried to change before and it didn’t stick — why is that?

  • Question your beliefs — Why do you think you can’t wake up early? Why do you think you don’t have time for a quick workout? Chances are… there probably isn’t a good enough reason. Acknowledge it, then commit to change. (I know, I don’t like the commitment word either.)
  • Delete, Delegate, Defer — In other words, you might be getting consumed by useless or lower-value added stuff in your life. Think about the things you have to do, and if you can not do them (delete), ask someone else to do them (delegate), or do them less frequently (defer).

Accountability & Penalty — Think of a friend or coworker right now. Ask that person if they can be there for you, or better yet, to team up and make the change happen together. For example:

  • Workout/Walking Buddy — You’re more likely to not be lazy if you disappoint someone.
  • Check on You — Tell them your goal, and that if you don’t meet it, that you’ll give them (or a charity of their choice) money.

Create the Change. Yeah, I’m talking to you.


I’m trying to change everyday. Maybe it’s trying to run faster or longer. Maybe it’s to staying aware of an open mindset and not getting stressed out. I try to think of huge game-changers for my startup (I’m talking about this, Venture Out!). I try to persuade friends to do certain things with me. Bottom line, when are we not trying to create some sort of change? Below are my two go-to tips.

Explain Why — Too many times we go straight to implementing change, and when we meet resistance, we wonder why. It takes courage, but you need to explain your reason why and once people understand, they may get on board or, better yet, offer ideas to help. Master Sinuk explains it best in his legendary TedTalk. (You’re living under a rock if you haven’t watched it yet.)

Steve Jobs’ Distortion Field — I read Walter Isaacson book on Jobs, and how he used “distortion field” on his teams. My interpretation of this “distortion field” is the ability to believe in success so much, that everybody else also starts believing it. In other words, you need the people around you to believe for themselves that the change is achievable. For example, people don’t start a diet until they believe it’ll actually lead to results.

References and Recommendations

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