• Build a better life through small scale change

    May 29, 2016 | curtrosengren
  • Change

    Are you blocking positive change in your life by thinking too big?

    I don’t mean thinking too big in terms of dreams and aspirations. I’m talking about the scale of change you think is necessary to improve your life.

    Over the last fifteen years of helping people feel more energized and alive, I have had a LOT of conversations with people who feel drained, depleted, and stuck. And one almost universal truth seems to be that people get so caught up in feeling that something big needs to change that they miss the opportunities to build that positive change piece by piece.

    If the only option you see for making your life better is wholesale change, odds are much higher that you will stay stuck where you are. Shifting your perspective to a smaller scale opens up possibilities.

    That’s not about settling for something less. It’s about reality. Because what you experience in life doesn’t actually happen at a broad brush scale. The broad brush experience (e.g., “I hate my job” or “my life sucks”) is an aggregation of a lot of smaller things. And positive change tends to be infinitely more doable (and less daunting) at that smaller scale.

    The Gain-to-Drain Ratio

    One way to approach it is with a simple idea I call maximizing your Gain-to-Drain Ratio. In a nutshell, it’s about bringing more of what energizes you into the picture and reducing or eliminating what drains you.

    Visually, you can think of it like this:

    gain-to-drain ratio

    Not rocket science, right? And that’s exactly why it’s so effective.

    Do a personal energy audit

    You can start putting this idea to use by doing what I think of as a “personal energy audit.” At its simplest, that means taking a look at any area of your life (for example, work) and asking, “What gives me energy here? What drains me? What do I love here? What drives me nuts? What feels good? What feels like a bur under my saddle?”

    Doing a personal energy audit is a way to break it down to what’s happening on a small scale.

    Getting that more granular view allows you to look at the gains and say, “How do I bring more of this into the picture?” and look at the drains and ask, “How can I reduce or eliminate this?”

    Breaking it down to that smaller scale empowers you to start making changes that are doable so you can improve your experience step-by-step, rather than waiting for full scale change that may never actually happen.

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