“Some people will change when they see the light. Others change only when they feel the heat.” (Traditional)
In Everybody’s Business, ed. by M. Moskowitz, M. Katz, and R. Levering, they tell a story about heat causing someone to finally make a change – literal heat.
Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean…
Levis and the “Hot-Rivet Syndrome”
“Picture a scene from the Old West, sometime in the 1870s. Weary cowboys in dusty Levi’s gather around a blazing campfire after a day on the open range. The lonely howl of a coyote counterpoints the notes of a guitar as the moon floats serenely overhead.
“Suddenly a bellow of pain shatters the night, as a cowpoke leaps away from the fire, dancing in agony. Hot-Rivet Syndrome has claimed another victim.
“In those days, Levi’s were made, as they had been from the first days of Levi Strauss, with copper rivets at stress points to provide extra strength.
“On these original Levi’s–model 501–the crotch rivet was the critical one: when cowboys crouched too long beside the campfire, the rivet grew uncomfortably hot.
“For years the brave men of the West suffered this curious occupational hazard. Then, in 1933, Walter Haas, Sr., president of Levi Strauss, went camping in his Levi 501’s.
“He was crouched by a crackling campfire in the High Sierras, drinking in the pure mountain air, when he fell prey to Hot-Rivet Syndrome.
“He consulted with professional wranglers in his party. Had they suffered the same mishap? An impassioned YES was the reply.
“Haas vowed that the offending rivet must go, and at their next meeting the board of directors voted it into extinction.”
Now is the Time to Fix the Future
Too many of us are like Walter Haas Sr. We won’t make a change, until we feel pain.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, many people feel the pain, but still don’t make a change. Instead, all they do is complain.
That reminds me of something powerful that Jim Rohn said in his book “The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle”…
“If we are not satisfied with what we have achieved at this point in our lives, now is the time to fix the future. Unless we change how we are right now, what we have will always be about the same. The same seed sown by the same sower will inevitably produce the same harvest.”
–Jim Rohn, “The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle”
Jim Rohn said that unless we change HOW we are, then WHAT we keep getting will stay the same. In other words, if you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.
But for some crazy reason, we want different results, but we don’t want to change!
In fact, we fight the idea of changing ourselves and what we’re doing, until many times it’s too late.
Cornford’s Law: Nothing is ever done until everyone is convinced that it ought to be done, and has been convinced for so long that it is now time to do something else.
The Magical Elevator
And if all that I told you isn’t crazy enough, when we finally decide to change we want it to be easy and instant!
I came across a funny story that explains exactly what I mean…
A man from the back mountains of Tennessee found himself one day in a large city, for the first time standing outside an elevator. He watched as an old, haggard woman hobbled on, and the doors closed. A few minutes later the doors opened and a young, attractive woman marched smartly off. The father hollered to his youngest son, “Billy, go get mother.”
I am sorry to tell you this, but there’s no magical elevator in life!
Change isn’t easy. It can sometimes hurt worse than just staying in the current, painful rut we’re in.
And change takes time.
When we realize how hard change is, it can make us want to just keep things the same!
But truth is, keeping things the same isn’t any better.
Two Types of Pain in Life
Let me quote Jim Rohn one last time to explain what I mean…
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn
If we don’t choose the pain of discipline now and make a change in some areas of our life or business, then the pain of regret will one day come crashing down on us.
And when that happens, there will be no way to change things.
How to Decide What to Change
We all have a lot of areas in our personal life or our business where we could make a change. The question is: Which area should we choose to change?
I’d suggest two ways to decide:
1. Look around you and see where others are in pain.
Walter Haas. Sr, could’ve saved himself from experiencing “Hot-Rivet Syndrome.” All he had to do was look around and pay attention to the pain others were already experiencing. And then he could have made that change and remain pain-free. You can do the same.
2. Look at your own life and see where you keep experiencing pain.
In other words, what I am trying to say is this, “People love to curse the fruit, while watering the root!”
Don’t be like this! If you are continually experiencing pain in an area of your life and business figure out why.
See if there is something you’re doing that is causing it or something that you’re NOT doing that is causing it.
And then make a change! Remember Sir Isaac Newton’s advice and take action…
“Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.” -Issac Newton, First Law of Motion
Caterpillar picture by SidPix