Man in the Mirror or Whitney’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Yep; if I ever got a chance to feature on Lip Sync Battle, these classics would be my weapon of choice. Back in the day I’d belt out both songs with little to no thought about their meaning.
It might be the whole symbolism of autumn; leaves falling, change in climate ect ect, but I’ve been thinking about the idea of change recently. Therefore, it seemed fitting to begin the What You Looking At blog series with MJ’s Man in Mirror, I mean he was speaking about change after all.
In the hustle and bustle of modern living, change can become a reaction to/or a way of avoiding something. At times I can be a passive victim of change – it’s done to me and I just sit there and endure the process. But when I think about effective change, enduring change, change that not only feels good but makes a difference, that makes things right (MJ fans, sing along); that sort of change should be intentional.
What do I mean by intentional?
Ok, stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. If you had to describe your physical appearance to someone who couldn’t see, how would you do this? Hopefully with as much detail and accuracy as possible. You’d be intentional and truthful in the words you use, so that the person could construct a accurate image of you. So couldn’t this process work the same for initiating change?
If I wanted to make a change; shouldn’t I first describe, in as much detail and with as much accuracy as possible the change that I want to see?
Let’s just hit pause here and rewind a bit because we’ve missed a vital step. Before describing what needs to change, I first must recognise that something needs changing. Whilst this can be difficult, here are a few signs to help:
1. Lack of focus – I may have a tendency to go through the motions of daily routine with little attention to detail or ownership over what you’re doing
2. Little to no energy – This relates to the above. I lack focus because I lack energy. I’m constantly running on empty and don’t know how or where to refuel
3. What I say and what I do doesn’t align – I feel frustrated because there’s a disconnect between how I should be living and how I’m actually living
Hopefully after recognising one, that we need to change, then two, detailing specific changes that need to place, we’re ready to hit play and move onto the next part of the process.
We now need to make our changes a living thing. The detailing of them simply acts as a roadmap, we need to put some intentional actions in place that will help facilitate real change.
Well, firstly choose actions that we can keep up on a consistent basis. Be realistic, because it’s the small yet consistent things that will eventually make a difference.
Secondly choose actions that match the change we want to see and appoint somebody responsible enough to hold us accountable for completing these actions. Being held accountable for actions helps to firm up our commitment whilst also building a greater sense of empowerment; when we feel empowered we also grow in confidence. Accountability, commitment, empowerment and confidence, all these are necessary for real lasting change.
And finally, every so often stand in front of the mirror, take a long look and remind yourself “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways”!