As a once senior banker, I know all about inertia. Studies from various parts of the world show that the majority of bank customers are unhappy with the levels of service they receive. In addition, many bank customers are aware that, at various times in their “relationship” with their bank, they have been inappropriately treated or overcharged. However, when it comes to current or checking accounts, the rate of customer movement between banks is tiny in comparison to the amount of customer dissatisfaction – they’re simply not dissatisfied enough to bother to make the change and, as a result, they decide to simply put up with their dissatisfaction. The phenomenon is called inertia.
I’ve now been working with clients in the area of so-called personal development for nearly fourteen years. Almost all those with whom I work experience immediate positive benefits – in their personal, business and financial lives. For some, the change is so dramatic that they commit to maintaining a clear and present state of mind on an ongoing basis (as that’s the only state of mind in which you can be at your most effective, efficient and, most importantly, alert to the next opportunity). For many, however, they drift in and out of commitment – they revert to their normal state of mind (a word about that in a moment) and only mentally pull themselves together when things start going wrong – as, in every life, they inevitably do from time to time.
The big problem is, however, that their normal state of mind – your normal state of mind for that matter – resembles something not far short of technical insanity. Consider the decades of research that prove that the normal adult is incapable of paying attention, that the normal adult rarely experiences meeting new people during the course of their adult lives (sure, we all meet lots of new people regularly, but the research indicates that we pigeon-hole them within four minutes and never actually experience the new person we’ve just met) and that the normal adult’s subconscious mind, through automatically paying attention to internal programs and conditioning, controls the normal adult – not the other way around. If that’s not a definition of insanity – that we’re not in control of our own minds – perhaps someone would correct me!
What’s the point of all this? Well, for starters, if your subconscious mind (which is predisposed to being negative and is constantly subconsciously focused on old programming from our formative years) is controlling your life, you’re really not living at all – you’re existing from day-to-day in a mundane repetitive life. Isn’t that how most normal people feel about their lives – assuming they ever stop to think about it)? More importantly, psychology proves that your ability to be happy and successful is directly linked to your ability to pay attention – to the here and now. But, we’ve already said that normal adults are incapable of paying attention – no wonder normal people’s lives are, generally speaking “not too bad”.
Unfortunately, for most people, “not too bad” is rarely bad enough! Which brings me back to the phenomenon of inertia. Normal people are not too uncomfortable to do anything concrete or lasting about developing their innate ability to pay attention to the here and now (I say “innate” because we were all “attention experts” when we were two- or three-years old). Even when they do – and they experience what many of my clients have described as “life-changing” results – they generally suffer from the same malaise as the average banking customer – they’re too lazy to make the change. This is not an idle observation on my part – this is the conclusion of research that I’ve done with a large group of my own clients over the course of six years – they’re the ones that actually admit to suffering from inertia. In actual fact, they’re the ones who say, quite simply “We’re too lazy”!
But how is the change or commitment required too great? If I told you that a ten minute routine each morning would change the rest of your day – in fact, would change the rest of your life – would you think that’s too big a commitment? If I explained to you that all you have to do is spend those ten minutes each day developing your clarity and presence of mind to the extent that it would affect your ability to pay attention throughout the day, would you say “Oh that’s simply too big a commitment?” Everybody I’ve worked with has, at the outset, agreed that that’s no great commitment at all – especially when you compare it to the rewards.
But, normal people are lazy – they generally commit to the same New Year resolutions every year – they join gyms for an average of only six weeks and most only work out twice (not twice a week – twice, full stop!). Normal people constantly torture themselves dieting only to regain most, all or more than the weight they lost. Normal people rarely break the mould – they rarely jump out of their inertia to enable them live abnormally successful and happy lives.
And, yet, I will repeat – ten minutes a day, re-learning how to pay attention, developing a clear, present and focused mind, will enable you create and live the happiness and success that normal people only ever dream of. Would you be interested in being abnormal?
Willie Horton, an Irish ex-accountant and ex-banker who has been working as a success coach to business leaders and sports people since 1996, has been living his dream in the French Alps since 2002. Each week his weekly Free Self-Help Video Seminar is received by thousands of people around the world. His acclaimed Self Help Online Workshop is being followed by people on four continents - they say that it's life-changing. More info: http://www.gurdy.net