I Want to Start a Movement: Be Very Clear

Change is not comfortable. This became clearest to me when I decided to get off the couch and run a 5k, which is about three miles. I could barely go one block without a red face and heavy breathing.

You need to move in new ways, think new thoughts, and talk differently.  The power of thinking is enormous. For instance, when I learned how to play golf, I would see a water hazard and think, “My ball is going in the water,” and it did.

In the last few weeks, I have asked you to consider your WHY.   Now, I want to call on you to be very clear about the road ahead.

You need to be determined.  You need to expect discomfort and mistakes. You need to understand that in order to go forward, you have to leave something behind. I ask that you pick something you see that needs to change. Then, run through an exercise to see what that means for you.

Here are two examples:


My change goal:  Propose a new process that will reduce mistakes and make my work life easier.

What stress may this cause?  My boss may not be open to a new idea and might say no.

What I am leaving behind?  I know exactly how to fix the mistakes I see now. I don’t know what kinds of things could go wrong in a new process.

What mistakes might I make? I might not get the new idea completely right the first time, so there may be some new kinds of issues.

What I am hoping to gain?   If I can get these mistakes reduced, I could go home feeling better about my work, and go on to learn something new (support our goal to be economically accountable) .


My change goal: Create an alternative to a traditional day program, trading a largely space-based service for one which has full community participation.

What stress this may cause?  Parents and staff may not think it is doable and will likely complain; we would generate worries about safety, social connections, and how to meet individual needs with a “group” funding model.

What I am leaving behind? The safety net of a facility with enough space to fit everyone , a group meeting place guaranteed to give me easy access to everyone at least once a day, a belief that inclusion is a staff responsibility.

What mistakes I might make? I might ask the wrong questions, offend someone, lose money on the transition, and I may limit thinking about who can provide support or who would help me

What I am hoping to gain?  A way to practice inclusion at the highest level, a meaningful life for each person we support and the people who support them.

So you try it.

My change goal:

What stress this may cause?

What I am leaving behind?

What mistakes I might make?

What I am hoping to gain?

You may ask many questions, but the power of the language you select will make it clearer, and then you can find the courage to let go and pursue change that matters.