Some people say you can’t change behavior. But there is clear evidence, to indicate that people can and do change behavior – sometimes dramatically – and that doing so often produces extraordinary results.
Look at Anwar Sadat, who changed his anti-Israel behavior so dramatically that he brought Egypt and Israel, two long-standing enemies, together to the negotiation table to work for peace. Look at Nelson Mandela, once the head of the ANC’s armed wing, who ended up leading his nation through a dramatic transition with an almost unparalleled spirit of nonviolence, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Look at the many parents who become “transition” people, refusing to pass their own parents’ poor behavior on to their children, transforming a heritage of abuse into a legacy of love. Look at those who successfully go through alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs. Think about your own life. Haven’t there been times when you have consciously chosen to change your own behavior – and have been successful?
For the most part, the difference between those who change behavior and those who don’t is a compelling sense of purpose. When your purpose is to accomplish results in a way that builds trust, suddenly the behaviors that build trust are no longer just nice “to do’s”; they become powerful tools that enable you to enjoy rich, satisfying relationships, greater collaboration and shared accomplishment, and more just plain fun.
From “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M. R. Covey