Any positive plan for change involves a significant amount of research. Research is a prescription for ignorance and requires an open mind, a spirit of discovery and a willingness to look beyond oneself for answers. Many irresponsible thinkers have a ‘know-it-all’ attitude that prevents them from identifying changes that are necessary in their lives. By acknowledging that they must look outside of themselves for change and growth to occur, they are taking the first necessary step in the change process.
Simple examples of looking outside of oneself may include:
- Asking someone what it takes to succeed in a boring job
- Asking someone to help you learn to read or write better
- Asking for feedback about your character flaws (and not contradicting, minimizing or arguing with the feedback!)
- Asking what it takes to live a clean and sober life
- Reading a book about recovery, a desired job skill or self improvement
- Searching the internet for local support groups, discovering the differences between them, and attending an upcoming meeting
Even if the changing person does not believe that research is required to change their life, they must act as if it is required in order for them to at least get started! Going through the motions of change, even when the mind is not ready, can result in future meaningful changes. To keep our bodies moving in the right direction we need to act as if we are responsible, as if we want to change and as if we desire sobriety so that our minds will eventually catch up to our actions. In Alcoholics Anonymous it is said, ‘bring the body and the mind will follow.’ This axiom is also true for changes required in our thinking.