One degree of change

Years and years ago I had it my head that I wanted to sail a passage…
Not that I could sail, but I was determined not to let that get in my way… Anyhow, long story short I ended up being ‘the crew’ on a 39 foot yacht and sailed from Tonga to Fiji.
I’ll always remember those endless night watches, staring at the amazing starlit sky and the dark ocean, fighting off sleep… Being more exhausted than I ever was… Watching for ships or drifting containers and making sure we stayed on course.
I aways remembered the “just one degree - rule”: “When you set out from a harbour and you change course by just one degree it is barely noticeable at first. But in the long run it makes a HUGE difference of where you end up…” One night I woke up the skipper because I noticed some strange lights… Needless to say it was the shoreline and clearly not were we wanted to be. Even though according to the compass I kept us spot on, Iad not factored in the ocean currents. Sigh.

The one degree rule is true for any change and also for bad habits. If you change by just one degree, it’ll make a huge difference to where you end up. Change habits by one degree. For example: I help a lot of people lose weight or quit smoking. People don’t need to be Non Smokers by the time they leave my office. They can reduce, regard that as a success, then reduce again give oneself credit and reduce again and before they know it, they’ve done it… Same with weight loss. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be sustainable! No perfect diets… Just fix one meal… Or get rid of dead carbs or…. Just one degree at a time. And next week another degree, and the week after another degree…

Learning something new is the same thing. It is so easy to get overwhelmed because there is so much to learn. And then people want to learn it all at the same time. But what ends up happening is that they stall. So they end up not doing anything. Not moving forward at all. A lot of my Supervisees do that, they stall. Because there is so much to learn: all the different language patterns, the questions, picking up on all the different subconscious patterns, just to mention a very few… And I get it, they love it and they just want to be good at it. So my recommendation always is: Pick one category. And then out of that pick one subcategory and out of that: pick one thing and focus on that for a week. Next week pick a new one… Before you know it, you’ll be outstanding at 52 different things that are all part of the whole… Follow this and you will get pretty good, pretty quickly.