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“Dealing with your rational and emotional sides of your brain”

The book "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" by Chip and Dan Heath explores the collaboration between the rational and emotional minds to achieve results. The authors illustrate the challenge of wanting change while being comfortable with the present situation. In the book, the authors use the metaphor of the elephant and the rider, where the elephant represents the emotional side and the rider represents the rational side. Overall, the book is exceptional, and I highly recommend reading it to gain a deeper understanding of the concept.




Point 1:The desire for immediate gratification and the need for quick results is driven by the emotional side of our brain, while the rational side seeks long-term benefits such as saving for retirement or earning a scholarship through excellent grades. The book emphasizes that the elephant, representing our emotional side, often triumphs because we live in a society that craves instant gratification. However, true change takes time and requires a shift in our mindset. We must take the first step towards change through action. The authors state that change often fails because the rider, representing our rational side, struggles to keep the elephant on the path to reach the destination. As a coach, I often remind my clients that success is achievable as long as they remain in the game and don't give up on their goals.

Achieving change can be a rewarding experience when we incorporate small wins that contribute to our long-term growth. By appealing to both our emotional and rational sides, we can find success. The emotional side, represented by the elephant, provides us with energy and loyalty, while the rational side, represented by the rider, offers direction and a strategic plan. Thus, by blending both aspects, we can create a pathway towards transformation and instant gratification.


Point 2:One concept that caught my attention in this book is decision paralysis. As a leader, I found it particularly relevant to my work in developing leaders. The book highlights that what may appear to be resistance to change is often just a lack of clarity on the next steps. For example, when trying to adopt healthier eating habits, the overwhelming number of options can lead to analysis paralysis and ultimately, no change. Research shows that the more choices we have, the harder it is to make a decision. I personally experienced this challenge when trying to lose weight. I attempted many approaches without success until I found a coach who provided clear instructions on what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This guidance allowed me to lose 40 pounds. The key takeaway is that clear, simple instructions and accountability are crucial to achieving success. Small changes can have a significant impact and build the confidence to tackle more challenging tasks. Therefore, finding an accountability partner and starting with achievable goals is the first step towards making positive changes.


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