As I read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, I kept thinking about how the book’s premise about effecting lasting change is in line with what I’ve read about habit training in Charlotte Mason’s writings from the 1800s. The same premise is involved: to make a change that lasts you need to engage the person’s reason and emotions and shape the path to smooth the formation of the new habit. The authors of Switch talk about how to effect change on a number of different levels: personal, individual change and small group change all the way up to organizational and international change. I appreciated how they made the principles they discuss scalable like that because not all of us are engaged in changing international relations, but we’re probably all involved in groups or personal circumstances where change is warranted or mandated but difficult to start or complete.
I also thought the authors did a good job of diagnosing the reasons why change is hard so you can be more effective in overcoming them. For example, they say that what looks like resistance to change is often a lack of clarity about what the change is or involves. By providing specific direction you can often overcome that point of resistance.
Throughout the book, the authors provide ideas and solutions for motivating yourself and others, overcoming challenges in making changes, and explanations for why things work or don’t work in different settings. They use a wide variety of examples to make their points, from parenting to fitness to overhauling a huge company.
After reading Switch I feel like I have tools to look at situations differently and approach change more creatively. I can see how I could apply the principles in the book on nearly every level of my life and responsibilities. The book is well written and engaging as well as being both inspirational and practical, and I would recommend it if you have any interest in how to make changes in your life, your family, or organizations you’re involved with.
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