Skip to Content

Overcoming the Internal Struggle to Change
October 2019

Oct 30, 2019 | Business Owners | Families | Featured | Today's Professionals

Humans are hardwired with two distinct operating systems: a strong one that takes the path of least resistance and a smart one that looks to the future and makes hard choices. In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath name these two operating systems “The Elephant” and “The Rider.” The Elephant and The Rider often work against each other, making it hard to change self-defeating behaviors in all realms of life: relationships, health, finances, family.

The Heath brothers outline three basic principles for improving the collaboration of The Elephant and The Rider that make change a bit easier:

1) Direct the Rider
Keep the Rider focused on the journey by thinking ahead to specific behaviors that will keep you going in the right direction, celebrating and learning from victories, and keeping an eye on the very specific prize.

2) Motivate the Elephant
Keep the Elephant moving on the journey by enlisting emotions, prompting the senses, focusing on one small step at a time, and encouraging a growth mindset by adding “yet” to any self-defeating talk. (i.e. “I can’t save $500/month” becomes “I can’t save $500/month, yet.”)

3) Shape the Path

Make it harder for the Elephant to stray and the Rider to get discouraged by eliminating barriers to progress. Set guideposts to encourage you in the right direction, such as placing your gym bag by the door. Put in an intensive short-term burst of hard work to create a habit that will make changing easier. Habits, once formed, require minimal focus to keep up.

Whether you’re looking to change behaviors in yourself or leading a family or group to desired outcomes, following the Switch framework has the potential to reduce the effort required to change and maintain the results.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Pathway Financial Advisors, LLC-“Pathway”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Pathway. Please remember that if you are a Pathway client, it remains your responsibility to advise Pathway, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Pathway is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Pathway’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Pathway does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Pathway’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.