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Why Is Change Hard?

As we grow up, we develop a view of life—a perspective on how the world works. I believe that most people carry that perspective to their graves. During their lives, they may change in superficial ways, but the essence of who they are and what they believe doesn’t change. We frequently hear complaints from teenagers that their parents are fixed in their ways and cannot change. So, why is this the case? Why is it so hard for people to change?

In my many years of working with dreams, I have had more success than the other people I knew who started on the same path. Although I have always had an easy time recalling my dreams, I don’t think that is the reason for greater success. I believe the reason for my success is because of one single factor: I was willing to change. That doesn’t mean that change was easy for me. In my book The Man Who Sees Tomorrow in His Dreams, I describe the difficulty I often experienced in following my dream guidance. Sometimes it was downright painful.

People seem to have great difficult in admitting mistakes. They often double down on bad actions rather than admit they were wrong. We are clearly seeing that with some of our government officials who are unable to admit mistakes, even when there are dire consequences. As an example, consider Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, who takes great pride in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally recently held, even though evidence from the prior year’s rally showed it had been a spreader of COVID-19. And now we have the report, which is no great surprise. She doubled down from last year.

As another example, consider the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who even this week with the worst COVID numbers in the country is still claiming his approach to no mandates is the right one. He has said that masks don’t work, even though there is concrete evidence that masks do work. (See He continues to double down even though according to the latest polls the majority of Floridians do not agree with him. So, who does he represent?

I have picked two glaring examples of two political leaders who are unwilling to change their views despite scientific evidence that shows they are wrong. Obviously, they are not alone in this character deficiency. We all suffer from this to some extent. But in their cases, this deficiency has huge adverse consequences. One of the traits that I want to see in candidates I vote for is the ability to admit they are wrong and change course when necessary. We have never elected an official who is perfect and makes no mistakes, but the ones we elect should be able to recognize their big mistakes and change.

Again, I am back to the question: Why is it so hard for people to change? I think it goes back to the sense of self each of us has created from our earliest years. By the time we become adults, our view of ourselves and the world is firmly fixed. Perhaps people see an admission of being wrong and a willingness to change as a threat to their identity. They see it as a sign of weakness. They begin to doubt themselves in other areas as well. It creates a sense of insecurity.

Maybe the answer is in the question. Some people are just lazy. They realize that they need to change, but it is easier for them to just maintain the status quo. Change requires effort and they decide to do nothing. They may tell themselves that they will do it later, but that later never comes.

I believe that one of the main reasons a college education is valuable is to broaden our view of life by learning about other beliefs and cultures. For that reason, I a am a proponent of a liberal arts education, and I find that some technical programs do not do enough to expose students to the liberal arts. The college years are often the last opportunity to affect young adults view of life.

The resistance to change is one of the reasons that people are not successful in working with their dreams even if they record and interpret them. In the end, it is the daily application that is important. If a person does not apply the guidance from their dreams, little progress will be made. And even after years of study, they will still be dealing with the same issues in their lives. Difficult as it may be, you must apply what you learn from your dreams in your daily life. I believe that is the key to my success with dreams. They helped me change in a positive way and improved all aspects of my life. They often did it in small steps that I could incorporate into my daily life.

In the next post, I will focus on some of the concrete ways that dreams improved my life. I will show you what is possible with a sincere effort. And by sincere effort, I mean you must put your ego aside. If you think you know what is best and are only willing to apply guidance that agrees with your desires and preconceived notions, you will not make much progress. If your attitude is, I am what I am and do not intend to change, then don’t bother with dreams. You will be disappointed.


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