Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Disasters

Some time ago I started thinking about what causes dramatic change, therapy is all about change, people seek therapy because they want to change. They want a big profound change in their lives.

I started thinking about what causes the most profound and dramatic changes in nature and I realised that disasters have the biggest affect; tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteor strikes that kind of thing. And so I came up with the principal of a positive disaster, if people want dramatic change in their lives then they need to trigger their own disaster, but a positive one, a happy disaster.

I recently read a book called The Tipping Point, it’s about how ideas and products can become epidemics. How they can escalate and cause huge change across entire communities and populations. What the book highlights is that there are a vast number of small components that all fit together to cause something to “tip”, to become an epidemic. This took me back to my idea of the Happy Disaster. When a disaster happens in nature it doesn’t just happen for no reason, there are many many tiny changes that accumulate over time until the disaster is triggered. Earthquakes don’t happen for no reason, tiny shifts in the movement of the earth’s plates build up over time until finally the energy releases. Meteors don’t appear from nowhere and collide with the earth, an event happens millions of miles away, over time it travels closer, planets have to be aligned in a particular way, gravity has to affect the course of a lump of rock to result in a very specific impact. And so the same is true of those happy disasters, to make them happen there must be a number of tiny events, tiny changes that build and accumulate until, BANG, the disaster happens.

So if you are looking for a major change in your life, look at the little things. What are the tiny changes that you can make that will accumulate and grow to cause something big to happen? If you want to lose weight don’t go on a crash diet, make small changes, little adjustments that will have an impact over time. If you want to reduce your anxiety look around the edges for the small changes that you can make. Patience is the key, make a number of small changes and wait for the disaster to happen. Small changes are easy to make and easy to sustain. It is sustaining them that is so important.