Resistant to Change? Maybe You Just Need a Clearer Path


News is out that Amazon will be making a new Lord of the Rings series, and everyone I know is excited. But back when Peter Jackson’s adaptation wasn’t so old itself, I found myself in an interesting discussion about every girl’s heart-throb, the King. Was Aragorn really the way Vigo Mortensen had portrayed him? Was he really that wishy-washy?

One man in the book group (where this conversation took place) insisted that the movie portrayal was a disservice to the character. The cinematic Aragorn just couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to live as the king or not. But the real Aragorn – of Tolkien’s imagination – was courageous.

It wasn’t that Aragorn lacked the strength to make a decision, insisted my friend. It was just that future King wasn’t sure what was right. Once he did know, he could, and did, act accordingly.

This is a careful distinction, and one which authors Chip and Dan Heath consider in their book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. (Well, they don’t talk about Aragorn specifically…) Continue Reading

Need A Personal Path?

I once went to see a specialist doctor – this person had been recommended to me and was given rave review, so I had high hopes. But after our first meeting, I started to wonder. He hadn’t read the results of my previous tests and bloodwork with care. He didn’t have answers to my questions about underlying causality. Instead, he shared with me his protocol for treating all patients: since I had already done numbers 1 and 2 on the list before seeing him, so now I could try number 3.

It wasn’t a bad protocol- it was actually very good compared to what other doctors had offered. And by all accounts, it was generally effective for many of the patients who went to see him.

But what struck me was that it really wasn’t personal. Continue Reading