The Guideposts editor-in-chief shares why Ariane de Bonvoisin is a change optimist.
“I am a change optimist,” Ariane de Bonvoisin told me during a long conversation we had the other day in my office at GUIDEPOSTS. I believe her, too.
Ariane is a change expert, author of a terrific book full of wisdom, inspiration and motivation called The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier and CCO (Chief Change Optimist) of First30Days.com, a site offering daily support and guidance for people undergoing any sort of change, from weight loss to job loss. “Change is usually hard but it can set you free,” Ariane said. “As Neale Walsch has pointed out, life usually begins at the end of our comfort zones.”
That’s not a place most of us go willingly until life throws something hard at us. Only then do we walk the plank. Yet deep inside we all yearn for change…stronger relationships, more fulfillment from our work, a richer spiritual life, freedom from negative thoughts, a better attitude about life. And no matter what, change happens. We choose it or it chooses us. Life is change. Even at the most basic biological level, we are not the same people when we go to bed at night as we were when we got up that morning—or will be the next day.
But we don’t have to walk that plank blindfolded, hands tied behind our backs. “Many people don’t change until it gets too painful not to,” says Ariane. “But if you base your willingness to change in complete honesty about your situation, change will happen faster and easier than if you waited until there was no other choice.”
Why 30 days? Ariane certainly doesn’t tell you change happens just like that. The first 30 days are simply a period when, once people have made the commitment to change, they can take concrete actions to begin the change journey. Ariane’s book outlines those important steps and inspires you along the way. I think the wisest thing Ariane shared was concerning people who struggle in situations they simply can’t change: “Sometimes acceptance is the greatest change there is.” Ultimately, all real change occurs on the inside.