I heard myself explaining that my book, 49 Tips and Insights for Understanding Addiction, is a great resource if people would only out the work into that it demands. Then it occurred to me: Really, people want change, they just don’t want to do the work to make the change happen. I’ve worked several cases in my time where the person “wanted” health, but he or she wanted things to stay the same. For example, I know people who want to kick heroin, yet continue to hang around with the same people that they use heroin with. They want to have resources; they want to not have to hustle, but they won’t get a job. They want to be free of heroin, but they won’t allow themselves to detox.
But it’s not just people using heroin where this idea of wanting results with no forward exists. I know several people who want something, but don’t take steps towards that thing. For example, people always come up to me with an idea for writing a book. They’ll say, “Yeah, I’m going to write a mystery novel.”
To which I’ll say, “Oh that’s good! How many words do you write a day?”
They typically either shrug their shoulders or say, “Well, I haven’t started yet, but I will someday. Here’s the thing: someday almost never comes.
And that’s the basic idea behind any type of behavioral change: if a person doesn’t take even small steps towards some positive result, that result will NEVER happen. What’s even more frustrating is the idea that someone can act on another’s behalf. I know more people who want someone else to get clean than I know of people wanting to get clean. Though in general, most “know” that they can’t “fix” or “save” someone else, when pressed, they do all they can to save their respective loved ones. But guess what: if the loved ones don’t act on their own behalf, there’s really nothing anyone can do for them.
At the end of the day, any behavioral program can yield results, if the program is worked. My book is a GREAT tool, but if a person doesn’t read it or do the exercises in the book, it might as well be used for kindling. Then again, any health program isn’t worth ANYTHING if it isn’t worked. Therefore, if someone wants change, then does nothing towards that change, then nothing will change.