A Brief Parable About Change

Estimated reading time: 1 minute


Here is a quick story about behavioral change from Portia Nelson:

This is a story about quitting a bad habit, which is also a story about becoming an active agent in life.

In Chapter I, she is a passive victim of her circumstances. She has no control over her situation and no capacity to help herself.

In Chapter II, she is beginning to recognize a pattern, and she is clearly unhappy with it.

In Chapter III, she sees the truth – her own choices are the cause of her suffering. She takes responsibility for her situation, and she becomes response-able.

In Chapter IV, she makes a better choice, resisting the temptation to fall into her old routine.

In Chapter V, she makes an even better choice, avoiding the very place where that temptation resides.

This is the pattern by which all such changes occur: Ignorance gives way to frustration, frustration produces awareness, awareness leads to empowerment, and empowerment creates freedom.


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