We’re going to dive into a topic that is a challenge. 

We’re going to dive into a topic that seems to elude us, and one many people don’t want to talk about: 

Change triggers. 

When and why do people actually finally make a change? 

As leaders, change is imminent. 

As leaders, change is constant. 

Change surprises us and challenges us at times. 

And other times, we create change intentionally for specific reasons. 

Let’s be clear: 

You and I both know sometimes we create change for no good reason whatsoever (other than the fact our driven mind forces us to). 

Today, we’re taking the control back and learning how to handle change triggers from a place of intentional leadership. 

Let’s dive in, my friends. 

change triggers

Not Just Business, But Life

Think about your own life. 

When is a time where there’s been a trigger event in your life? 

Boom! Something happens. 

Let me throw out a few examples of what may trigger events in your life: 

  • Quarterlies for taxes
  • New year’s resolutions
  • Having kids
  • Empty nests when children leave the home
  • New business
  • Getting laid off 
  • The economy rises and falls 
  • Presidential elections 

There are all kinds of different things that are trigger events. 

And many of those are entirely out of our control or very minimally in our control. 

In business, a lot of people have trigger events surrounding the stock market. 

Almost none of that is in our control, friends. 

Maybe you’re investing. Maybe you’re day trading. 

Or maybe you’re investing in your simple IRA or 401k, whatever it is. 

Let’s talk about trigger events we can control. 

Different people change for different reasons. 

#1 What Is The Situation?

I want you to think about trigger events for you. 

First off, there is a situation. Write that down. 

What is the situation? 

Something is different, or something is stagnant.

Many times the situation is the status quo. 

As a leader, I’m hitting my budget, or the situation may be that I’m not hitting my budget. 

The situation is that we’ve been growing 10% per year. 

And that seems okay. 

Maybe the situation is that I can’t seem to acquire and hire talented team members. 

The situation may be the economy changed and rolled back on us, and we don’t have the same opportunity that we used to have. 

Situation Right Now

At the time of this writing, it’s 2020. 

You know what that means. 

Pandemic. 

We’re long enough into this pandemic that things have changed, and people better be getting used to it. 

You better be finding ways to win based on the new rules. 

The situation has now become the status quo. 

Nobody wins in the status quo.

The situation may be out of our control, but how we react is in our control. 

#2 The Trigger Event

So we have a situation, and the trigger event follows. 

That’s what I was talking about earlier. , 

I had a trigger event when I was traveling with the great Les Brown. 

If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a fantastic speaker who’s done more to change lives from the stage than just about anybody. 

I know I was blessed to be able to do 14 cities with him. 

And within five months, I got to learn from Les and see that what people need is internal change. 

Les called these moments, “I’ve had it!” moments. 

That’s when you wake up one day and go: 

I’ve had it! 

I’ve had it with the way my life is. 

You know, I’ve had it with the way my relationship is. 

I’ve had it with the way that my weight is. 

I’ve had it with not having enough energy. 

That’s it! I’ve had it with not being able to breathe from smoking. 

Yeah, I’m tapping some of my own emotional triggers from the past. 

I remember when I was a smoker. 

Even getting to the top of the stairs left me winded. 

One day I woke up and said, “I’ve had it. This is crazy. Why am I putting a cancer stick in my mouth daily?” 

When I can’t breathe at the top of the stairs, I’ve had it. 

Seize Your “I’ve Had It!” Moment

We create those internally. 

Sometimes, there are external triggers, but your internal trigger and reaction define your response to the external trigger.

This is what many of us have been dealt with in the year 2020.

All of a sudden, the rules change. 

All of a sudden, you can’t go outside or travel. 

Do you realize how bad I want to go out of the country? Why? 

Because I’m a non-conformist, and someone told me I couldn’t. 

So now, all of a sudden, the lovely Christy and I are like: 

“I gotta get outta here!” 

Why? Because I love to travel, and now I’ve been told I can do something. 

I say this laughing because I just love human psychology. 

It’s why I want to spend some time each and every week with you. 

So we can peel back the onion, have a little laugh at each other, and realize we’re wired very similarly.

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Pain Vs. Pleasure: Which Wins Out?

There are internal trigger events. 

There are external trigger events. 

How do we handle those triggers? 

Tony Robbins talks about pain and pleasure as the two significant motivators. 

Pain and pleasure motivate change triggers. 

Here’s the reality: 

Do people do more to avoid pain in their lives, or do they do more to gain pleasure in our lives? 

Mediocrity is destructive, and we create mediocrity from pleasure. 

Your parents wanted your life to be better than yours. 

So they coddled you. 

They might’ve made it a little easier on you. 

And I don’t blame them. 

You want your kids’ lives to be better than yours. Who doesn’t?

But you or they are making life easy on the kids. 

You used to have to work three jobs and take a bus or ride the train to your crappy job that you hated when you were younger, so maybe you could buy the Sony Walkman that came out. 

Now take a part-time job for a couple of weeks, and mom and dad will buy you a new iPhone, right? 

Lean Into Challenges

I can feel you wondering where I’m going with this. 

What are you talking about, Kenny? We’re talking about change triggers.

There are change triggers that create different things. 

Pain and pleasure create triggers for people to shake things up. 

I’m very blessed that I had a little bit of challenge as a child from my father’s choices in his life. 

I was a little bit challenged living in Small Town, America, knowing that I had more to offer the world than my current situation. 

I’m so grateful for those opportunities. 

Throughout my mom’s entire life, she continued to learn and grow and become the person she is today. 

She didn’t shy away or let the change triggers, those feelings of pain and pleasure, run her. 

I know everybody’s doing the best they can. 

But here’s what else I know. 

If you’re trying to avoid pain in your life, you’re not embracing some growth opportunities. 

I’m not saying we seek pain, but it can be a trigger event when it happens. 

The same is true for your team members. 

The same is true for your vendor partners or strategic partner. 

It’s true for your financial situation. 

All of those different types of things are change triggers. 

Yes, they may cause pain. 

But change is pain. Growth is pain. 

#3 Take Massive Action

Now it’s time for massive action.

We’ve got the situation. 

We’ve got the trigger event, and we look at the pain and pleasure it causes. 

Now (once we get some clarity, my friend) it’s time for massive action. 

It’s time to get in the game at a whole new level. 

It’s time to say: 

“I’m going to play full out. 

I might go in the wrong direction and get challenged a little bit.” 

If you are running as fast as you can to the East, you will never see the sunset.

The fact of the matter is that we can do something every single day. 

Taking The “Easier Path”

We get frustrated by younger generations because they want an easier path. After all, technology creates an easier path for the things we had to work for in our youth. 

Check out tips for taking technology breaks

Why wouldn’t they want an easier path? 

Of course, they want an easier path! Wouldn’t you? 

There’s a little thing we call Maslow’s hierarchy. 

Maslow talked about human needs. 

The first thing we need to address is food and shelter.

We can’t handle desire until these things are fixed.

Change triggers affecting those are powerful motivators. 

Trigger events with the others less so. 

But all these triggers affect your life. 

There’s massive action that’s necessary for you to get what you want in life. 

Be The Change Trigger

I’m fired up. I hope you’re fired up. 

When we look at these different things, there are change triggers. 

Do you create them? Do you wait for them? 

Is your team wanting something from you? 

Sometimes we need to create a change trigger to embrace it. 

Once we go through this path, we recognize our situation. 

We decide. 

Where are we going to create a trigger event? 

Are we going to allow a trigger event to happen to us? 

Are we going to sit back and take this?

Do we run away from the pain of growth and wallow in the mediocrity of status quo pleasure? 

Learn about why mediocrity isn’t good

Are we going to take this and realize that discomfort is a call to action?

Suppose you want to go on vacation, save for it. Change how you handle your money. 

Let a situation inspire your internal trigger event to change your life, business, and relationships. 

Maybe you reflect on your life situation and decide you want to change the situation. 

Now, you’re at a crossroads: 

  • Stand still and wish
  • Be the change trigger in your life! 

Choose Growth

Say to yourself: 

I’m going to learn more and apply more.

I’m going to do more and BE more.

Ultimately that means you might have more in your life. 

I’ll have more wisdom and experience, and I’ll create more value in the world. 

Perhaps the world will step up with a paycheck, and I’ll be able to have the opportunity to go on vacation. 

Is that based on pain? Is it based on pleasure? 

I’m getting fired up just thinking about it. 

#4 Create A New Reality

Many times, it is your choice. 

My friend, now we create a new reality. 

Now you’re in a new situation. 

Now it’s your new reality that has become a status quo. 

It’s one you made. 

I remember when I used to dream of driving a new vehicle. 

I used to dream of having an air conditioning unit. 

And I used to dream about having a home. 

The situation: I didn’t have AC. 

Change trigger: It’s hot in the Arizona summer.

Massive action: I worked and saved and bought one.

New Reality: The “pain” of work and saving gave me a new reality where I had one (it’s incredible, just saying).  

Now I have that, and guess what? Now it’s the status quo. 

I don’t want to go without it ever again.

I drove a luxury sports car. 

Guess what? It’s now the status quo. 

I don’t want to go without it. 

Chasing Fulfillment In Your New Reality

It doesn’t define me, but it’s something that I desire in my life. 

Now it becomes the new status quo. 

What do I want next? 

It’s not about chasing cars, not about chasing homes. 

It’s about chasing fulfillment. 

Chase your next level. 

It’s about stepping into the greatness that you already possess. 

Say yes to your true self. 

You’ve got more in you. 

You’ve got a trigger right now. 

You know, your heart, your core, your wisdom, and your spirit is speaking through you.

Listen to God, listen to your inner self, and then be ready to take the massive action. 

My friend, when we look at change triggers as a leader, you have a massive responsibility. 

You’ve got a responsibility to yourself first and foremost. 

Then you have a responsibility to your team and the people that follow you. 

Maybe you don’t feel that responsibility, but I bet you are a leader. 

If you’re reading this, I bet you are.

Final Thoughts

How do you know if you’re a leader or not? 

You turn around and look over your shoulder.

Are people following you?

Then, you’re a leader! 

I didn’t say a good leader (yet).

Check out the three types of leaders and change.

Be better. 

Don’t let change happen to you. 

Size up the situation, look at the change trigger, take massive action, and embrace your new reality. 

Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic week. 

About Kenny Chapman

About Kenny Chapman

Kenny Chapman’s mission is to help driven leaders build their ideal lives and careers (even if they don’t know what that looks like yet). He is an award-winning authority on helping people discover their true potential and make the simple, though not always easy, necessary changes.

Kenny is a professionally trained speaker, consultant, columnist, author of The Six Dimensions of Change 2.0 and In-Home Sales Acceleration, and host of the Leadership in a Nutshell podcast. He is an entrepreneur at heart, building multiple successful companies, most recently the Blue Collar Success Group. His teachings have inspired individuals worldwide to reshape their lives and organizations, creating sustainable change, happiness, and personal fulfillment.

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