This is how I got started in the field of habit change.
I'm Ryan Prendergast. Four years ago, I became obsessed with an idea. What if you could decide to change a thing, and you could reliably expect yourself to do it? That could unlock everything. Here's my story.
I really wanted to have a deeper connection with my parents-in-law, but for the last few years, I felt like I was struggling. "Do they even like me?" I would wonder. It was painful to have that uncertainty within my own family.
As a start, I knew that if I wanted our relationship to get better, then it depended on me to take action. I also figured that a good place to start would be to have better conversations with them. But, I knew I had 2 problems (and there was a surprise 3rd problem that I was unaware of at the time).
First, I did not know what was going wrong in our conversations. I couldn't just will myself to start having great conversations with a person.
Second, I had, in the past, tried to change many things about myself. And, I had experienced inconsistent results. Some goals would work out. Some would fall off to the wayside. So I realized that even if I figured out a specific conversational habit that I wanted to change, I couldn't depend upon myself to actually change it.
When I went out on that porch that morning, I was lost. I had brought a book to read about conversations, a blank journal, and a pen. I expected the author of that book to guide me about the first problem (having better conversations). What surprised me was that the author also caused me to have an epiphany about my second problem...