This book, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, was recommended to me by a United Methodist Bishop from East Asia. I think the line that hooked me was, “It’s the best book on change that I have ever read.” That was my motivation for reading it, and I will agree with him.
I used to say that people couldn’t be changed; they have to want to change. I now understand why that is wrong. People change without even realizing they are changing! This book takes a very involved process and reduces it to three fundamental concepts:
- The logical, reasoning side of us is like a person, a “Rider”, trying to dictate the direction of an “Elephant”.
- The “Elephant” is the emotional, feeling side in all of us. It is more powerful than the “Rider” and can wear down the “Rider” after time.
- Both the “Rider” and the “Elephant” need clear, simple directions to follow. They need a well-marked “Path”.
I love the instant practicality of the book. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with individual or group change. Thanks, Bishop!
My notes on this book can be downloaded in MS Word format from the blue “FILES box” in the left side-bar of this blog. Look for “Switch” as you scroll through the box.
“How often do you think we should make love?” she asked.
His head swirled. This isn’t what he expected. He applied to be on this game show because he thought it would be fun to tryout. He never expected to actually get on the show! Now here he sits on one side of a curtain, along with two other men. A girl sits on the other side asking the male trio personal questions. At the end of the questioning she selects which guy she wants to date.
Her questions were simple, and his honest answers came easily – at least until now. How could he answer this one? He believed that sex was an act too intimate for any relationship short of marriage. But if he gave that answer, on national TV, he would be a laughing stock. Worse yet, he’d just reinforce the stereotype people carried around for Christians – clueless goodie-goodies. He needed an answer that carried a message, was honest, and be considered a “good” answer by Christians and mockers alike. And he needed it now! “Bachelor number three, what is your answer?” asked the host.
“Well, first I need to make clear that I don’t think making love is the same thing as sex. Sex can strengthen love, for sure. It can also imitate love and, unfortunately, replace love. But I don’t think it makes love. I think love is made by caring more for another person than for yourself. You make love by going to a show when you want to go sit at home and watch TV. It’s waiting without complaint when someone is late. It could even mean listening to someone talk instead of watching the big game. So to answer your question as you asked it, I want to make love every minute we are together – and apart. I never want to have a moment in our friendship when we weren’t making love. And as to the sex question, I think that’s something you and I can discuss in private.”
It was dead silent for a second then the audience erupted in applause. One woman in the crowd yelled, “If she doesn’t pick you, I will!” The two guys beside him just glared. For the first time in anyone’s memory, the host was speechless. And across the curtain, unknown to him, the young girl dapped at a tear in her eye. God had given him the right answer – and not just for this show.