The Key to Change is Surrender

“The key to change is surrender”

I have been pondering this phrase for a few days. When I read it, the words jumped out and imprinted themselves on my mind. I suppose I will be reminding myself of this phrase quite often. I have been known to be one who doesn’t change easily. I am a little hard-headed. Not necessarily a bad quality, it has served me well in tough times. .

I read those words in John C. Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. They are the direct quote of a gentleman named, Dave Anderson.  He was referring to overcoming his addiction to alcohol. First, let me recommend this book to anyone who feels stuck or has too many crazy voices in their head telling them they are some form of failure, not good enough or constantly replaying every time you made a mistake. I call it being stuck because you just haven’t gotten back up yet.

We all need to “change” something: a bad habit, a relationship, an addiction, attitudes etc. But, part of changing is admitting there is a problem. While we don’t need to become “new” people, we can become renewed or improved in certain areas. Remember, we have the seeds of greatness within us, but we may have some weeds choking out growth of those seeds. Pull the weeds. For example, What if your weed is procrastination? How does procrastination affect your ability to be the best you possible? Procrastination can create stress, chaos and turmoil for you and those involved. Procrastination can foster tardiness, it could affect the outcomes for others, and may deplete the confidence of others in your ability to be reliable. You might not identify it as “a big deal” because you like to fly by the seat of your pants. Great for you, but not everybody else. Therefore, relationships suffer. To overcome– you would have to “surrender” to the idea that procrastination is affecting you and those around you…. then the real kicker is you’d have to be open to means of improvement and committed to implementation.

If surrender is the key– it is also only a step in the process. It is a series of things that bring about long-term change. In my field, we have a system of activities that when implemented drive ongoing success. You’ll often hear us joke around and say, “Submit to the system!” It is so hard for us to do– surrender and  submit. Often times, we have to move our own ego out of the way, because it is prohibiting our growth and renewal. We think of surrendering as giving up power- but in reality, if embraced, it can lead to greater power.

How is that possible? Surrendering GROWS you! Remember, we are in the process of weeding out old habits, addictions, and negative behavior that are inhibiting our greatness. By surrendering, you are open to growth. You will challenge yourself to become more and to overcome. By submitting, you are agreeing to a series of ideas or activities that will drive the outcome you desire– and your seeds of greatness will have room to grow.

I do not see this as a “giving up” surrender. I see it as a very powerful, look-at-the-person-in-the-mirror, personal revelation surrender. Or better yet…a release. Releasing the old way to make room for the new way. Releasing the anchor so you can soar. Surrendering to achieve and empower yourself.

Surrender and repeat: I can be better! am valuable! I have great gifts to share! I will always strive to be the best version of myself!



I have a reset movie.

Hope Floats

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I have to go to my reset source to do any number of things: cry, laugh, think, empower, adjust my window.  I do not like to dwell and I do not like to be sad. I prefer half-full vs half-empty.  This past week, I visited my reset movie and I may have added another one to the list.

My reset movie is…Hope Floats.  My first love of the movie was initially my love for Harry Connick, Jr. Taking place in Smithville, Texas (yes, it is a real place!),  Sandra Bullock plays a mother and daughter who is separated from her husband who was having an affair. (If you have not seen the movie, I might add that this revelation happens to her during a live national talk show ~  horrific!)  She is in a state of tug-of-war with herself and her own daughter battling through all of the emotions of change, growing and acceptance.  This is a  story of life, its problems, its love, challenges and outcomes. The messages that resonated with me in the early viewings were that hope does in fact float and how we spend our chances. As I grew older, I embraced the love story and how it doesn’t always work out the way we want it too. And, with my last watch, the movie pulled on my heart-strings like never before. I was pulled from in-between, as a mother and as a daughter. It is a reminder that being ordinary is pretty extraordinary and that happiness is being who you are.  Sometimes, things seem pretty hopeless, but that’s why we have family. The bond of family is strong and as much as we can annoy each other,  we are God’s gift to get through the hard times. Then, hope floats.

“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, it is what is in the middle that counts.” ~ Birdee Pruitt, Hope Floats

My latest addition to my life’s reset movie list is Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. It is a wonderful movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman. Mr. Magorium is 243 years old. His revelation in the movie is that he bought enough pairs of shoes to last his lifetime, he is wearing his last pair.  He owns a magical toy store and is soon departing (lightbulbs die, we depart). Molly Mahoney, his assistant, must deal with his departure and grasp her own greatness. Due to the recent events in our family’s life, this movie was wonderfully timed. It touched on the things that we needed to remember.

  • First, that life is an occasion and we must rise to it.
  • Secondly, we cannot wait.
“We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.”  ~Mr. Magorium
  • Thirdly, “He Dies” is not nearly as important as “He lived!”
“When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet, every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words, “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.” ~Mr. Magorium
What is your reset movie?