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Talks@Galp – “Making Change Happen”

By Fran Cherny
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Fran Cherny delivered a keynote to the business leaders from Galp Energia, the biggest company in Portugal, about how to make change happen. Below you’ll find the first series of short clips from his talk.

In this keynote Fran discussed the difference between understanding versus “being able to do” something, the challenges of building and then sticking to new habits, and the mindset shift required to be able to achieve whatever your goal is.

Are you really learning?

How fast can you learn a new habit?

 What do you practice?

Are you willing to make the effort?

Transcription

Are you really learning?

Fran Cherny:

If you need to send your niece, nephew, kids to swim, who would you trust more to take care of them? Someone who read the book on how to swim, and how to rescue people, or someone who has been for years practicing that? This is the difference. We all believe, I’m challenging you all that understanding, reading a book means knowledge instead of being able to, so for me, one of the most dangerous things is when people tell me, “Yes, I don’t need to, I already read the book.”

When people tell me, “I already read the book.” I don’t trust them more. Again, it’s like riding a bike. Who would you trust that will ride a bike? Someone who read all the books about riding a bike, or the one who goes there, falls, comes back, try again, until they can make it? Make sense what I’m saying? Yes?

Anyway, this is what we do, this. This is how we learn. Even in corporations today we go to trainings, and we all believe, so I gave this talk, similar to this one some, I would say a couple of months ago in Geneva for a company, and they were in the middle of a training, and I came at the last day to help them change some of the things that they learn. I said, “Well, how many things you learn during these days?” And they said, “Like five, six things.”

Actually, I said, “You learn nothing.” You know about some concepts, but in our mind that’s learning, because our educational system told us that when you read a book you know. Make make sense what I’m saying? The first challenge I’m giving you is whenever you attend a training, whenever you read a book, you didn’t learn anything yet.

 

How fast you can learn a new habit?

Fran Cherny:

So the first training that I’m giving you is whenever you attend a training, whenever you read a book, you didn’t learn anything yet and I’m going to show you why that happens.

So this is the habit change, the belief versus reality. This is what people think, and when I say people I mean you and me, when we go to a training, let’s say. Yes? Day one, you see it, capacity, one is no capacity, 10 is all the capabilities. This is what we will live. Day one after the training, I’m at 10 because I understood. And now, actually that’s what you think now about this talk. Now I’m getting it.

This is the question I have for you. How many days science says, yes sciences says, with the data today, it takes for us to really capture all the value, all the practice and get into a new habit? Actually, the question is when the learning really happens, when is the moment where we take this from intellectual understanding to really creating a new habit? 66. Yes. I’m not saying that’s 66 for everyone, but the data says that after 66 days of repeating something, it becomes part of who you are. Before that, it’s always against your instinct. So the question is, how do you get out from that?

 

What do you practice?

Fran Cherny:

We believe that the only thing we practice is the things that we want to practice. But actually, you are practicing every moment. Now, whatever you are thinking, you are practicing. If you’re saying, “Oh, I don’t like this. I don’t like that,” that’s what you’re practicing. And if you’re thinking, “What I can get from this?” That’s what you’re practicing. But we all believe that we practice when we’re conscious about things, not when we’re unconscious about things. Now we only practice the nice things in life, not the bad things that we create. We get very good at the things we practice. So the only way to start practicing something different is to be conscious of what’s the new thing that I want to practice and make that a conscious decision. So there’s no moment in which you are not practicing something. And whatever you practice grows stronger.

 

Are you willing to make the effort?

Fran Cherny:

Once your brain, once your brain is wired and we have been wiring our brains for a long time for certain things like getting upset with things. Or coming everyday to work and do exactly the same things over and over again. Waking up at certain time and many other things. That’s how the brain functions.

You can rewire the brain. This is a very important moment because if you really want to change something, you will need to rewire your brain. The question is, are you willing to make the effort that it takes to do the rewiring? That will only happen if you really have something that you really care about. If not, just say I’m not interested.

This is one of the learnings I want you to take from this. It’s better to say, I heard that, I understand that and I’m not going to do it than to pretend that you are making the change without making the change. Because it’s much more effort because you are pretending to everyone that you are doing it and you are not, so then you are always catching up.

 

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