Can people change? Play with personal innovation…

People often ask me if a person can change.  There are so many common expressions – not the least of which is “people don’t change” – that have convinced many that personal change is not really possible.

But people change everyday, and sometimes tremendously within a single moment.

Susan Scott states:

People change all the time and forget to tell each other.”

It’s all around us and yet we struggle to accept it.

The question seems to be not in whether we can change, but what exactly within us has the capacity to change, and how.

Perhaps many would agree that each of us has certain personality traits and other core characteristics, that define our unique way of being, and these remain relatively fixed.  Yet how we express these core characteristics and how this affects our lives, our organizations, and those around us, can vary significantly.

For example, I may be an emotional personal and this characteristic will be with me always, in one way or another.  But the factors that affect my emotions, the ways I deal with them and behave in response to them, as well as how such reactions are then applied to others and inform my worldview, can change over time.  Drastically.

Therefore, much as we struggle with the notion of “is personal change possible?”, the great wave of personal development literature and services continues to grow, which suggests we have hope in such possibilities.


Innovation is such an important concept in today’s age and has touched everything from technology and science, to art and design, and most recently, it has been entering the social arena.

Some interesting definitions of innovation have included:

  • The process that RENEWS something that already exists (Latin definition).
  • Change that creates a new dimension of performance (Peter Drucker).
  • The embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes or services (Luecke & Katz, 2003).

But how could we apply the concept of innovation to our own personal development – our passionate search for peace, happiness, fulfillment – and tap it for its potential to help us improve the greater good?

The concept of personal innovation has been coined previously but remains relatively undeveloped and undistinguishable from the notion of personal development.

I would like to introduce a new definition and open it to the ingenuity of your own insights.   Let’s explore this idea together and see how it evolves.

For me personal innovation is not just about development or change or improvement.  It is a way of approaching ourselves with the full capacity of our wisdom and curiosity, and the openness to engage with the outside world and freely play with countless emerging insights that can help us make profound change in our lives and ourselves.

Often times when we approach personal objectives and the necessary change needed to achieve them, we may get blinded by immediate urgency and obligations, social pressures, fear and insecurity, and all the risks and obstacles that stand in our way.  This can greatly reduce our ability to see the complete spectrum of viable solutions and the weight of such emotional pressures can hinder our very ability to do or even attempt the work needed to find what we are looking for.

The result: countless time and resources spent on personal development products and services, yielding little to no results, with an ever-growing sense of the ‘impossibility’ to achieve what we want.

But what if we could begin from a place of curiosity…looking at it as any “external” challenge or project, holding back (at least in the moment) from the internal noise that might hamper the brainstorming, investigation and play needed to explore the most effective solutions?

And what if we subscribed to that age-old belief that “all we ever need, we already have“?   And in following the original Latin definition, that we can bring renewal to what already exists within us, but in order to do so, we have to be able to tap into the full potential of ourselves and the world around us.  And that means play.  It means the unexpected.  It means walking amongst different worlds and creatively combining the seemingly unrelated, to innovate ourselves.  It means gently acknowledging our fears and struggles, and then putting them on the sidelines while we jump in…with both feet, and try.

Emilio Duro states:
When a person evolves, s/he evolves everything around them.

So instead of starting with advice and other instructions on how to change, let’s begin with questions.

What do you pretend not to know (but you do deep down)?

How would you operate if you already achieved this change?

What around you, however seemingly unrelated, gives you strength, wisdom, and inspiration?

If this was someone else’s objective, what could they do?

Share with us your thoughts and always feel free to contact me.

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