Shift Requires Change. . . . Will You Spare Some?


One of the most foundational differences between motorcycles and automobiles is that in order to ride a motorcycle, you must accept the environment as it is. On a motorcycle, you will be directly impacted by the environment. When you’re in an automobile, the vehicle encapsulates you. It shields you, protects you, envelops you, and surrounds you. For example, if it’s raining outside and you’re in a vehicle, you’re completely safe, protected, and shielded from the rain. The same goes if it’s snowing, hailing, windy, sandy, dusty, muggy, hot, or freezing cold. None of the outside elements affect you when you’re inside an automobile. And even though that’s great, and it’s comfortable, rewarding, and all those other wonderful things, the downside is that you don’t get a chance to experience the environment as it really, truly is.

By contrast, when you’re on a motorcycle, if it’s hot outside, then you’re going to be hot. If it’s cold outside, then you need to wear layers because you’re going to be cold. If it’s windy out, you’ll definitely feel that. If it’s raining outside, prepare to get wet. To embrace living life to the fullest, you must accept the environment as it is. But that’s part of the magic, the fun, the adventure, the thrill, and the freedom that come along with riding. You accept the outdoors for all that it offers, and you adjust yourself to make it work for you. This brings up a powerful leadership lesson that I learned a long time ago.


Either you proactively lead change, or you will reactively be changed by change! —Delatorro McNeal, II

Three Things Great Leaders Do

I believe that every high achiever must do three things if they want to lead their life at the next level. This is a valuable vintage leadership lesson:

1. You must see things as they are.

2. You must see things as better than the way they are.

3. You must make them the way you see them.

Most people are whiners, complainers, and procrastinators. But let’s shift into a higher gear and become realists, optimists, and activists, shall we? Doesn’t the latter sound so much better?

Step 1: See Things as They Are (Be a Realist)

You must see things (just like the environment) as they are. One of the cardinal reasons why people never get close to topping themselves and living to the fullest is that they refuse to accept where things currently are. Rather than accepting and seeing their situation or circumstance as it truly is, they often want to put on rose-colored glasses. You’ve got to get real, raw, and honest with yourself about where you are in order to change your situation. I remember a time when I was in some significant bad credit card debt. I had tried several tricks to pay it off. But I had to take a brass-tacks honest look at my finances and make a list of my debts, interest rates, and balances. Then I was able to face my financial situation and make a real plan to change it. Today, I am pleased to report that I lead a life that allows me to be free of bad debt—because I followed these three simple steps. I know you’re probably a positive, optimistic, and a good-hearted person, but if your situation stinks, you’ve got to admit that it stinks or you won’t be able to shift it. Trust me, we aren’t going to leave you here, but let’s get honest:

You must see your weight as it is. Even if you want to change it, first see it as it is.

• You must see your marriage as it is. Not as you want other people to see it, but as it is.

• You must see your net worth as it is, not the front you put on to impress people.

• You must see your money situation as it is, not the way you portray it on social media.

• You must see your business or employment as it is, even if it’s struggling or no longer interesting.

Step 2: See Things as Better Than the Way They Are (Be an Optimist)

You must see things as better than the way they are. Look for the potential in your situation. Look for the silver lining around your clouds of doubt. Look for the open doors that your company’s recent merger will create. In other words, you must envision things being better than the way they currently are. You’ve got to see a better picture of it than it the way it looks right now. This takes powerful foresight. It takes vision.

• See that rental property as better than the way it is.

• See your nutrition and wellness plan as better than the way it is.

• See your relationship as better than the way it is.

• See your kids’ grades as better than the way they are.

• See yourself weighing less than you do right now and in better shape.

• See your personal life as much happier without that narcissistic ex–significant other you just broke up with.

• See your business with more customers and contracts than you have right now.

• See yourself happier and more fulfilled and more aligned than you are right now.

You’ve gotta see it as better than the way it is, which makes you a glass-half-full optimist. Most people struggle with this, because they suffer from “possibility” blindness. They just can’t see a way out, up, over, or through. Therefore, they settle and then develop victim mentality. But not you. Regardless of your situation, it can get better. See it as better than the way it is.

Step 3: Make Things the Way You See Them (Be an Activist)

The last step is to make it the way you see it. Whatever you envisioned, you now have to make your current situation match it. Admittedly, that’s much easier said than done, because it requires dedication, follow-through, consistency, and commitment, all things we will cultivate throughout this book together.

Now, to make your home the way you see it,

Or make your finances the way you see them,

Or make your relationship the way you see it,

Or make your friendship the way you see it,

Or make your business the way you see it,

Or make your career the way you see it.

Or make your body the way you see it,

Or make your money the way you see it,

Or make your wealth portfolio the way you see it . . .

. . . You’re going to have to get off the nail that’s causing you to compromise.

The Old Man and the Howling Dog There was a woman who was out jogging one morning. Off in the distance, she noticed a house. On the front porch of the house was an old man rocking in a rocking chair next to a dog that was making a loud howling sound. As she got closer and closer to the house, the howling sound of the dog got louder, even though the racket did not seem to bother the old man. She jogged up to and past the house to the continual agonizing sounds of the howling dog. After passing the house by about twenty-five yards, she stopped in her tracks and turned around to run back to the house to discover why the dog was making all that noise. Sweating, tired, and exhausted, she stuttered while asking the old man, “Why is your dog making all that noise?” The old man replied, “Well, ma’am, you see, he is lying down on a nail!” With a perplexed look on her face, she asked, “Well, why doesn’t the dumb dog just get up and go lie somewhere else?” The old man immediately stopped rocking in his chair, pulled the toothpick out of his mouth, and looked the woman deeply in the eyes. He replied, “Well, ma’am, it’s obvious that it must not hurt him bad enough!”

Ouch! How many of us are in the same boat? We have something, some issue, some challenge, some struggle, some problem in our lives that is poking us; and it hurts us bad enough to complain (howl) about it, but it doesn’t hurt us bad enough to truly change it. Shifting requires change . . . but will you spare some?

My friend, it’s time that you get up off whatever nail you’ve gotten comfortable lying on. It’s time that you get sick and tired of being sick and tired and begin taking small but very assertive steps toward removing this challenge from your life. Your goals, dreams, and aspirations are on the line.

• If you’re lying down on a credit debt nail—stop howling and start a debt reduction plan, get on a budget, and get a few friends to hold you accountable. Be consistent and live on a budget, and watch the debt disappear.

• If you’re lying down on a mental health nail—stop howling about it and start seeing a licensed therapist, counselor, coach, psychologist, or psychiatrist and allow trained experts to help you combat the challenges of your past so that you can have victory in your future.

• If you’re lying down on a career path nail—stop howling about your lack of passion for your current job, career, and/or business and start taking ownership of your professional happiness. Plug into work that fulfills you and brings you joy while you earn a paycheck. You don’t have to cash in personal fulfillment for professional gain . . . you can have them both.

Keeping in mind the three simple steps to interpersonal leadership, think of something right now that you really and truly want to change in your life. What is one big thing in your life, career, or business that you want to change? Take a moment and write it down here, please. Once you write it down, I will take you through my six steps to changing it! Deal?




The Six Phases of Real Change

When you are truly ready to make a major change in your life, you must make a few positive declarations that lead you down a path of progress toward your goals. In other words, you must not only believe these things but also decree your commitment to changing. As you make these declarations, you must also act on them on a consistent basis.

Step 1: It Must Change!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


There are two words in this phrase that are very important. The word It enables you to identify the thing or things that must change. You cannot change what you do not confront, and you can’t confront what you do not identify. You must define for yourself what the “It” is in your life. The second word that stands out is must. This word gives priority and urgency to your change. Far too many of us allow our goals, dreams, and positive changes to be optional instead of mandatory. As of today, be selfish and place positive changes at the top of your priority list.

Step 2: I Must Change It!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


The word I is the most important word in this phrase. Far too many of us procrastinate on making positive changes in our lives because we are waiting on someone else or some other entity to make the change for us. Once you have identified the thing that must change, you must give the change an owner. And who is the most qualified? You! Yes, you must become the CEO of your change, correction, or adjustment. You are the chief execution (take-action) officer. The change you really seek must come from you. An old adage says, “If it is to be, then it’s up to me!” Don’t wait for anyone or anything else to create the change that you seek. It’s not up to the government, the school system, the corporation, the church, or your family. If it shall come true, then it’s up to you. Remember, the effort is up to you; the outcome is up to God!

Step 3: I Can Change It!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


Once you have assigned yourself as the owner of the change, you must realize that you possess the power to execute the change. You must believe with everything in your being that you can change your own life. You can change your situation, your circumstances, and your scenarios in life. You can lose weight. You can break that addiction. You can be a better parent. You can complete that certification. You can change your friends. You can go back to school. You can quit smoking or drinking. You can start and grow that business. You can rebound from divorce and find your ideal soul mate. Yes, you can!

However, my faith in you is not enough. You must know this to be true as well. Don’t let anyone or anything convince you that it’s your destiny to stay in a bad situation your entire life. Shift out of that stinking thinking. You can do it. You can impact this world. You can impact your community. You can take that step of faith and live your dreams. You can change the government, one policy at a time.

You can. You can. You can!

Step 4: I Will Change It!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


There is a big difference between what you can do and what you will do. So the next thing that you must affirm is that you will make the change. I hear many people talk a great game as to what they can do. However, the problem is that “can” is a rather empty term until you fill it with will! This is where determination comes in. “Can” is awesome, but it gives you too many options. By contrast, “will” gives you the chosen option. For example, when you go to a car dealership, there are many cars you can buy and many deals that the salesperson can do for you. However, once they pull your credit report, they quickly narrow those options down to what they will be able to do you for. I used to be impressed with what people could do. Now the only thing that impresses me is what someone will do. You must affirm within yourself that you will follow through on the changes that you want for yourself, your environment, and your loved ones. Get some fortitude in your bones and declare each and every day, “I will change it!”

Step 5: I Am Changing It!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


This is normally the most uncelebrated time in your life. The process of change is normally very uncomfortable, and we therefore have the tendency to be hard on ourselves because we are constantly reminded that we are not yet where we want to be. However, I want to encourage you to take a quick look back and not only see but also appreciate how far you have come. You must affirm to yourself and others that you are changing it. You may not be there yet, but keep on working. You are getting closer and closer by the day. I believe that each step you take toward your dreams, God honors by pushing your destiny two steps closer to you. Begin to celebrate yourself even in the midst of your process. Reward yourself regularly at this stage, because the process can feel very lonely. For example, hundreds of people show up for the wedding, but few people are there for you during the process of building a successful marriage. Process can be lonely. Thousands show up the day of the big game, but during practice it’s just you, the coach, your team, and the bleachers. Process can be lonely. Thousands may buy your books, but few were there when you were actually penning the words. Process can be lonely. But process brings provision, protection, and power. Those who abort the process miss out on the purpose of the blessings in their lives. Don’t let anyone get you down. Why? Because you are changing it!

Step 6: I Have Changed It!

(Rewrite these words yourself here, please.)


Finally, you have made it. You started out with something that needed to change, and now you have changed it. Celebrate! Don’t you dare achieve a goal without celebrating it. And there are several things you need to celebrate.

• Celebrate who you have become in the process of making the change.

• Celebrate those who coached you, mentored you, and supported you during the change process.

• Celebrate that you did not give up, even in spite of the obstacles you encountered.

• Celebrate that you will go into your next change effort armed with the momentum and wisdom you gained from this one. For example, the obstacle that you encounter on Monday teaches you a skill that you will need to handle the obstacle you face on Friday. Celebrate that the life lessons you’ve learned from past challenges are now your weapons to fight future struggles.

• Make sure that you let people know that you have changed. Many should be able to notice, but for those who suffer from positivity blindness, let them know that you have made certain significant changes in your life. And now that you have taken a tremendous step forward, don’t allow others to pull you back by reminding you of who or what you used to be.

Do you see how if you follow the three steps that great leaders take to change anything and the six phases of change, you can gain immediate control of the motorcycle of your life and begin to take your aspirations to the next level? Because once you’ve completed these six phases of change, you haven’t merely changed: you’ve transformed! Allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your new path.

Five Ways You Can Shift Higher and Tune Up the Motorcycle of Your Life

1. Just accept the environment as it is, prepare for it, and learn to enjoy it no matter what! The same is true for life in general. In order to make any real changes in your life, you must first accept and see your life as it truly is. Get honest with yourself.

2. You are a leader! And great leaders take these three steps: see things as they are; see things as better than what they are; and make things as they see them. A new day can begin in your life right now, simply by following these three simple steps.

3. What nail are you lying down on that’s causing you to compromise and settle for mediocrity? Whatever that nail is, stop whining about it—get up off it and use that energy to change your circumstances.

4. There are six phases to the change process. Which one are you in right now regarding a change you’re trying to make? What do you need to do today to move further in the direction of the next step in the process?

5. Always remember that, psychologically speaking, change feels like loss to most people, because it’s a loss of certainty. So when you’ve made a major change, you will have to inform others around you and maybe even create a new circle of support because misery loves company, but so does greatness!

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