A Different Perspective for Change

Maybe there is something more important to focus on, than the small things.

Sezai Burak Kantarcı
4 min readJun 18, 2023
Robert Cialdini (Source: guykawasaki)

You always have plans to reach the life you dream of, something is going on in your mind 24/7. Deep down, you know you can be so much more. 😍

But you can’t take continuous steps. You have problems with perseverance.😥

To attempt to solve this problem, I would like to explain a method Cialdini mentioned in his book.

Tell a story with him.

Fantastic Read (Source: Amazon)

A research project conducted in the USA, hypothesized that homeowners could be encouraged to save energy.

It started by contacting families who heated their homes with natural gas, at the beginning of the winter. The interviewer gave them some energy saving tips and asked them to save fuel in the future.

Everyone agreed to try.

Energy Savings? Yeah I’m All About It Man Let’s Go! (Source: Tenor)

When the researchers examined these families’ billing records a month later, it was clear that there was no real savings. They used as much natural gas as one of the neighbors.

So just goodwill and knowledge wasn’t enough, it seemed.

More was needed to change the habits. 🤔

They tried a slightly different procedure on an another group.

These people were also contacted by an interviewer, given energy saving tips and asked to conserve.

But these families were presented with something different. They were going to be named as good, fuel-saving citizens in newspaper who agreed to save energy.

The effect was instant.

People love outside affirmation. Another big problem to have an awakening. (Source: scottsdalerecovery)

When utilities checked their meters a month later, they had saved an average of 12 cubic meters of natural gas per homeowner.

Even more interestingly, researchers decided to eliminate the reason why these people were initially saving fuel. A letter was sent to each family whose name was promised to be published, stating that their names would no longer on newspaper.

At the end of winter, the research team examined the impact of the letter on these families’ use of natural gas.

Did they go back to their old, wasteful habits when their chance to be featured in the paper was gone?

What do you think?

Not at all. For the remaining months of winter, they actually saved more fuel than they did in the previous period.

Maybe they realized this on Pinterest long ago. (Source: Well, Pinterest)

In terms of energy savings percentage, they had a gas saving of 12.2% in the first month as they expected to be praised in the newspaper. After receiving the letter, not only they did not return to their previous energy use levels; they increased their savings to 15.5% during the remaining winter period.

Homeowners wanted to adopt these new energy habits, take pride in their efforts, to convince themselves of the importance of reducing America’s dependence on foreign fuel, to appreciate the value of bill savings.

They began to take pride in their self discipline and most importantly, they started to see themselves as environmentalists.

This unconditional, new self-image pushed them towards greater energy savings.

There are a lot to take away from this story.

I believe the most valuable lesson we can draw is that character adjustment is easiest way to accomplish change.

You know the best thing to motivate you.

Perhaps, in order to achieve the change (to get to your dream, obviously) you need new definitions about yourself, instead of the steps that you always think about and take no action.

To cling that definition, you’ll need a gameplan.

After that, even if you don’t want to or can’t understand it right now, the behavior you changed will stick in your life, it will become a habit.

You’ll get there before you know it.

Take care.