An Excerpt from Leaning Into Sharp Points). Change is analogous to a large boulder balanced on a precipice. It looks like it could tumble off the cliff if just a little pressure were applied. But despite your great effort, it won’t budge. The weight and inertia of the boulder prevent it from moving. And just as with the boulder, inertia prevents us and our loved ones from changing a behavior that’s been with us for a long time.

There is a story told of a dog lying on the front porch of a house and moaning loudly. Next to him sat an old man in a rocking chair, impassively whittling a piece of wood. A stranger came by and was amazed by the scene. He walked up to the porch to see what the problem was with the dog.

“Howdy,” he said to the old man.

“Howdy,” the old man responded, barely looking up from the piece of wood he was carving.

“I was wondering why your hound is yelping.”

“He’s lying on a nail,” the old man said, taking a puff on his corncob pipe.

“How long’s he been doing that?” the stranger asked.

“Oh, I reckon about eight hours.”

“Eight hours!” the shocked stranger said.