Based on Pleasure Pain principle, it is a pattern to create massive leverage.

Basically, in this pattern, you take yourself towards a period of 5 years and then 10 years and then 20 years and experience all the pain associated with NOT changing right away.

Once again, you traverse through 5 years and then 10 years and then 20 years and experience the pleasure of what changing would bring to you.

Once you follow through the Dickens pattern with total involvement (which typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes), you are no longer the same person. You have created the leverage to change immediately. (Another popular leverage mechanism is provocation).