Due to some significant circumstances in my life I have recently been focused on the idea and nature of change and what it means to me. As people we are often reluctant to change and will in fact offer up significant resistance to the idea of things being different. To paraphrase the bard “some people seek change, some people resist change and some have change thrust upon them” (which is my situation) and as part of coping with this I have been doing some analysis of what change looks like under different circumstances.
There are many great quotes about change but 2 of my personal favourites are:
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance – Alan Watts
For the past 33 years I have looked into the mirror every morning and asked myself “if today were the last day of my life would I want to do what I am about to do today?” and whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row I know I need to change something – Steve Jobs
If I am honest with myself I have not very good at either of those concepts in recent years. When I was younger change was a refreshing experience that I not only embraced but sought out. I wished for things to be different and new so that I could learn and grow. Over time I guess we lose that sense of joy (or maybe that was just me) and start to want to keep things on an even keel. It becomes more a sense of predictability and therefore a sense of control.
The one thing that has been driven home to me in no uncertain terms as a result of my own changes, you have no control over the situation only how you deal with it. This has been really hard to accept. I want to be in control and dealing with things at my own pace in my own way however when the situation moves without you there is a sense of fear and doubt and a worry that you won’t get back in charge of things.
When I get to the core of my own feelings (yes this is a very self indulgent post as it is all about me) I think that has been the really hard piece – the fear of not being in control. A good friend had some excellent advice on this and I am trying to put it into practice every day.
“most of that fear comes from expecting the worst because you didn’t initiate the change but this is equal parts opportunity and fear. So don’t fear it, chase it, run after it and find the opportunity. You have a chance to do things you would never have done otherwise that are just for you”
The more I think about it the more this makes sense. If I apply the learning’s from my 2 quotes and this great advice then I have the power to use this great change as a chance to do more, be different and explore many new things. That isn’t something to fear, that is something to celebrate.
So I guess what I am trying to say, in a very roundabout way, is that no matter what type of change you are facing run towards it and find the opportunity that will be there even if it isn’t immediately obvious. The new road you are on just might end up being the best place for you.