The Challenge of Change
My usual routine when I get back home each morning from teaching my 5:30am fitness class, is to enjoy my coffee while sitting at my desk and reading or writing. But, last Thursday morning I couldn’t resist the call from the rocking chair on the back patio to come and sit outside. I took my steaming cup of coffee outdoors and sat to enjoy some thinking time outside in the cool and quiet of the early morning. One cup turned into two and then I decided to enjoy my breakfast and my reading outside as well, so I ended up staying outside for over an hour. At some point, I realized I was sitting in the sun and the cool morning had turned into a warm morning. Very warm. In fact, it was time come inside to get away from what was quickly turning into a sweltering summer day. Walking back inside was a breath of fresh air as I left the heat and humidity outside.
Isn’t it strange sometimes how when our circumstances change slowly around us, we often don’t realize it. The changes are gradual and incremental – and if we aren’t focused on our current state, we may or may not realize all of a sudden that quite a lot of change has occurred. I’ve never tested this theory but I read somewhere that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, his reflexes will cause him to jump right back out instantly but if you put a frog in cold water and gradually heat it up, he will die because he never responds to the gradually increasing temperature. (What I want to know is what was the person who discovered this trying to accomplish by boiling frogs?)
Perhaps you have looked at yourself every day in the mirror and don’t really see a major change in your image from day to day but if you see a picture of yourself from five or ten years ago, you realize that you have changed over time.
Change is part of life but most of us are much more comfortable with the gradual and slow changes that occur over time. As a rule, we don’t really like the discomfort that comes with drastic, sudden changes, even positive ones.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
We all have potential to do more and be more in life. The problem is, most of us just let life happen rather than living intentionally.
The statistics speak for themselves:
- Millions of people are unhappy with their health, relationship or their habits. (i.e. smoking)
- Forbes reports that more than half of Americans are unhappy in their job.
- Harris Poll News Room reports in their Happiness Index that only one third of Americans are “Very Happy.”
You have only to look at Facebook on Monday mornings to read all about the people who aren’t happy going to work. None of us wanted to grow up and work at a job we don’t like, yet, most are content to do nothing about it because it’s just easier to go along with the flow of life.
“If you decide to just go with the flow, you’ll end up where the flow goes, which is usually downhill, often leading to a big pile of sludge and a life of unhappiness. You’ll end up doing what everyone else is doing.” Sean Covey
We avoid the challenges that come with creating intentional changes, even positive ones, because we prefer the routine, the “normal” state, and the familiar. It takes courage to create change. You see, major change isn’t easy for most of us. We like comfortable and familiar circumstances, knowing the environment around us or the people around us and knowing pretty much what will happen tomorrow is what happened today. We like routine, as a rule.
Work Monday – Friday, enjoy some R&R on the weekends, the occasional vacation and then back to normal. We can get very comfortable surrounding ourselves with other people who are achieving only “average” results, because it doesn’t challenge us. If we are surrounding ourselves with average, then there is no pressure to be more than average.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu
There are a few people who embrace change because they realize that to get different results, they must do things differently. Even if it means being a little uncomfortable with change, it’s necessary to move forward toward a goal. They know that the status quo isn’t serving them and where they want to be in six months or a year. When we embrace the concept of creating the changes we want, we can create the life we want. Every one of us are exactly where we should be based on each of the choices and decisions that we have made in the past. If we want to be somewhere different in 90 days, six months or a year, then we must do things differently. We have to have the courage to create the changes if we want to be somewhere different! Meet the challenge of change head on – as Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Ria is a certified coach, published author, and speaker with a powerful story of overcoming adversity and transformation from victim-to-victor. Download a complimentary copy of Ria’s Abundant Life Assessment Tool and take a step forward toward your potential. Ria has a passion for sharing what she has learned about finding the courage to create changes in ourselves and in our circumstances by growing, moving forward and developing our potential to do, have and be more.