The overpowering, never quenching vestige we call time has a funny way of reminding us that, although we may be content with what we have in life, it is not everlasting. Change has a weird grip on life; some loathe it, for their lives are self-assured images of perfection. Others seek it; reaping reward in entering the challenges of the unknown. And many just sit back and watch it unfold, not knowing if it’s impacted them for a greater good, or even at all. As hard a pill it is to swallow in whatever shape, size or texture, change is something that will indeed occur in our lives whether we like it or not.
The challenges I confront in life ultimately create paths for the changes I meet; the degree of treachery in those routes is simply in the way in which I look at them. Are these changes going to cause angst, for what I have now is ample, right? Or could these changes help me realise what I have now is merely a stepping-stone in the evolution of the person I could be tomorrow? The questions lay idle whilst I procrastinate over why someone else won’t make decisions for me for I fear that having made a decision to change, could be the wrong one. The cycle of rumination takes its toll again. So, I thought I’d enlighten you on a few ideas as to how change can impact you in a positive way. Here are my five reasons as to why we should embrace change when we come to that fork in the road, regardless of whether it is chosen by ourself or allocated by other means.
Number One: Change is challenge
I continue to give my students and colleagues advice about how we can become better people, friends, educators, mentors or just versions of ourselves. It comes down to challenge. Are we prepared to challenge ourselves so we can make a true difference? Can we study that little bit harder? Are we able to smile more often? Can we clarify with others or be deemed more inclusive? When did you self reflect so that you had a new goal? The fact is that when we feel comfortable, we are not being challenged and when we’re not being challenged, we are not changing. Find something to challenge your self, everyday; strive for greatness, even if in the smallest of ways. Strive for progress, not perfection.
Number Two: Change = Opportunity
We’ve all heard of the sayings that come with the territory of just having a go. “If you never ever go, you’ll never ever know”, “In it to win” and “Risk it to win the biscuit”. They’re just sayings but everyone knows them for a reason; they’re all part of our mantra. We all wish for that next opportunity and it will only ever come if we take the plunge in life. Make that change.
Number Three: Change brings “bad” to its knees
Everyone goes through it; it may be a bad relationship, a bad habit, a bad job or even a bad attitude. Well, there’s one thing that can help cure this “bad”! That’s right, you guessed it; change! Meditate, drink less, exercise more, meet new people, look for a new job, smile more; they all help make that small difference which can lead to change. Good overpowers bad, always. Change is good. At this stage you are probably thinking, ‘it’s easier said than done’. That’s right, but saying is comfortable, challenge is uncomfortable and well - see ‘Number One’ (above) for recapitulation.
Number Four: Change means progress
The feeling of stagnation; to be that sloth amongst the gazelles, it’s tiring in itself. Think of that time when that feeling of something missing entrenched you, threatened to overcome you. You couldn’t put a finger on it but something wasn’t quite right. You didn’t realise what it was you were seeking until it started happening for you; progress. No one likes to be stranded and nor should we. It’s hard to think of being perfect but human instinct rallies at the opportunity to stand out. WE need to take a step back and watch those around us. Perfection is in the imperfections of others. This is known to most as progression. What we watch around us is flaws and mistakes on a constant cycle; then we admire the beauty of it. So let’s strive for it, go out and make mistakes and create opportunities for this to occur. Strive for progress in everything we do.
Number Five: It happens anyway, do it on your terms
Habitually we all have this denial that things are happening right in front of our eyes; sending us into this spiral of angst. Sometimes change occurs for no real logical reason, it just does, but the response we undertake is what matters most. How will you take on that feedback? What is your next move when people are moving around you at one hundred miles an hour? The answer is usually the hardest move on your list of possible manoeuvres to take next. I say, make your move because at the end of the day, change happens whether we like it or not. We are forever looking for that state of comfort but when we actually reflect on what makes us happiest, it’s the challenges that we overcome, that next goal to set our eyes upon and even the battles we fought chivalrously and triumphed in. Go out and seek change, on your terms. Don’t wait for change; hit it head on.
I am continually confronting my own endeavours with this question of change. Am I practising what I preach? Am I really challenging myself and changing for the betterment of everyone? It’s actually quite daunting to ask yourself this, but worthwhile all the same. I recently made a huge decision to leave my current place of employment for greater challenge, for more opportunity to grow, to rid me and my ruminating mind of negativity that often burdens us all when stuck in a rut. I made the decision based on progress. Some may say I’m a rolling stone but I need progress, in fact I yearn for it. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make for many reasons but difficult for just one; my students. What if I go and I cannot help them progress? In that simple question, I answered my concern without even realising. Change means progress. If their lives and environments change, they’re starting their own challenge and this will reap progress. Just like that I practised what I preached. Bring on the change; I'm ready!