The Secret of Change
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Dan Millman
Stop fighting. It’s not worth it. Yes, I speak of change. The “force” of life, of evolution, that never stops coming at us. I write a lot, we all read a lot and the internet is chock full of articles on “life lessons.” Because so many of us learn this way. We learn from the stories of others and by making sense of our own experiences.
We make sense of our worlds through the way we manage change. The way we evolve.
So, why do so many of us fight change? Why don’t we concentrate and place our energy in building on the new that comes with change, as the epigraph above suggests? Very simply:
Change is hard.
Not all change is necessary, though we have to be willing to embrace change as it comes, evaluate it and determine if it is for us. In order to be influenced and inspired to continue to keep growing, we have to be open to change. We must be open-minded to new ideas and thoughts. This is not to suggest that sometimes, staying right where we are or holding our ground is wrong.
It’s not. It depends on the circumstances and information at hand.
Awareness, Imagination, Analysis
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw
Life demands that we live with situational awareness, a creative imagination and an analytical mind. Situational awareness helps us prepare, react and decide upon the various stimuli, choices and decisions we need to make. Creative imagination helps us think boldly and beautifully. An analytical mind acts as the processing station for the intake of our information, which enables us to make decisions for our best interest.
For example, we can train our minds emotionally and mentally for how we might need to improvise. That house we thought we’d buy? Oops, we were just outbid by $10K by a competitor. Time to regroup and determine our next course of action. It may involve a different type of housing or a new neighborhood that we could be willing or open to considering. We’ll have to analyze and process all that data as it comes.
We all know people who have lived their whole life in the same town. Or worked for the same employer their whole career. Change is not just about where you live or work. Change is life. Change is a mantra and mindset for how we think, how we manage expectations and decisions, as well as how we prepare for our futures.
Think about it — would you change the way you make decisions if you knew that living with an expectation and mindset of change would positively influence your future outcomes? Chances are, if you operated with this framework, I’m willing to bet you would. Yet too many of us have myopic ways of thinking and only focus on short-term gains.
Here’s the problem with that:
When we don’t have a long-term strategy or plan, we lose the necessary high-level view that helps us analyze and put our affairs in proper perspective. It becomes easy in the short-term to think only about trudging forward. We then fail to question why or to think strategically. Everything becomes tactical.
So when we inevitably make a “wrong turn” or need to change direction, it’s so much harder because we lack the big picture perspective of knowing why things went wrong and how to best remedy the situation. Short-term thinking and strategy is always imperative. But if it is not accompanied by a big-picture view that can recognize change, we’re in trouble.
20 months ago, I made a huge life decision. I left New York, my home area, to move my family to Atlanta. I arrived in ATL with a great job, and high expectations that my personal and professional ambitions would outweigh the heartache of leaving family, friends and my home area behind. Several months after arriving, I realized the job I chose was not the right fit.
I also struggled to adjust to my new environs. Uh oh. Now what?
I didn’t give up. I didn’t stop. I was willing to make a dramatic change in where I lived and worked, so I was darn sure willing to change my mindset and reinvent myself to be who I really wanted to be. I hit the reset button. Left my job and started my own coaching business. I became a much more active writer here on Medium.
I started thinking deeply about what I truly want most in life and why. I planned things out and increased my productivity and efficiency. I will soon publish my first book. I couldn’t have predicted any of these things, yet I motivated myself to embrace all the change and keep pursuing the dreams of my heart.
Guess what? I’m moving… yet again! In a few weeks, I’ll call Charleston, South Carolina home. For another journey into a bold, new future that I believe will be best for me and my family.
Where are you going? Where have you been? What’s changed in your life? I urge you to keep going and not to get caught up in the who, what, when, where and why’s of the past. What’s done is done. All that matters is what is ahead and how well you will crush it and live life to the fullest.
Keep going in every area of your life and don’t let anything ever slow you down. Life is going to change. What you thought your future would be, may not work out to be the life you imagined. You have to keep going. You can’t doubt yourself or wonder why things have changed. As the great President John F. Kennedy once said:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Life is going to change many, many more times and you simply have to be willing to approach it with a positive attitude and open mind. Look back with fondness at the people and things that came before. And keep powering into the future with gusto and verve. Life is full of rewards for those of us who live boldly with confidence and a mindset of expectation.
The secret of change is to keep going.
If you enjoyed reading this piece, please be so kind as to share and recommend to others. Also, please consider following me here on Medium! My upcoming book on Values is due out this Spring. Contact me via my website here and subscribe for awesome updates if you feel inclined! Like my Facebook writer’s page here!
I’m so grateful for all of your support as I continue to dream and live out my journey. I fully support yours. Keep Going!