Change can be scary. Change can be uncomfortable. Change makes us do things differently than we have always done them. Differently, perhaps, than we would prefer to do them. At one point or another in our lives we have all felt this way about change. It’s human nature. The desire to avoid change makes things feel safe. And, for many of us, avoiding change also provides a bit of a respite from all the other chaos in our daily lives. As humans we naturally crave routines, “the norm”, and the status quo. Our prevailing attitude is “don’t make ripples in this little pond I call my life”. Like it or not though, change is necessary. (Okay, if it makes you feel better we can even say it is a necessary evil.) Call it what you will, change is necessary. As George Bernard Shaw so eloquently put it, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.
Just think for a moment of all the things you enjoy in your daily life that would not exist had it not been for change pushing us toward progress and the opening of people’s minds to a different way of doing things. The smart phone, tablet, or computer on which you are reading this blog…your favorite playlist on Pandora or Spotify…that fact you can buy pretty much anything you want without ever leaving the comfort of your living room…all perfect examples of how change has pushed us forward toward what society, for the most part, calls progress.
I like the John F. Kennedy quote in which he said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Change does indeed help us progress and move forward. As humans we should learn to be more open to change and be less attached to how things are now or how they used to be. We cause ourselves so much stress, anxiety, and unhappiness when things change. We rob ourselves of joy, freedom, and opportunity…if only we could learn to be more mindful of our attitude and state of being when it comes to change.
Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” And quite frankly those are just about our only choices, if we are looking at this from a productive standpoint. (In other words, sitting around and complaining about change is technically an option, but not a very effective one, nor one for which most of the people around you will have a high tolerance level.) Change is going to happen…everyday…all around you. Choose an attitude of mind that puts a positive spin on that change, for your sake and the sake of those with whom you interact on a daily basis. Negative attitudes, thoughts, or comments don’t change things. Look for the new opportunities in change. Look for the new lessons to be learned, the new experiences to be had. Look at how the change can make your life even just the smallest bit better today than it was yesterday. Work toward being grateful for all that change brings you. So let go, breathe deeply, and embrace change when it comes your way.