Change. Embrace It.

Happy New Year!

By now, the resolutions for a great new year have been made. Losing weight? Spending more time with the family? Or, are you going to do everything it takes and then some to land that promotion at work? Whatever you may have resolved to do, at the core of a New Year’s resolution is the desire to make a change.

Change.

I will lay bare my soul to you: I hate change. No, I loathe change. I like to have my ducks in a row. Predictability makes me comfortable, which in my chosen profession makes me somewhat of an enigma. How can someone that teaches unpredictability and how to respond to it be so averse to change? I will be the first to admit that this is an obfuscation of my personality, and it is something that as I get older I try to understand. Yet, it eludes me. Change envelopes me, yet I avoid it.

I imagine there are many of you that share this trait with me. Change is frightening. Change forces us to confront traits within ourselves that we may not want to acknowledge, or when we do acknowledge them, it is difficult to let those traits go. It is as if we are saying farewell to a friend that has treated us in an unkind manner. We still love them, but they no longer hold a positive place in our lives. They have to go, and as a result, we along with our circumstances have to change.

Change is a constant. In fact, as my instructor related to me once, change is the only constant thing we can count on in the short, precious moments we have called life. Individually, we are born, we live, and we die. Professionally, we begin our chosen path as a novice, we gain proficiency as a journeyman, and we ultimately master our craft. People roam in and out of our lives. Life is in a constant state of flux.

Change is natural. As we get older, our bodies change. I often laughed when my instructor told me that he was saving me years of my life by teaching me old man’s karate. I was in my twenties, invincible, and knew I would live forever. By learning to fight as an old man, he reasoned that when I get older and no longer possessed my physical attributes afforded with youth, I would be much further along my path. I am now 47. My body is indeed changing. It happens to all of us because as living beings, we change. We change intellectually. The views we held during our formative years have matured and evolved. Emotionally, we fall in love. Sadly, we also fall out of love. A person that has suffered a divorce often laments that the most painful and frightening part of divorce is the change it brings. That relationship that brought you such joy previously-a positive change- has now left you feeling uncertain and alone-a negative change. Yet, we are humans. We grow old. We suffer loss and joy. We change.

Change is circumstantial. Let’s face it, things happen throughout our lives that we cannot control. Has anyone ever mistreated you? Have you ever been on the wrong end of a business deal? Have you faced a giant, wishing you were as fortunate as David to have a rock and a sling only to find yourself completely naked? If you work for a large corporation, you have undoubtedly found yourself in situations where decisions were made that confounded you. To survive in that environment, you had to adapt. You had to change your way of thinking. The circumstances you could not control. Your response to those circumstances is a personal change that in all cases you can control. 

Change is necessary. Without change, we do not grow as people. We stagnate. We cannot grow into the person we are destined to be. In business, I have heard that there is no set stasis, in that the business is either growing or by default it is dying. To allow our children to physically grow, we must nourish them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We must enforce a positive change, and thus the cycle of change begins anew.

Everything changes. The seasons change. People change. Fortunes change. And yes, even the climate changes. 

When you made a New Year’s resolution, you recognized a need to change some aspect of your life, big or small. You may want to shed a few unwanted pounds. You may want to feel safer by taking a martial arts class or becoming proficient with a firearm. You may want to repair a relationship with someone. All of this involves change by you.

Are you the same as you were 10 years ago? Will you be the same 10 years from now as you are at present moment? If you are like me, you often look around at people close to you and the surroundings you find comforting and wonder what has happened to the time in which we have been granted. Don’t waste it. Whatever you want to do or need to do in your life to make positive steps forward in your journey, get on with it. 

Change. Embrace it. It isn’t going anywhere. 

Until next time, take care of each other.

-PhDCE

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