People always say change is a good thing? Is it? I mean I suppose it can be. Depends on the change. But I think people say change is a good thing because if nothing changes, then nothing changes. Meaning everything just stays the same all the time. Day in and day out, no changes, just the same old same old. That would be kind of boring right? But change is also hard. Because we get comfortable in our complacency. We are comfortable in our surroundings and our lives and changing something means we would have to be uncomfortable for a time until we got comfortable again.
You might say we have a love/hate relationship with change. Because, while change is good, it leads to personal growth and maybe new possibilities, we also don’t like the growing pains we feel while the change is happening. Think about it, we get stuck at a job we hate because it would be too much effort or too scary to go out and find another job that we might love. We stay in failed relationships or marriages because leaving would mean we would have to find a new place to live, figure out how we are going to pay for things, and also means you have to put yourself out there again after you’ve grieved that relationship. All scary stuff. We don’t like things that we can’t predict. If we can’t predict what we are going to do tomorrow or what the plan is tomorrow, don’t we freak out a bit?
Now, not every change has to be life altering. You can make little changes to yourself as a person that doesn’t involve something big like moving, or finding a new job, or getting out of a relationship. Self reflection can bring about much-needed change in your life that maybe just helps you to focus, or to feel better about yourself or to strive for something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that is just for you.
I was reading in another article today about overcoming challenges. Sometimes we don’t try to overcome them because the tasks seem so daunting. It seems like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because the task seems so hard. But what if you broke that task down into small steps. Small accomplishments that are easy and attainable but all of those tasks were working toward an ultimate goal? The analogy in the story used was going on a long hike and at first you were fine but then as the hike got harder, it seemed like you couldn’t make it to the finish line because you were tired and thirsty and wanted to rest. Well by all means, rest then, but don’t get so comfortable resting that you stop progressing. Because you certainly won’t finish that hike if you stop where you are indefinitely. So the idea was to count 100 steps and along the way while you are counting you notice the beauty around you, you find things to look at and admire that are fun. Maybe you even sing a song. Before you know it you’ve reached 100 steps. Then you start again, okay let’s do another 100 steps. So if you break the goal down into attainable smaller goals eventually you reach the ultimate goal.
I think we decide to stay stagnant and complacent because we are afraid that the goal is too big. That we can’t see the finish line so we give up. So, maybe instead of picturing the finish line, you just picture the next 100 steps. Believe me 100 steps isn’t that many, I have a fit bit and it counts your steps, 100 is pretty small. You don’t realize how many steps you actually take in a day.
Now why am I bringing this up? Because like most of you, I get scared, I get comfortable and complacent and I get afraid to make even small changes that will most definitely make my life better, but I fail to do them because the finish line seems so unattainable. So maybe I will stop thinking of the end result and just start focusing on the next 100 steps. I can do that. I’m reminded of a saying, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey we take to get there, and the journey is beautiful. The journey is life. We go through ups and downs and hills and valleys and storms and all sorts of obstacles, but if we stop the journey, if we just sit down and wait because we are scared, are we living? Can we really call that life? If we don’t take the journey, we never experience all that we could have. If we stop taking the journey, we die.
So change really is a good thing. We should invite the change, we should embrace the change, and yes, as Gandhi put it, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” But remember, you must change from within first and it starts with just the first 100 steps.