The one word and concept that rang out persistently in the political arena of theUnited Statespresidential race was CHANGE. It was used over and over again to lure those who were tired of the same old government to vote for that particular candidate. Interestingly, both candidates were touting the same promise. This article, though, is not about politics but about the concept of change.
For many, if not most, people change is something that is avoided like the plague for a simple reason. Change requires a disturbance of the status quo or that to which we are most accustomed and replaced with a new order of things to which we must adjust. The aversion to change has to do with a (false) sense of a loss of control in our lives which our constant practice tends to allow. Yes, that constancy can even become boring but many people would prefer living a boring lifestyle than entertain changing their routines. It seems that the only time people look to change something in their lives is when they absolutely have to — but not before. It is usually the point of last resort that is considered only when we feel we cannot tolerate what is going on in our lives. A crisis or experiencing fear might motivate change. But “change for change’s sake” is not usually an option that people choose. The sometimes overused saying “if it works, don’t fix it” represents our need to hold onto what we know best instead of entertaining a change.
When I was in my early thirties, I realized that change was going to become difficult for me to experience let alone initiate. My family tended to avoid change while clinging to their routines and I would probably be little different in my approach to life. I was the only one in my family who attended college so that my exposure to change in a changing world was something they had not experienced. My calling for changes in my life or recommending that they should consider changing some things in theirs was viewed as being contrary to everything they held sacred. In effect, we would be at odds when those subjects came up.
My realization that change would be difficult for me combined with my awareness that “change is the only constant” led me to embark on a training program of forcing myself to change instead of waiting for change to be thrust upon me. I realized that my stubbornness would reject change or at least fight it. I also realized that as I grew older change would become harder and harder to accept or adjust to. Albeit, the changes that I would make were small and insignificant but ones that helped put my mind into a better acceptance mode when it did occur. Most of the training was enjoyable. For instance, I would change my morning routine or change the route my power walks would take me on. I began buttoning my shirts from the bottom up instead of the top down or take a different route to work or even ride my bike instead of driving. These were just a few.
Now I can’t say that all of the changes in my life have been easy to accept as a result of my self-imposed training methods but I can say that my overall adjustment has been easier. They taught me to look at my life differently, to “roll with the punches” vs. fighting them in order to develop the patience that was lacking in my life. I learned that instead of waiting for the changes which indeed have occurred in my life to be in a position of knowing that I could exert the controls necessary to deal with them had been proven as a result of my earlier experiences with change and that everything would turn out well once I could just relax and allow what was about to happen … to happen! I guess there’s truth to the adage that in order to grow and mature, one must take reasonable and calculated risks
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.