Tuesday, February 14, 2006

All About Change

They (whomever "they" are) say that the only constant is change. Yet, isn't it odd how we are forever surprised at its appearance? It's as if we expect the world to remain as it always was. Maybe, given enough time, things will go back to the way they were. Life will simplify. Problems will vanish. I will return to my youth. We are not always sensible beings.

Yet, if I know that I must adjust, and the way to a happier future is to enjoy it (or at least accept it), why don't I? Scott's Rule #1 of Change: Virtually all change is generated by fear, force, or pain.

Not a pleasant thought, is it? But the reality is nobody wakes up one morning with money in the bank, great relationships, fantastic health, a life- affirming attitude; and says, "Hmmm, how can I change this?" The reality of the situation is something has made you unhappy, caused you pain, or you feel forced to make a change. The doctor said if you don't lose the weight, you'll have a heart attack (fear). Your husband has stepped out on you (anger, fear). You lost your job (force, fear, pain). The price of remaining stagnant has suddenly become greater than the fear and pain expected on the journey to modify the causes. To look at it another way, from the seeds of discontent are borne new opportunities.

The kicker is that the unknown is also frightening. So, the dilemma: do I stay as I am - in pain and afraid - or do I change? Of course, that transformation will generate fear - and maybe pain. I vote for neither. I will close my eyes, cover my ears, make loud noises, and hope to avoid the problem.

Unaddressed problems are progressive; they rarely get better, almost always worse.

With yet another new year starting to loom over the horizon, one is prone to look back and think of wasted opportunities. Will I enter 2006 better than I did 2005? A bright new future with unlimited options is waiting for me. But it's not waiting until January. It's at the end of this sentence.

And this one.

And this one.

Wow! Three opportunities - so quickly, and there are more to come!

Measure the cost of stagnation to the benefits of change. It might be difficult and confusing, sure. However, at road's end is the expectation for a better place in one direction and more of the same in the other.

When you analyze it that way, it really is hopeful.

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