They say it’s smart to fear nothing but fear itself. Similarly, it is prudent to expect change as the only constant and face it proactively. Instead, we try so hard to resist it.
Part of what makes this difficult is the acceleration of change. We are advised to go harder/fasters/stronger because if we don’t hustle we’ll be left behind. The scary thing is that it’s partially true in the professional world now. You’re competing against your peers both in your company and those working for your competitors. Either you’re just smarter and more talented than them – or – you work so hard / long that it’s hard to keep up with you. Of course, none of that will matter if automation and AI take over your job.
But that’s one aspect of life.
The more time and energy you put into your profession, the less you have available for other things. It’s a matter of balancing earning money and doing stuff. You need the former to do much of the latter. But if you ask people what they regret on their deathbeds, “spending more time at the office” isn’t likely something you’ll hear.
Change Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy
What else makes change hard? Part of it is wiring. Your personality or temperament might just make it difficult for you to deal with changes (e.g. Guardians). Order and routine are positive things. Structure helps you accomplish more in the day. Others may find constants boring and actively seek out randomness and the unknown.
If dealing with change is hard for you that’s OK! Change isn’t supposed to be easy. In algebra, we dealt with a finite set of variables (x, y and sometimes z). Life is full of unlimited variables. As much as we want to control things, we know we can’t.
290 will be full of @)#*!% who drive slow in the left lane 8 out of 10 days, or there will be a fender bender in the middle lane, or a stray bullet that will close down the entire express way (that’s actually happened twice in the last year!).
The Ultimate Reminder of Change
And finally, there’s the one change we absolutely can’t change (even though we’re trying): aging to death. Sure we’ve increased the average lifespan – which is great. But we’re all working against a clock that leads to the same conclusion 100% of the time. I am going to die. So are you. You know this.
Let’s pause and take that in: the one thing we all know for sure is that our bodies, life and the world around us will keep changing until all of us die. We know this.
Isn’t that nice – to be 100% sure of something?
I take comfort in that and have made it a habit to regularly check-in with myself with one simple question: “If you were to die today, would be happy with how you’re living?” If the answer is “no,” then I change something. 😊
That’s the beauty of change. Use it to your advantage. Enjoy the present, and make adjustments to reach the future you envision.