I’ve been thinking a lot about change recently and the difference between those changes that are thrust upon us and those we instigate ourselves.
Those thrust upon us may include infidelity, divorce, redundancy, illness and children leaving home. Even within these some are more positive than others.
Change we instigate ourselves may include change of job or career, early retirement, a new relationship and also divorce.
This distinction seems an important one. I think it’s about how much control we feel in a situation.
Whether or not we initiated the change can affect our view of it, and also our ability to cope or thrive. This is coupled with our general perceptions of change. There are many different views of change and among them, you might recognise ones you hold:
A common theme seems to be one of change being painful or difficult.
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”Mary Shelley
Discovering or being told of an affair would be a good example of this.
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change”Tony Robbins
Divorce is probably a good example of this one.
Perhaps this pain and difficulty is why change is sometimes feared and why we are sometimes encouraged to embrace this fear.
“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change…I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.”Erica Jong
“Don’t fear change – embrace it”Anthony J D’Angelo
Whether it is always painful and difficult, change seems to be an inevitable part of life.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”Gail Sheehy
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”Henri Bergson
Darwin would have us believe that in a species, those most likely to survive are those most able to respond positively to change.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”Charles Darwin
Not everyone focuses on the difficulty of change and another day I will explore some of the different ways to bring about change,
“The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps.”Steve Maraboli
For today, I’ll end these ruminations on change with some ancient wisdom and a quote from Socrates,
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”Socrates
And now I think I’ll spend the rest of the day focusing on the ‘new’ I would like to create. I hope you can do the same.