“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus
Time never stands still in real life. It’s not like the movies where characters can freeze-frame and the writer takes the viewer on some tangential story. In real life, change happens constantly. You can fight it or welcome it. It’s your choice. Change will occur regardless.
For example, consider that nature is constantly in a state of flux. See how your breath increases or decreases according to the amount of energy you exert. Hear the different cadences of birds trilling, singing and chortling in the trees and bushes and flitting among the flowers in search of nectar. See the visible changes in friends and relatives portrayed in photographs in the family album. Change will happen and does happen all the time. In fact, change is constant.
Why not embrace change? If change is going to happen anyway, fighting it won’t do any good. It’s better to figure out an approach to deal with change that will work for you. Short of outright embracing it, however, which many are reluctant or feel incapable of doing, how can you learn to welcome change – or learn to accept and deal with it? Here are some suggestions:
- Keep a list. It’s difficult to remember all the events and happenings in life without a record. To begin learning how to accept and eventually embrace change, start by listing momentous events in your life, actions you took toward goals you felt were worthwhile and the outcome of those actions. Every day, find the time to jot down items that point to changes in direction you took, such as taking a different route to work and finding a delightful store to browse in, being given a new assignment and diving in with excitement, hearing about the unexpected illness of a dear friend and getting in touch with her to offer comfort and support. These are times of change. They are significant to the extent that re-reading your list and thinking about them will help you realize that you are changing all along. It’s as natural as breathing and you do it often without thinking too much about it.
- Look for ways to change and incorporate them into your life. Actively seek to do things differently instead of the usual routine. This not only adds change gradually into your life, it also makes life more interesting, alive and enjoyable. Do a wardrobe makeover. Get a haircut or new coloring, perhaps streaking or highlights. Join a group with interests like your own – or try out a group devoted to something you’ve never done, but would like to.
- See change as good. Adopt a mindset that views change as positive and beneficial instead of something to be avoided at all costs. Remember that you cannot stop change from occurring, so learning to deal with it is necessary to living a happy and productive life. By reminding yourself that change is good, even when terrible things happen you’ll be able to find the nugget of good hidden within and be able to move forward in life.
- Surround yourself with change-oriented people. The friends you cultivate and keep often have a profound effect on your receptiveness to change and your ability to accept and embrace change. If they are optimistic, open to innovative ideas and experiences, willing to take measured risks and learn from mistakes, they are likely enjoyable to be around and serve as an inspiration for your own goals. As such, make it a point to surround yourself with people who view change as not only good, but necessary and vital to living a vibrant, purposeful life.
- Feel yourself grow. Another vital part of change that is often overlooked is the fact that change allows you to grow. As you embark on some new adventure, begin a learning process, seek new friends and explore new areas of interest, feel yourself growing and changing. This is an excellent self-reminder and self-affirmation that reinforces a positive outlook on life that will serve you well always.