In life, there are certain things that we all go through. One of those things is change. We all face it in many areas of our life. When things are going great and we are happy, change can seem like a terrible thing. When we are struggling, change can seem to never come. Yet, come it will. No matter how certain things may seem, change will come. If the pandemic and the last few years of chaos have taught us anything, it is that things can change when we least expect it and do so quickly.
I hear a lot of people tell me, “Neil, I just don’t like change.” For anyone, that is only half true. You do not like change to things you know, like and are comfortable with. If there was something that caused you pain or inconvenience, you would not mind that changing at all. That is the first thing we must consider. Without change, none of the things we dislike would ever improve. That wouldn’t be too much fun would it? How about never getting a raise? We wouldn’t want our salary to change now would we? Never getting a new car? Wouldn’t want to change what we are driving. I think you get the point.
What about when it is something we like and are familiar with? We know how to do our job and do it well until some bigshot decides it should be done differently. Maybe that bigshot decides they don’t even need us doing the job anymore? Then we find ourselves out of the street. Not the type of change we enjoy. How about the change of someone we love passing? Probably the most painful change we have to endure. What do we do then? It takes a realization and a change in perception to deal with these changes. First, we must realize that change, like the law of gravity, doesn’t care if we like it or not. If we hate the law of gravity and throw a ball off of the roof, it will still go down, no matter how much we complain about the law of gravity. Same with change. It will always come, so complaining and getting upset will only cause us undue stress and wasted energy.
If change is not going to stop, and some of it really sucks, how can we still live an amazing life? Think of ourselves as a sailboat. What?! Yes, a sailboat. When a sailboat is trying to get from point A to point B and the wind changes, what does it do? Does it complain about the wind and say, “Well, I guess I am going in this other direction now.” I think you know the answer to that is no. What does it do? It adjusts the sails. Ah, there is the key to using change in our own life. Let us say, hypothetically of course, you are an author who wrote a book you hope will inspire a lot of people. You sell many copies and wait for the reviews to come in. Then you wait and wait some more. None come. Do you just say, “Well I guess that was a failure.” You could, or you can hire a PR firm and do your best to get yourself out there. You must adjust your sail. Maybe you have a job you thought you would retire from and the company goes out of business. You could complain about the change and tell everyone how it wasn’t your fault. Keep doing this and they will come and take your house away. You could also maybe go back to school, look for a job in a field you would enjoy more or find a job that better aligns with your purpose. Adjust your sail.
Change is constant for everyone. The better we learn to work with change instead of complaining about it, the more successful we will become. Think of your life as that sailboat. You are the captain. When the winds of life change, what are you going to do? Are you going to let your boat get tossed in the ocean of life, or are you going to grab hold of the helm and adjust your sail?