Here are a few of my top reasons for liking change, and frequently forcing myself to embark on a project that eases me into adjusting my ways of thinking and being.
Take a gander at my five favorite reasons for embracing change, then tell me what you think, if you, too enjoy the benefits of change, and whether you find yourself intentionally shaking things up when everything seems a bit too… familiar.
Reason One: Surprise!
Who doesn’t laugh or at least grin when an unexpected change comes as a welcome wink at the world, or something more?
Who doesn’t love springing a positive change on a friend, a child, or a loved one? Aren’t we surprised at the ripple effects of seemingly insignificant tweaks to this and that, and pleased when they’re changes for the better?
Sometimes the simple act of changing one thing can unleash a string of positive effects we might never have imagined possible. A discovery here, a lesson there… Maybe you decide to be more open when meeting new people. A smile in an elevator leads to a conversation, an exchange of cards, a new job…
Reason Two: Perspective
Change is the Gracious Grantor of New Perspectives.
You can rearrange the furniture in your living room, re-hang a few pictures on the walls, or drop in a new theme on your website — without admitting how long you’ve been working behind the scenes to do so, how bored you get when you don’t shake things up, and how you see with “new” eyes when you do.
And the consequence?
You will learn, appreciate, and interact differently.
Quel plaisir, certainly for me.
Reason Three: Opportunity
Change encourages us to experience ourselves in new ways, and so it follows that we perceive new opportunities we might otherwise have missed. (Do I put my weekend of HTML in that category? My surprise at the satisfaction of reading technical texts, and ways I may “tweak” a few things for clients as a result?)
The open door of opportunity arises for all kinds of change — a change in attitude, a change in job, a change in work habits, a recently polished set of skills. This goes for physical changes, the resetting of healthy habits, as well as geographic and logistical twists and turns.
Even the process of attempting change (and not succeeding) yields opportunities — from rearranging the chairs in order to encourage more conversation to changing your virtual page in order to spark creativity. And if you believe as I believe that people can change, particularly in environments that encourage it, imagine all the opportunities that await.
Reason Four: Change Energizes
Change simply for the sake of change?
You bet. And no doubt you know some people who love love love to push themselves to undertake something new whenever they can, even if it means a little chaos in the aftermath.
Change can be disconcerting at first even when we’ve chosen to take it on. But doesn’t it energize, mobilize and motivate?
Change requires us to be resourceful. And the more we step outside the familiar, one thing is certain: Beyond our comfort zone lies learning, some element of risk, and possibly amusement. We may be on the verge of encountering new people and activities we come to love, new confidence we acquire with each positive step, or confirmation of what we dislike and prefer to avoid. Isn’t that last item important as well?
Reason Five: Change Is Fun
My favorite reason above all the others? Or possibly as a result of all the others?
Change is fun. Now come on. At least some of the time, it’s thrilling! Sure, that’s more likely the case when you’re young and vital and you choose to plunge into an adventure.
Change countries? Change styles? Change the city where you live or the people you hang with? Change projects, change jobs, change favorite coffee spots to meet your friends? Dive into a new field of study?
Wait… I’ve done these things when I wasn’t necessarily a Sweet Young Thing; so let’s not write ourselves off at any age, shall we? When we’re up for it, isn’t change welcome and full of promise?
Besides, the world is going to change no matter what we do. Shouldn’t we change with it? Should we be part of changes that we believe in?
Change Something, Not Everything
Types of change?
Oh, we could certainly rattle off everything from the culinary to the concupiscent, and the linguistic to the leisure activity.
I grant you — biting off change in small chunks may be far wiser and easier to accommodate. While once I was happy to pack a bag and try out a new country, a new job, a new language, make new friends… I would be hard-pressed to change “everything” at this point. Not only is that a matter of practicality — responsibilities as well as comfort — but I can achieve some of the same benefits (and pleasure) with far less risky and disruptive means.
Tweaking This, Tweaking That
I’ve now used the term “tweaking” several times. (I’m a believer in tweaking.)
Sometimes change is as simple as a little nip here and a tiny tuck there. We can tweak our environments, tweak our style, tweak our schedules, tweak our behaviors, and we can certainly tweak our attitudes. We can do so in order to stretch, and that’s another benefit of change — reminding ourselves of the benefits of stretching.
We can tweak if we want to modify them in serious ways, and we don’t really have to bite off a huge goal with ambitious milestones. That’s the fun of “tweaking,” which is, by definition, a minor alteration or adjustment, as we stop at that, or ease our way into even more changes.
Fight “Bad” Change With “Good” Change
Those nasty, unanticipated and life-altering changes? Oh, those irritating people who label them “character-building.” The fact is, there are events that no one wants to live through, and for a time, we may sulk, we may sour; we may struggle just to survive.
Eventually, we have to suck it up and deal, because the adult world requires it.
So here’s to our collective moments of embracing change, to experimentation that does no harm, and to the pleasure of pushing boundaries so we learn, learn, learn. My momentary “new” theme: the theme of change, or better yet, “tweaking.”
What about you?
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