Does the word change fill you with a sense of dread? Most of us have something in our lives we’d like to change. But thinking about it and taking actionable steps to generate transformation are two entirely different things. Change is hard, after all. Sometimes, we’re not motivated enough to take those steps until a crisis jolts us, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have a small pond in our backyard with no aquatic life to keep it clean. Periodically, the water turns a murky shade of green. To clear it up, my husband adds shock to the water. The chemical treatment immediately goes to work transforming the water back to its crystal clear state. But it took the shock of the chemicals to bring clarity to the water again.
That’s how it is in our lives when we experience a crisis like a diagnosis, an accident, or the death of a loved one. These occurrences are catalysts for transformation because they do two things: they bring us face to face with the brevity of time and they awaken us to see what’s really important. The sudden shock we feel has a way of bringing instant clarity.
Why We Wait
When we stall, we become stagnant like pond water. Until we take action to change our conditions, we won’t see any improvement. But it’s harder to overcome inertia than it is to settle in place. So, we put off much-needed change for another day.
Why do we procrastinate when it comes to making vital change happen in our lives?
- We’re comfortable being miserable. We’re not yet to a point where we’re willing to push the border of our comfort zone. On some level, we’d rather stay stuck in misery than let ourselves go through the risk of being uncomfortable.
- We think we’ll have tomorrow to try again. Someday disease tricks us into thinking we’re okay to put off change for another time. But there’s no date on the calendar anywhere in the future marked
We Don’t Have to Wait
We don’t have to be shocked into clarity before we make change happen. It’s not necessary that we suffer a heart attack before making the effort to get in better shape. Instead, we can heed the warning signs like tighter fitting clothing, weight gain, and a sedentary lifestyle. We can choose to eat healthier, exercise, and make better choices in general before things get out of hand.
To live a fully, engaged life and do the work we’re here to do, change may be required of us. But the pain associated with change is real. The chemicals in the shock may clear up murky water fast, but we have no magic pill to ease our pain and discomfort.
We must want the change so much that we’re willing to go through the pain required to reach the other side. This is when we need to remember one really comforting factor: the pain is only temporary.
As Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” We’re unlikely to see dramatic differences immediately, but each step along the way will eventually lead us there.
Don’t wait for a sudden shock to make positive changes. Start making them today.
Are you noticing subtle indicators in your life that need to be addressed? If so, what action can you take today to move in the right direction?
Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash