27 June 2013

Seek Change...Standing Still Does Not Lead To Progress

We would have definitely noticed that the moment we not only make an effort to change towards progress, but also when we merely express a desire to change, that we find advice to the contrary from all possible quarters. It’s just because it is the natural tendency, of not only the human beings but all living things to resist change. In case of us, where we can make use of our brains better than the others, this occurrence is more pronounced and evident.

Majority of people don’t like change. Change can be very precarious. The change business can be intense, challenging, uncomfortable, and can even threaten the status quo in ways many people either don’t want, or just don’t like. They hate having to adapt to change. The bottom line is – change is seen as bad. And since the majority feels so, they feel it’s their birth right to impose it on those who want to break away from the line.

How many of us can honestly admit that we embrace change and are comfortable with it? Change means we may have to leave our comfort zone, think outside the box or modify our standard way of thinking. Easier said than done, for most of us.

 We need not feel that we must forever be what we presently are. There is a tendency to think of change as the enemy. Many of us are suspect of change and will often fight and resist it before we have even discovered what the actual effects will be. When change is thought through carefully, it can produce the most rewarding and profound experiences in life.

The scale of change can be almost infinite. It can manifest itself in so many ways. Every single one of us will have experienced different changes, the ones we did want as well as the ones we did not want. And the changes we made no matter how painful they were for us or others.

Change can be our teacher. We can learn from it. A key to change is in learning. Sending our children to school, just as we were sent to school as children ourselves is something we almost take for granted. But yet we put children into a massive new situation where total change occurs, and we can imagine the seismic shift that follows as they discover all these amazing new things. New knowledge, new ways of understanding, new rules to learn. And learning new disciplines. Growth is associated with change. We learn to change. Growth is a by-product of change.

When a plant became root bound and began to deteriorate, a young boy decided to transplant it to a larger container. Carefully he lifted the greenery from its small pot and put it into its larger home, trying to disturb the roots and soil as little as possible. The novice gardener watched and waited. To his dismay, the plant still struggled. He then expressed his frustration to an experienced gardener who offered his services. When the plant was placed in the gardener’s hands, he turned the pot upside down, pulled out the plant, shook the soil from the roots, and clipped and pulled all the stragglers from the root system. Replacing the plant into the pot, he vigorously pushed the soil tightly around the plant. Soon the plant took on new life and grew.

How often in life do we set our own roots into the soil of life and become root bound? We may treat ourselves too gently and defy anyone to disturb the soil or trim back our root system. Under these conditions we too must struggle to make progress. Oh, change is hard! Change can be rough. However, we need to realize that finally, change WILL BE rewarding.

Yes, there is pain in change, but there is also great satisfaction in recognizing that progress is being achieved. Life is a series of hills and valleys and often the best growth comes in the valleys.

First, we must understand the need for change. An unexamined life is not worth living. Being aware of the fault and the need to change is a most important step. The recognition of the need to change has to be a greater force than the luxury of staying the same.

Second, the facts must be authentic. We need to know how, what, where, and why to change.

Third, a system for change must be established. Our change must be planned and orderly. After our system for change is established, it must be followed through to completion, even though it may disturb our very root system.

Fourth, we must be totally committed to our plan for change.

A Chinese proverb says, “Great souls have wills; feeble souls have only wishes.” Unless we have the will to improve, all the other steps to change will be wasted. This last step separates the winners from the losers.

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