We all have a list of things we want to change, sometimes that list is long and sometimes it is short. From the moment we come into this world crying for mother’s milk and warmth we continued to cry for change until we die. In general, the change we want is more of something or less of something else. However, we can also want change in a more desperate situation.
Sometimes we want change in response to a shock. When something happens that we didn’t expect would love to revert and change that so it doesn’t happen, in a sense, turn back time. The fact that we can’t turn back time seems inconsequential, we still want it, desire it, regardless of the reality that we can’t have it. So maybe the first step in change management is recognising what we can’t change.
- We can’t change other people: people are worthy of love for who they are. Sometimes this is hard to grasp.
- We can’t change history: once something has happened, it’s happened.
- We can’t change evolution: there’s a bigger story to the universe and life than the one we usually tell.
- We can’t change our own mortality: nothing is permanent.
- We can’t change the present circumstances of our lives: they are the result of different causes.
You can change the future.
But you cannot deny the existence of universal laws. If we try to imagine a future that defies universal laws we will be forever disappointed and perpetually in desperate need for change. The promise of a future that defies universal laws is very attractive and that’s why it succeeds in recruiting members. Any paradigms that promises success without failure, pleasure without pain, love without trouble, happiness without sadness, health without suffering, right without wrong, good without evil, wealth without poverty, results without discipline, beauty without ugliness, peace without war, will be a popular product in the world. But it cannot deliver.
When we believe something can happen that’s really exciting we get elated. Elated means that there will be an all upside result. The consequence of elation is depression. Elation cannot deliver. When we meet somebody we think has an all upside personality we get infatuated. The consequence of infatuation is resentment. Infatuation fails because it cannot deliver. Therefore, when planning change for the future it is wise not to engage in thinking process that will eventually cause disappointment and frustration through false promises.
Change must be realistic. Otherwise change breeds the desire for more change. If we change one thing and this causes disappointment will want to change the disappointment and the original thing. Now there are two things to change. If we change to things and each of those two is disappointing we have now four things to change.
So there are two requisites for healthy change:
1. Satisfaction with the present.
2. Realistic awareness of the future.
So begin by writing down all those things that you are satisfied with in the present. Then write down all the things you are not satisfied with in the present. Obviously those things that you are not satisfied with are what you would love to change. But before you do, work out how you can be satisfied with them, those things you would love to change, as they are right now.
This is the secret to rising above emotional reaction. if you react to emotion you’re going to create trouble for yourself because you are going to create unrealistic expectations of the future. Instead of creating trouble, work out how you can be thankful and content with all the things that you want to change without changing them. Obviously, if you are in life-threatening danger it may be important to extricate yourself from that situation before you do this process.
Once you have found appreciation for what you’ve got the way that you’ve got it then it’s possible to start focusing on developing things the way you want them to be. This comes with a significant caution. If you try to change things to be in conflict with the universal laws of nature then you will just create trouble. Any emotion that is tangled up in your projection of the future needs to be balanced. In other words be careful of adjectives such as: gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful, amazing, delicious, tantalising, sexy awesome, fabulous, spectacular etc. These are marketing words and they are used to engage people.