CHANGE IS GOOD

But Most People Don’t Like It

“Change is good, you go first, Dilbert,” Scott Adams

Life is full of beginnings, which is change: My first day of schools and college, first time living away from home, first dates, first visits to other states, national parks, Europe, etc. And beginning to experience life more on my own is the beginning of the future life. 

And life is full of endings, which is change. My last day of schooling, retirement from career, ending of tennis, backpacking, etc., no more keynote speaking or air travel to the east coast or Europe. Staying inside when it is 80 – 90 degrees; the end of running.

And apparently change is scary. “It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear,” Marilyn Ferguson.

Leaving the past, with which we are acquainted, and entering the future, which we don’t know, is full of uncertainty. This is change, which is always full of uncertainty. If Marilyn Ferguson is right, it’s the shifting (the change) of old behavior to new behavior that we are afraid of. In between doing what we used to do and doing something new is the scary part. It’s the process of change. The change that happens to you is scary because of the uncertainty — unless you are positive about uncertainty. The change that happens by you should also be considered uncertain. Positive Uncertainty is useful throughout the lifespan; change happens constantly. 

The problem with changing oneself is that you have to want to change. This reminds me of changing a light bulb jokes during my keynote speaking days. 

“How many counselors does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Just one – but the light bulb has to want to change.”

Not many people want to change themselves. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself,” Leo Tolstoy. Changing your mind isn’t a crime, but you would think it is because it is avoided so often. Maybe if you never change your mind it should be a crime. The place in between not changing your mind and changing your mind, is the time you are deciding. Deciding involves thinking about change.

If Marilyn Ferguson is right, it’s the shifting (the thinking about changing) of old behavior to new behavior that we are afraid of, because it involves uncertainty. In between doing what we used to do and doing something new is apparently the scary part. This is also the decision making part. To be afraid while deciding is not helpful. Here is where positive uncertainty is helpful. Certainty is not helpful when deciding about the change that is constantly happening in the world. Certainty doesn’t suggest change.

I am not the only one promoting the value of change.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” Barack Obama.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often,” Winston Churchill.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change,”  Albert Einstein.       

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1 Response to CHANGE IS GOOD

  1. Marianne says:

    We are in the middle of massive change due to new living situation and current quarantine due to exposure to someone with suspected symptoms. Those things coming at us now makes changing whether we want it or not is happening. All the anger and fear over D. Trump is causing me to do a lot of self reflection on how to handle this feeling inside me which is not usual to my personality. So as you say, change happens whether we plan it or not.

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