Managing Change

Managing Change

“The only constant in life is change.” -Heraclitus

Maybe it is a bit difficult to imagine a world with so much change. It’s intimidating to be constantly surrounded by it because it feels almost as if we can’t keep up, and will be left behind. At the same time, life would be incredibly boring without it. Life is called a cycle for a reason, because as certain things draw to a close, other more exciting opportunities come forward.

Personally, I am in an extremely transitional time of life. One where each week is completely different from the last, and frankly, I have no damn clue what to expect. There are days where I panic because of the amount of uncertainty that seems to well up both inside and around me. All that panic then manifests itself into a slippery slope of exhaustive thinking that leads to my certain failure. As much as I love thinking about failure, I also highly enjoy not feeling depressed and anxious because of the overthinking that comes with this change. The truth is, change also gives rise to hope.

The thing with change, quite like how Heraclitus described it, is that, it is incessant. In our lives, there is no end to the amount of change that occurs. Some days, that change is welcomed, especially if it provides some sort of positive impact on us, say like a promotion at work. On other days, change is negative, and leads to drastic shifts in how we live life. More often than either of those though, change is neutral. It does not aid, nor does it hinder you. Does it really affect you all that much if you arrive to your favourite store and see that the parking spot you usually take is occupied, but the one right next to it is not? No, it doesn’t. Walking an extra yard doesn’t necessarily have a life altering impact on any of us. But this is where perspective of change comes into play.

Now that we have established that change comes in all types of flavours, we must also realise that it comes in many sizes too, from a minute parking space to changing jobs that will allow you to earn more money, and astoundingly improve your way of living. However, the magnitude of change is not fixed. Sure, there is a huge difference between a parking spot and landing an amazing job, but change also depends on you. The way you view the change determines just how much impact it has on you. If, for example, you do arrive to the store and find that the parking spot is taken, you can take one of two courses of action. First, simply park in the next spot over, walk another yard, and move on with your life, because really, how much of a difference is a yard? No biggie. Or second, you arrive to find that the parking spot is taken, and automatically let it sour your mood.

In the latter, you feel yourself forced to park somewhere else, deeming it as a complete inconvenience and waste of your time. You then proceed to park, and frown at the fact that you have to walk an extra yard, especially if it is a hot summer day. You think, “Well that’s just great. It’s going to take me longer to walk to my car, and I will be even more sweaty than I already am.” You go down a thought spiral that ultimately ends up with you attracting even more negative things into your life. You get inside and find out that the item you are looking for is sold out, and you begin to blame the parking spot. “If I didn't have to park farther, I would have had time to get here sooner and maybe bought the last item in stock. It should have been mine.” Then, you storm off, step back out into the sweltering heat, and sure enough, begin to sweat profusely, leaving you with a pungent odour. You walk by the car that is parked in your spot, give them the evil eye, and continue to get into your car. While you were feeling all this negativity, the person in your parking spot simply doesn’t give a shit, because to them, it’s another parking spot. All the while, you are ruining your own day because of a small change that really truly should not have impacted you so greatly. Well, maybe not you, but someone probably approaches life this way on a regular basis, and ends up bitter and resentful because of it.

In all honesty, there was a point in my life where this was me. Where any minor inconvenience, no matter how unnoticeably small it was, would be blown out of proportion, and I would make myself miserable for it. I would blame the universe for sending me such bad luck, without realising that I was the one creating my own bad luck.

The most important thing to realise is that change is only temporary. There are small transitional periods in life where you simply have no clue what will happen the day of tomorrow, and that is perfect okay! It’s okay to feel a little lost or to think, “Now what?” Change is what keeps our lives interesting, and what keeps our lives moving. The most amazing things, just like the most awful things, are born out of change. It is up to you, however, to decide how you will let these changes effect you.