Can we change ourselves?

Most of us like to live in our own comfort zone following our traditions, habits, principles, perceptions, concepts and views. Even when we are not entirely happy with our present life and are aware of the lacunas in our character and outlook, we hardly wish to change our ways. We thus bring ourselves to a situation where in our creativity and potential are not exploited to the full extent for our own personal growth and benefit. In fact the progress achieved by the human race, the scientific advances and the comforts that have been added to our lives are all a result of someone acting for a change. There is an old saying ‘you can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you’. Intrinsic changes will equip you to meet the external changes. “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” Steve Marboli reminds us.

Why we do not wish to change?

Suppose you usually walk through a particular road to your office. You get so used to that road however dirty the road is. Tomorrow if you are going to force yourselves changing your route for a better short cut even, you would initially feel the discomfort. This is because you have moved out of your safety zone and comfort. Change is painful and uncomfortable. We tend to make habits ourselves and try to adjust to that so comfortably well that you would not like to barter it even for something better. You need to be adventurous to release your hand from that secure branch you a have been clinging on hitherto and to embrace the new things in life. Remember the security you feel is not real and it is a false notion you nurse. Leave the branch and jump on to the new branch which you could find a lot better more adventurous and exciting. Jon Krakauer says “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

The journey through the unknown path moving from the comfort zone is very embarrassing and sometimes terrifying. But if you can learn to ignore this discomfort for a while, more rewarding and exciting things are awaiting you in life.

Follow the Magi for more exciting things

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of It.” advises Rick Warren.
We do carry the burden of past failures, inadequacy feelings, fear of unknown, anxiety etc. Perhaps this is telling us to keep away from new ventures and changes. World history is full of people who faltered and failed and then with their big heart emerged successful.
But many things still pull us back. We have some traditions of the family and society to follow. We have our faith in religion and culture which keeps on telling us to follow the beaten path of our ancestors avoiding undue risk anywhere. We are taught to marry from our own community and to behave in a certain manner in public places and to undertake certain select activities. I am not going into the merits and demerits of the set pattern. I am just underlining the fact that we tend to think in a certain specific fashion all the time hardly ever prepared for a change. If you have a good reason to change, you have to. It may sometimes call for tremendous courage. But we do need to follow the magi for those exciting new things in life. Steve Maraboli questions us “How would your life be different if…You didn’t allow yourself to be defined by your past? Let today be the day…You stop letting your history interfere with your destiny and awaken to the opportunity to release your greatest self.”

Set your mind to a new beginning

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmill says a Chinese proverb.
Catch that new experience of things you have never envisioned, a creative opportunity and new horizon is awaiting.
Navigating change results in personal growth and new doors keep opening for you. You make tremendous improvement in your self confidence and the impression you create among those around you. You then become enthused and begin to feel more passionate about the change concept and life in general. “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking” reminds Albert Einstein.

Redefine your ambitions

We all grow up nursing many ambitions in life few of which we might abandon ourselves for some reason. Now that we are geared up for change, may be its time we can redefine our ambitions.
What are those abandoned wishes now you wish to revive? How precious are those dreams you need to get fulfilled. Search within yourself you can find out soon. Pursue them with a new vigor. Changes you have brought about in your outlook would embolden you to reach those goals. Paulo Coelho the charismatic author has a great advise for you regarding the pursuing of change: “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

Why we need to change?

change is an open sesame for a fantastic new world
Change is a catalyst for growth of personality, our business etc.
We become stronger to solve our day to day problems.
Enables us to garner positive energy and thoughts
Become more open to learning new ways of tackling problems with renewed confidence.
Remain competitive in business, opening new vistas.
Can lead to a much more fulfilling, rewarding, enjoyable and authentic life.
The opportunities open up are tremendous and they can have a domino effect.
It will strengthen your resolve and acumen.
Can break away from your dull monotonous routine and negative thought patterns.

No wonder H.G. Wells, in his famous book The Time Machine advises us as follows:
“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. Without them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ”

Wind of change is in the air

In the last few decades the expansion of knowledge and the advancement of new technologies have been tremendous. During my service in a PSU bank I had the opportunity to be the part of implementation of 3 different software programs before introducing the present version of core banking. The challenges were too many and there were nights we were tackling problems well up to 2 am .But that struggle resulted in great learning for our entire team.
Career success will be tested and measured by the changes you’ve been through, and not by the business growth alone. Those milestones are all significant in the glory of personal achievements.
The winds of change are in the air. irrespective of your wish these changes will sweep you across and so be prepared. We need to steer through these and take charge of that navigation.

Decisions can be bit difficult but worth it

It may be about changing your friends or office or the place and city you live. It is worth it if the changes are likely to bring positive results.
Accept that it’s most natural to feel sad and stuck about leaving people we have endeared once, weigh your benefits in welcoming this change and the alluring wonders that would make your life more meaningful.
Let us not bother about what all failures we had in life. We can make or mar our destiny today by our actions today. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. It is what Golda Meir reminds us. When you see the signboards for changes ahead, remember you have great challenges and hope ahead!


Author

Jose Vazhuthanapilly, BSc., LLB, DBM, CAIIB Retired in 2008 as AGM from State Bank of India. He had worked as a visiting faculty in the Bank’s Staff Training Centers for 5 years. He is a writer with 20 books to his credit including books on self-help/ psychology. He resides in Ernakulam, Kochi. He is active also in social service. He can be contacted at Josevazhuthanapilly@gmail.com

 

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