I recently collected a number of quotes on change and think that a few go well together for today’s post. Change is happening all the time and all around us. Just think of the changes that today will bring in our political environment. We spend much of our time reacting to change, but today’s quotes focus on being pro-active about 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
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Roy T. Bennett
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow
“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” — Georg C. Lichtenberg
We must start as President Obama states by deciding that we are not going to sit around and wait for change to come to us. We are the change agent. Change starts with us.
Next, we must acknowledge that we may be resisting change because we are unwilling to leave our comfort zone, to take the chances that change involves as Bennett advised. We become to comfortable with the safety of staying put and do not even try to move forward. We let our safe routine become our prisons, trapping us as if we were a mime in his imaginary glass box. Yet if we do not advance and grow, as Maslow puts it, life will leave us behind.
Finally, we need to understand that change is not always going to result in things being better, just different and if we make enough things different, we will eventually get to the better place that we desire.
So, the question becomes, “What will you change today?” What things can we change in our day-to-day life that will challenge our comfort zone and allow us to grow?
Maybe we can decide to greet strangers differently; not trying to remain safe by avoiding interacting with them, but, rather, greeting them with a warm “Hello, how are you?” and a smile. How did that make you feel? How did that change you?
Perhaps you can try a new place to have lunch, perhaps someplace with an ethnic food menu. You will experience new tastes and see new people that you don’t normally meet. Was that an interesting experience? Did you like the new flavors that you experienced? Did you meet some new people? How did that change you?
The point is to acknowledge and become more aware that what you think of as your daily routine is, by definition, your comfort zone. Staying in that comfort zone means staying as you are and not growing as a person, not being all that you could be.
You may be thinking, “I’m happy where I am, why should I disturb things by making changes?” Maybe two more quotes from my collection will help answer that question.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” — Henri Bergson
“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” — Harold Wilson
Quite simply we cannot stop change from occurring, nor should we try. Instead, resolve to the agent of change in your life rather than being a by-stander and always reacting to the changes that are inevitable.
But what should you change?
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” — Wayne W. Dyer
Maybe what you need to change today is your attitude.