Shake It Up, My Friend, Shake It Up!
Here's a bit of a paradox for you to consider: people often wish that their lives could be richer, fuller, happier, or whatever other superlative seems relevant, yet they resist doing things differently. Do you see the contradiction? In case you don't, I'll defer to Albert Einstein who so eloquently said that the definition of insanity is doing what you've always done and expecting something different.
That's right my friend, you cannot in good conscience expect your life to be different if you're unwilling to try doing something different. What I call the "you-all-change-while-I-enjoy-the-benefits" mentality only serves to keep you stuck, circling endlessly on the merry-go-round of your life when you really want to be on one of the roller coasters. If you want things to BE different, it's time for you to DO things differently.
Why exactly does the thought of change result in heart palpitations for so many people? Well, the issue lies in a bit of a misconception. People assume that "different" has to be radically so.
I know that logically it makes sense that the bigger the change made, the bigger the change experienced. But sometimes the opposite is in fact true.
Sometimes a very small change can result in dramatic differences. In other words, change doesn't have to follow the "go big or go home" idea. Instead, change can be made in small increments, until the desired effect is obtained. Want an example? Well, look at these for a start:
- You sit down to work on a project and feel utterly uninspired, so you turn around and face the window. All of a sudden, ideas start flowing and the project gets done easily.
- You walk into your office and feel unmotivated to get anything done. You decide to tackle the pile of papers on your desk -- filing, recycling, shredding as appropriate -- and find your energy level goes up.
- Instead of dealing with all things financial on your own, you incorporate a regular "family budget discussion" time into your week, with you and your partner sharing financial tasks -- bill payments and such -- and notice that you no longer feel burdened and weighed down all of the time.
- You really feel the need for a new look and décor at home, but it’s not in the budget to buy the furniture you’d love at this time; you add a few throw cushions in your living room, and all of a sudden your furniture "pops" (if you've watched any home renovation shows, you know what I mean).
These are all concrete examples of how you can implement change in a small way. Sometimes the change you're going for is less tangible, but the theory is the same. Whether you’re feeling drained at work, overwhelmed by client demands, or struggling to spend time with your children, if you want change to happen, you need a different approach. At the very least, your outlook needs to shift.
So ask yourself, what needs to be different in your life? What new perspective will you try on? What small change can you implement today in order to have your life feel fulfilling, meaningful and rich?
Bottom-line: if you're walking around feeling stuck in a rut, it doesn't have to be that way. Things can change. But they'll only change when you start to do things differently. In short, it's time to shake things up!