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Embracing change

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The only constant in the entire universe is change and yet most human beings fear it like the plague.

Tell me something? What is a miracle? Is it not the most impossible, unexpected and unlikely form of extreme change? That being true, it follows that the more you avoid change, the less likely you are to experience a miracle in your life.

When you look at it unemotionally, change always comes from one of three primary sources:

  1. Natural Change - decided by the forces of nature
  2. Forced Change - brought about by the choices and decisions of other human beings through life circumstances
  3. Conscious Change - brought about through our own conscious choice

Interestingly, with the exception of some natural changes like death, disease and unfortunate accidents and disasters, time often brings about improved circumstances, acceptance and often many additional benefits.

In every adversity lies a seed of equivalent or greater benefit

When one door closes, another door opens

It always depends upon your point of view of course…

But why do people generally fear change so much? What is it that causes them to resist so emphatically? The simple answer is that in most cases they have associated some sort of physical, emotional or mental pain with the prospect of a specific experience of change. What we do not understand we tend to fear, and what we fear we tend to avoid.

The challenge lies, not in change itself, but in our perception of it. We are quite often reluctant to embrace the possibilities and deal with our ?learned? perceptions of associated ?pain? (emotional or mental).

Interestingly enough, going on holiday, buying a new car, moving house, getting married or entering into a new relationship, having a baby, gaining a promotion or even winning the lottery are nothing more or less than big changes to our current circumstances and yet we tend to look forward to them, even getting very excited about the prospect. But why is this? That?s right; we associate them with pleasure, which means that we look forward to them with positive anticipation, even joy.

There is another factor that I believe contributes enormously to the process, because even if we have never personally experienced some changes; like getting married or buying a house, we still tend to look upon them favourably. We may never have been married or bought a house but we have experienced the process by default through our parents, friends and family members. In other words we already know the likely outcome. I suspect that this is why some people fear some positive changes like moving abroad, changing career or starting a business while others do not. During their life those who do not fear such change have, at some stage, had the opportunity to associate them with pleasure through the positive experiences of those around them, while those who fear such change have not. So, if your father was a successful business man, the odds are that you would not necessarily associate leaving your job and starting a business with perceptions of pain. If, however, you experienced the pain of childhood poverty, brought about by the bankruptcy of your father?s business, you may associate self-employment with some degree of pain. This would almost certainly incline you towards avoiding such change in your own life. There are of course other factors to be taken into consideration, like your personality and your propensity for risk taking etc.  However, for people who have propensity to take risks there must be some association with pleasure. I am sure you get the point.

In other words, change, like nearly all life events and circumstances, is nothing more or less than how we perceive it to be and the level of pain or pleasure that we associate with it.

So, if you want to experience positive anticipation for the opportunities that life has to offer you, embrace change by seeking out the positive possibilities and turn your pain into pleasure. It?s all about trust ? trusting the process of change, knowing that it is nearly always a good thing and trusting you to be able to cope adapt and make the most of it.


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