What's going on, Steve?
Have you ever noticed that your Facebook "Status" is always asking you this question, "What's happening?" Or, "What's going on...?"
Here's what's happening - CHANGE! Little changes. Big changes. Minor ones. Major ones. This will be a year of change - and some of it big - for many of you reading this. Maybe, me too. Who knows?
What I do know is that there are various ways I typically respond to change. Sometimes, I welcome it. A new job. A new client. A previous client returns. A unexpected job opportunity appears. A few pounds are lost. A new me emerges altogether. The list is endless.
Mostly, however, when it comes to change, I resist it. Or worse, I pretend it isn't happening.
Here are a couple of statements I've learned over the years about change. You can take these to the bank, deposit them in the account called "experience," and know that, by banking on them, you can expect to earn a lifetime of positive dividends.
1. When the pain of being the same is greater than the pain of being different, you will change. My stepfather was a heavy smoker for years. One day, in his fifties, he suffered a massive heart attack, followed by by-pass surgery. The doctor told him, "You keep smoking? You'll be dead in less than five years." Instantly, he gave up smoking and lived more than twenty years longer. When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, you WILL change.
You can apply this truth to anything. When the pain of remaining in a bad marriage becomes greater than the pain of public opinion, you will end it...you will change.
2. The world as we know it - your world as you are experiencing it - is largely the product of our thinking. Since that is true, the world will not change - your world will not change - without changing our thinking. So said, Albert Einstein.
This truth will apply to almost anything, too. We'll not change the rapidly growing disparity between the rich and the poor until we change our thinking about poverty and why it is.
We'll not change the damages of global warming on our planet until we change our thinking about pollution, about greenhouse gases, and about rampant consumerism, the engine driving both.
We'll not change the random and indiscriminate acts of violence across this country until we change our thinking about guns and gun laws.
You've heard of the "law of attraction?" Maybe the most universally misunderstood or misapplied law. At its core, the meaning is simply: You typically attract into your life what you think about daily. In other words, if you think you'll fail, why act surprised when you do? If you think you suck...that you're not worthy of love...why complain when others treat you disrespectfully? Don't you teach others how to treat you? Treat yourself the way you wish to be treated and observe the results.
Do not push this "law" to its limits because, like any law, it isn't ultimate. Victims of violence, for example, are hardly thinking violent thoughts when violence disrupts their life. Or, ends it. But, appreciate the law for the truth it reveals.
Oh, and at the outset of this new year, know this, in the words of many a wise person: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."