“Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change. It’s the realization that we can.” -Shawn Achor
I know a number of people, including myself, who are reluctant to encounter change. Be it a change in life circumstances, a change in relationships, a change in condition, or responsibility -the list goes on. These are transitory moments, and however large or small they create a shift in our mental homeostasis; throw us off of our established rhythm and require us to move into a new mode of operation (adaptation). Because of this, many have come to associate such transitions with negatory impact. Especially in those who are most comfortable in the absence of change and presence of ‘stability’ and constance. I believe in American culture, we’ve become accustomed to constance and have been subliminally taught to be weary of change. Perhaps because the nature of our culture implies the pursuit of a goal to the point where once the goal is achieved, nothing else need be done. As well as the nature of modern life encourages stability to the point where ‘rocking the boat’ is viewed as undesirable.
Yet, when we examine life as a whole, we see that the nature of life is to adapt to change. Life in itself is about change and the process of adaptation which prepares us for future shifts in life. Some of these shifts are purely positive and desired, some (in the immediate sense) are taken to be negative or detrimental, others have a strange mixture of both. Each kind has its place in human existence. The greatest skill in life is the skill to adapt to unforeseen circumstances encountered in life. Such a skill is a mastery of living in this world, and can be achieved by any person willing to put the effort forward over the course of their time.
In earlier times, change was encountered immediately. There was no other choice, for the issues during earlier times of mankind pertained to survival, which would be unfeasible if there was a delay in action. Nowadays, many of the changes in life have the potential to be prolonged not just over days -but weeks, months, and in some cases years. We’ve set up a society which is ok with putting off issues and neglecting needs for change until the inevitable moment of last chance. This delay in action is a digression in respect to evolution, for as I see it, progressive evolution would ideally lead to a faster rate of adaptation and acceptance.
If one goes through life adapting to the shifts, learning how to balance their personal, mental homeostasis, he or she enables themselves to experience the greatest gift in life. Self sustained dependability. If you can depend on yourself, you know that no matter the circumstance that there will be a way to get through. No longer will everything be someone else’s fault, all accountability for the adjustments in life is on you and you receive soul power over the way you handle circumstances.
However simple this is to describe, the process is much more complex and isn’t achieved easily. But, it is entirely doable, given the effort and awareness of the life in your hands. I suppose I could say that my New Year’s Resolution is to keep this all in mind as much as I can, and do my best to live by it. Accept change, adapt to what life throws at you in order to keep living the life you wish to live. Take the opportunities that will foreseeably make life better, and get over the hurdles that make life more tough. We don’t have control over what events occur in our lives, but we do have control over how we respond and take action.