Change is like finding your way to the center of a hurricane, and staying there….Change.. Is a hurricane. Bare with me here… Think of a hurricane. What does it look like? Imagine standing on the shore of a beach and looking out at it from a distance. The sky is dark, and all you can see is a wall of grey. As it slowly approaches, the winds begin to pick up speed, the sand from the beach you’re standing on starts to get in your eyes a bit, it stings! As the wall of grey swallows you up, you’re surrounded with flying objects, rain, hail, motor homes. etc. they slam into you, spin you around and confuse you. Getting closer to the eye, wind speeds double and so do the number of flying objects, its just crazyness, but you can see the eye of the hurricane and as you look up, it passes right over you and you are IN IT! All is calm, and you’ve survived the worst of it. Only problem is, the eye is a dynamic beast, and so too must you be (love the Yoda speak) if you want to be in it..and stay there! You know the dangers of being just outside the eye; its windy, there’s all kinds of dangerous object flying around and it took so much effort just to survive making into the eye in the first place. The good news; hurricanes eventually fade. If you stay in the eye long enough, the dangers will soon disappear.
OK so it might be a far fetched analogy, but I thought of it early this morning as I lay listening to the thunderstorm sounds that are supposed to lull me back to sleep. I am not sure if a similar analogy exists, this is just one way I personally interpreted what change can be like. Often we can see it coming, its like the grey wall except we have a choice whether or not to let it swallow us up. We can run from it, stay inside our reinforced steel bunkers we call our comfort zones and watch the opportunity for change slowly pass by…Never needing to endure the pain or challenges presented by all the shit that is flying around us…But then we never experience the serenity contained within the eye…The other option is to accept the change and prepare for the challenges involved. Develop strategies to dodge or at least absorb the metaphorical motor homes that are sure to come flying once we enter the storm of change. How dynamic we need to be once inside the eye – the point at which the change has been made – depends on the magnitude of change. The bigger the change, the bigger the storm and more dynamic you may need to be to stay in it. To help understand how this might apply to changes one might make within their every day life lets take a look at some change examples…
Ex. Small change : Brushing teeth with non dominant hand
- Seeing the storm – you can visualize what it might be like to try brushing with your non dominant hand
- Metaphorical Motor Home – The urge to use your dominant hand.
- Inside the eye – You accept the change, you dodge the urge to brush with your dominant hand and switch it up = change success!
- Staying in it – Fighting the urge to fall back to the easy dominant hand for brushing
Ex. Big Change: Politician raising taxes (I did not say the change had to be a happy one..btw I am no political activist..)
- Seeing the Storm – Politician realizes there is a huge debt problem and a change is imminent
- Metaphorical Motor Home(s) – Pressure from hundreds of thousands of people opposing a tax increase, possible negative implications a tax increase would have in the long run ..etc etc.
- Inside the eye – Politician accepts the fact that a tax increase is the “only plausible solution” and the change is made
- Staying in it – Continuously validating the change and standing ground against any further projectiles of the storm
So maybe I could have came up with some better examples…the point is..Eventually, the repeated act of staying in it becomes easier and easier until eventually the storm fades and we no longer need to dodge the motor homes. We can then look at the now motionless projectiles of the storm and realize they are no longer a threat to our sustained change.
Try thinking of something you may have been wanting to change for a long time. What are the flying “motor homes” you might need to dodge or prepare to fight? Imagine being within the eye of the storm of change and experiencing the serenity. What might pull you away from staying within the eye for the duration of the storm? Visualize what you will need to do to stay in it until the storm fades.
I will use this thought about change whenever attempting something new or something that’s outside of my comfort zone. I expect the storm and I am willing to walk into it, especially when I know the fight to stay inside the eye will make me stronger.
I like Thomas Jefferson’s view – I think it applies when attempting to make positive changes within our lives.
If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done
- Thomas Jefferson
Change = Progress