The Agent of Change
The hardships of life are many. Between work, school, relationship/friendship/family drama, accidents, mistakes, deaths, and any other issues that arise we often let them conquer us – at least temporarily. The snowball of uncertainty and agitation grows larger over time to the point where we are ready to explode in the face of just the smallest moment of stress. We finally have had enough – it is time to start over and begin anew. My question is: why wait until we get to that point?
The paradigms/patterns we allow our lives to fall into often can be our own undoing. Many that have a decent-paying job find solace and comfort in the certainty of that job when there could be a promotion instead in front of them or a small business opportunity. Often couples will drag out failing relationships as long as possible out of need for comfort and security. Taking risks, letting go, and saying goodbye are concepts that we actively seek to avoid – out of fear and doubt.
It is in this very passive attitude that many lost opportunities and missed connections are found. My mom had a great small business idea some years ago – but by the time she was sick enough of her job that she wanted something new, another local business had filled that niche. She did end up starting a different but certainly successful business years later, after she had learned from the mistakes of her first go-around to take action herself. A willingness for change is an attitude that is certainly hefty for your average person, but it’s that same willingness for change that can force people to commit themselves to improving their life rather than just maintaining it. I look around at events in life, flashbulb memories that we always look back at as turning points, and I see them now as agents of change for myself. These sort of events can be a death of a loved one, a breakup, a divorce, a layoff, or a change in location. My issue is the reactive nature by which we decide whether we need change in our life instead of actively seeking and wanting it.
I operate under the assumption (and belief) that every day is an opportunity for growth and development. Even if your life is essentially complete in your eyes, there are mental, philosophical aspects that can be honed. There are new languages to learn. Skills to obtain. A world to understand around you. There is no such endpoint of the human existence where we decide we’ve grown enough, done enough, been enough. There is no ceiling on life until it ends – and who even knows if it really ends there? It is by this logic that I’ve come to stay on the offensive with actively seeking new opportunities – if I have an idea, I find someone that can help me develop it. If I am unhappy with an aspect of my life, I remove and replace it. I do not wait for opportunities and circumstances to force me into a corner and demand that I change. I visibly identify what I need to get the ball rolling. I make myself my own agent of change.
For instance, I was once a very jaded cynic about people, life, and the nature of existence. When I first began heavily investing my mind and body into self-improvement, I identified my own negativity as a consistent source of my dissatisfaction with life. Physical endeavors such as weight loss – to me, those are easy and measurable in comparison to mentally conditioning yourself to see life in a better light. I forced myself to read through motivational books, I ran my finger across a number of religious texts, and I began committing myself to donating my time to a handful of charitable works, specifically a soup kitchen. I had the difficult task of re-developing my worldview and to do so I had to actively choose to absorb and recognize the good that exists in this world instead of grimly looking at the negative. That in it of itself was a large mental endeavor, but I had to choose to do so. I’m not some brilliant avaunt-garde savant by any means – my changes were something anybody, many greater than I, could make. They just have to identify and work towards them.
If you’re starting to see that you might not be as excited, happy, or satisfied with what your life has become lately, see it as an opportunity, not an issue. Stop waiting for circumstances to get so bad that you are forced to change. Look at yourself. Ask yourself what you like and what you do not like. It does not have to be a complicated, inner-mental issue like I myself identified. Maybe you want to learn Spanish for potential business clients. Maybe you want to change your wardrobe to look more professional. Instead of cornering yourself through circumstances around you, such as an immediate need, take concern and care now in who you (eventually) want to be.
Circumstances are anecdotal. Create opportunities. He who wants it enough will obtain it. That may take risks, chances, and a lot of time and money invested depending on how complicated that is, but if you truly want to be top dog at your job, a nice home, an expensive car, or even an inner sense of peace you will figure out how to make that occur. You need not let life decide when and why you will try something different. The more time spent waiting is another passing moment gone that would have been well-spent growing on a personal level.