Everything Changes

Here’s a question for you to think about. Are you managing change in your life or is change managing your life? 

It’s one or the other because this much is certain: “things” in your life are changing. 

I’m a bit astonished at the number of people I run into who are still almost completely resistant to change. They expend tremendous amounts of energy fighting it rather then trying to figure out how to use it to their advantage. 

I understand why people may be a little reluctant to fully embrace change. Every change brings with it the possibility of something worse. To some people the risk of “worse” is just not worth the possibility of something better. 

People also fear failure. Changing your job, or changing your career or changing almost anything has the possibility of ending in complete failure and nobody wants that. 

Few people really embrace the unknown and every change brings with it a set of “unknowns.” No matter how well you’ve thought out the change there is likely to be something that you didn’t plan on. That’s more risk. 

Change also tells us that time is passing. We’re getting older. For the life of me I can’t find a single corner store with the penny candy that I so enjoyed as a kid. Now that I can buy as much penny candy as I want, without even asking my parents permission, there is no penny candy to be found. I can’t believe anyone would call that progress.

So, many people agree that for the most part, change is bad. 

But that’s because most people just habitually focus on the negative aspects of change. (Yes, I said most people and the fact that it’s sad doesn’t mean it isn’t true) We’ve all had poor experiences with change and it seems the bad outcomes are far easier to remember than the more common good outcomes. 

Stop and think for a minute about the last ten years of your life. So many things have changed that it’s hard to remember them all. Just 10 years ago the iPhone existed only in the developmental labs of Apple. Today it’s hard for many people to think of life without a Smartphone in their pocket.

It’s seems like half the people I know are now wearing some sort of fitness tracker. Just 5 years ago people would have said “a fitness what?” 

Some of us are old enough to remember getting the long distance bill. For those of you not old enough to remember that, it’s the extra bill from the telephone company for calling someone with a different area code. For those of you who are really young the area code is the first three digits of your phone number.

My how things have changed…. so many improvements we have forgotten most of them…and more things continue to change everyday. 

Today the gig economy is growing almost by the minute. A recent study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors. That’s an incredible pace of change that will affect the workplace for all Americans, not just those participating in the gig economy but anyone who works for a living.

The point is simple: everything changes with time. Everything! 

Accept change as a positive in your life, it means you’re still learning and growing. It means you’re willing to try new things and stretch yourself to reach your true potential. Accepting changes proves to yourself and others that you are willing to flex a bit as you receive new information and ideas. 

Pretty much everyone wants “things” to be better but many of those same people don’t want change in their lives.

There is no “better” without change. If you really really want better then don’t wait for change to happen, make change happen in a way that “better” is ensured.

The only way to beat change is to not fight it. Make it work for you and you’ll find it cooperates a whole lot more.

How Much do you Want It?

It’s surprising how many people are willing to accept something less than they claim to want rather then just doing the work required to get it. 

I often hear people saying “it’s” too hard or “it’s” too much work. Truth be told, I’ve even said it myself too often. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t want something enough to really really work for it then you probably don’t want it enough to have it. 

Most people are born pretty ordinary. There are clearly some who are born truly gifted and to whom “things” seem to come easier. Note the word “seem” there because if you’re not that person you really can’t say what challenges they may have overcome in order to use their “gifts.”

Then there are those people who seem to have extraordinary luck or abilities that the ordinary person just doesn’t have. I’ve envied those types from time to time. 

But then I remember the saying: The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little “extra.”

Once I remember that then I have no need to be envious anymore. I just need to realize that if someone has something I don’t it is because I’ve settled and they haven’t. They were willing to give that little extra and I wasn’t. 

Fortunately for me, there have been many times where I did decide to put forth that little extra to get what I wanted. It may have been extra effort, extra time, or extra sacrifice but it seems like every time I gave extra I received extra in return. 

That doesn’t make me unusual, it makes me incredibly average. Average people get more when they give more. Admittedly giving the little extra doesn’t always result in extraordinary outcomes but without the little extra you have virtually no chance of long-term success. 

Stop telling yourself that you can’t. Stop telling yourself “it’s” too hard. Nothing is too much work if you really really want to do it. All you need is discipline.

Discipline is simply wanting something tomorrow more than wanting the something you can have more easily today. 

So before you sit down in front of that TV ask yourself “do I really want to watch this show now or would I rather do “something” that helps me have a better tomorrow?” Watching the show is easy, that “something” may not be as enjoyable at the moment. 

If you choose to watch TV then know this: you’ve settled. You can no longer say something is “too hard,” you must say it was “too hard” for you. You made the choice.

There is nothing wrong with making choices that result in having less than others have. Just stop saying that you “would give anything” to have more because you’ve made it plainly obvious that in fact you wouldn’t give anything at all. I know that is pretty harsh but that’s reality. 

It’s the reality that all of us seemingly ordinary people need to know. We can be extraordinary, you can be extraordinary, if you decide you want it enough. You absolutely have the ability, the question is do you have the desire. Your future is up to you. You can have whatever you want or you can have what’s easy, it’s almost impossible to have both.

Write this down and live this in 2017: Successful people have developed the habits of doing the things that less successful people simply didn’t want to do.

Will you begin 2017 by developing the habits that will pay dividends for all your tomorrows? Will you give that little extra to achieve extraordinary results?

You will if you want it enough!