When we’re confronted with the need to change, we run for cover. The mere thought of stepping outside of our comfort zone triggers a rush of insecurity and fear that leaves our emotions somewhere on the scale between mild nervousness and total panic.
As a result, most people build their lives around a familiar routine. As far as possible, they eliminate from their daily life any activities or tasks that might challenge them to do something new.
This kind of lifestyle—one based on a desire for sameness—is comfortable in the beginning. But in the long run it diminishes our innate creativity and robs us of the opportunity to be happy.
If you’ve ever taken a chemistry class, you probably remember that a catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction. A catalyst can also allow a reaction to take place in circumstances where a reaction would otherwise be impossible (as at extremely low temperatures).
Change is the catalyst that speeds up our personal development and helps us grow when circumstances are less than favorable. That’s why even bad changes can cause good things to happen.
Don’t miss the silver lining
The Mandarin Chinese symbol for crisis is made up of two separate characters: the sign for danger followed by the sign for opportunity. Think about it: Every crisis involves an element of danger. But the danger is always accompanied by opportunity—the opportunity to find a better way to do things, a better way to live, a better way to be.
That’s why our attitude in the face of change is more important than the change itself. In the end, the only thing that can keep me from achieving my goals is me—the part of me that wants to cling to a negative attitude about things I can’t control.
Without a crisis, most people are never inspired to try something new, never motivated to achieve their full potential, never challenged to push themselves beyond what they have accomplished so far.
As long as you keep yourself open to the opportunity to go on growing and changing, you’ll find the silver lining behind every cloud.
Food for thought
Post a comment to tell us about a time when something bad happened. Now tell us about two or three positive things that happened as a result. This isn’t easy to do at first, but stick with it. Soon you’ll begin to appreciate the benefits of change even when they aren’t immediately obvious.