For someone who works in the field of Change, not so long ago I came to the realisation that there were some things in my life I haven’t changed in over 10 years or more. For example, and this would be a good party piece if the answers weren’t so mundane or the subject about me, if you asked me what I was doing on July 9 2005, my savant like response would be ‘Was that a Saturday, if so, playing Cricket’. What about 26 August 2013 you may ask? My response would be ‘That sounds like the last weekend in August, so I was on holiday’.
So how do I know all this? For any of you who have watched ‘Child Genius’ on TV then first of all I should state that my powers of recollection are no way near like those displayed, nor do I have a pushy partner who makes me learn facts about my life and key dates from it for hours at a time with no social life. More mundanely I know what I did because I’d become stuck in a predictable routine where my life was rigidly organised around pre-determined dates in the calendar. Work would be Monday-Friday, Saturday would be devoted to sport and the social activities after, and then Sunday would be my contingency to do anything I hadn’t done that week. Holidays would be taken Mid June, last week of August, and then over Christmas and New Year. The routine was good, and at the time the activities I took part in were fun, but there was little change in my life. Sure, change and with it new experiences happened, but this was more through accident rather than by design.
So why did I decide to change? Well first of all I should state that I was never averse to change, but the fact of the matter was that I didn’t actively seek to change for fear of sacrificing the enjoyments in life I had experienced to this point. However I’d come to realise that I was forever saying both internally and sometimes to others, “I’d love to go there”, “I’d love to try that” or “That sounds like fun”. Over time I began to sound like a stuck record whenever I said this and so gradually (well over a number of years!) I came to the realisation that I was missing out on opportunities and experiences that I may never get the chance to do again (a sobering thought for someone getting married soon!). In particular I’d always had a list of things I had wanted to do and things I had wanted to try but they were always more of a ‘that’ll be nice to do one day’ list rather than something I was actively pursuing. It was time to change.
In short I learnt to love change and embrace all the new experiences that came with it. With my new mindset, things that I had previously thought as being ‘nice to do’s’ became things that I proactively pursued and acted upon. Change didn’t mean having to totally give up things or activities I had previously enjoyed, and yes there were periods that time devoted to them were scaled back, but in fact the changes I made complimented the lifestyle I had been accustomed to. So what have I done? Well I’ve cycled in some of the most stunning and remote terrain at both home and abroad, I’ve visited places I’d always wanted to go to and I’ve met some fantastic people along the way. My simple message to you: Embrace, and learn to love change – you may not realise what you have been missing.