I’m always amazed when individuals try to play it safe in life. Often it is either fear of change or inertia that keeps them stuck. “If I don’t rock the boat, make any major changes, life will continue on as it has and that suits me fine,” seems to be the reasoning. But the premise of this reasoning is flawed from the very beginning. As I wrote last month, the Law of Constant Change is forever active in our life, and will not allow stability. Change and more change is the nature of our lives. Understanding this, the wise person regularly initiates change in his or her life. For if we do not, then life itself will be the initiator.
Even a stagnant pool does not remain the same but becomes more and more foul. So too inertia and fear of change attract the worst of circumstances, and are therefore to be avoided at all costs. As a stagnant pool will be refreshed by an inflow and outflow of rushing water, so too our lives are refreshed by an inflow of things new and different.
Embrace the Concept of Change as Necessary and Welcome
Perhaps you already know this. If you do, wonderful. Knowing this will allow you to both initiate and welcome change as it continually happens in your life. Some changes will be dramatic, some inconsequential. Some will be pleasant and others unpleasant. But like a seaworthy captain who can trim and adjust the sails to any weather condition, we too learn to find our way through all situations feeling competent and capable.
If, however, the concept of change as good and necessary is a foreign idea, then your task is clear. Look closely at yourself and others and watch the Law of Constant Change in action. Practice naming it whenever you see it. “Ah . . . there’s another example of the Law of Constant Change in action,” you might say when you see it. Practicing this even for one week will astound you. Change, you will realize, is everywhere and in constant motion. Recognizing this within yourself as a living reality rather than a mere concept will have a huge impact. You will then be aware of your own power to initiate change in whatever way you choose. You will begin to captain your own ship rather than merely being a passenger. You too will learn to trim sails and become seaworthy in life.
Follow the Call
In my book The Practice of Happiness, the first practice of happiness is to “follow the call.” Unless we march to that unique drum which beats within each of us, our life’s vitality will dry up to where it is a mere trickle, rather than a continuous surge of joy and creativity.
All of our instincts, inclinations, and desires are within us for a reason. Do not fear that which calls within you. Be brave, and follow your instincts wherever they may lead you. Each life is unique, and the diversity and options of a life well lived are incredible. Choose a path with heart that nurtures you. How will you know when you’re following your call? Easy – every part of you is alive with the excitement of the adventure. You wake up enthused about what each new day brings. The journey itself becomes as important as the destination. When you feel like this you know you’re on the right path.
Using Burnout as a Call for Change
Burnout is an all too common phenomena of our present age and can happen to anyone. A busy modern life has many demands placed upon it, and all of them can seem crucial. Here we must be vigilant that our daily routines do not overwhelm us. No matter what our circumstances, the possibility of initiating change is always available. Always. Do not let tunnel vision convince you otherwise. Tunnel vision has a way of manifesting itself into a tunnel life if we are not careful.
There are always creative solutions and different ways of handling every situation. There is never only one way. We are all creatures of habit, and sometimes our habits form a monotonous routine that saps our energy. A tedious repetition of chores or duties that we have convinced ourselves are absolutely necessary to the well being of ourselves and our family may not be necessary at all, at least not in the way we are presently performing them.
Here I will share a secret with you. If you find yourself trying to convince yourself over and over again about the importance of some goal, objective, or obligation, when your spirit is crying for change, your spirit usually knows best.
Burnout is a flag waving, a signal from ourselves to ourselves that changes are necessary. Don’t ignore these signals.