>> Tuesday, July 5, 2011
“Unless the pain of where you are is greater than the pain of change, you will never change”.
Bishop Mark Kariuki
I made a difficult choice recently. Form where I was working continuously for almost fifteen years, I decided to change to another environment. The decision wasn’t easy and it was somewhat painful. Many people asked me why I did that. At my work place, some people really meant what they said… ‘that they would miss me’. Understandable because I was around for too long. Others were just interested to know how much more money it was gong to bring me.
That is how it goes. We all look at the same thing from different points and see different things. In the last fifteen years, I have found that almost all the doctors had left the hospital for better prospects. I had been offered better terms on many occasions. But I decided to stay back .I was happy where I was. The money was less, but the work was comfortable. I was thinking, if it is eventless and flows quiet, do you have to stick back for the rest of your time? Why was it that others had left and changed jobs many times over within the same time?
But then I also realized that you become stale if you stay at one place for too long. People take you for granted and some people would even think that you are sticking on because you don’t have other options. It is also true that as you get older the options get lesser. We are also not tuned to changes. Our parents or relatives would have joined some government service and worked there till retirement. My brother worked for the postal department and retired at the same place. Another brother joined the electricity department as an engineer and retired from the same department. Changes were difficult those days and options were limited.
We are people who do not change. Simply because we are afraid of changes. Or we are too lazy for changes. We don’t want to leave the comforts of home. Or we do not want to leave the friends we have made. Or do not want to break the relationships we have entered in to. We fight and argue all through life and make lives miserable for ourselves and others. Still, we would not think of a new life or a new beginning.
On the other hand, now a day, many in the younger generation change jobs and situations the way they change shirts. They change for better prospects and working conditions. For the sake of leaving their home lands to far away lands they dreamed of. They are no longer afraid of leaving families and loved ones behind. Options are unlimited. There are no sentiments or emotional ties. They have the will to walk away from relationships and do not hesitate to break the bondages of families.
I am not for unwarranted changes. But I believe there is nothing wrong in trying if a change is needed. And no reason to be afraid. Often ,changes end up for your own benefit. I had often thought, if I had lost my job, it would be finally good, because I could be in my home town where I was born and always wanted to live, and I could be with my family and friends, whom I had always missed. You don’t gain something without losing something else. If the reason you need to change is not clear, you need to be patient. Do not hurry to make conclusions about its value. Give yourself time to prepare emotionally and psychologically.
The concept of making changes to life is not the same for all, seems easy for some and frightening for others. The familiarity with the familiar and the already known is always safer and it safeguards from the fear of change, the threat of new and the fear against the unknown.
You don’t have to hit rock bottom before you are motivated to change. You don’t have to wait until the doctor tells you that you have diabetes and high blood pressure before you choose to take decisive action with your life style. You don’t have to go broke before you confront your fears, stop procrastinating and get your act together. You don’t have to wait until you get a diagnosis of lung cancer to choose to quit smoking. You don’t have to wait until your estranged loved one is on his deathbed before you make the effort to reconcile and say’ sorry”.
The denial to change stems from the fear of loss. When you have doubts about a change in your life, ask yourself what is that you are afraid to lose? Is it about control? Is it self-respect, freedom, familiarity, income, or comfort? Discover the root of fear and try to get over it. Accept that the discomfort, doubt and uncertainty are all by-products of change. The more familiar you are with these feelings, the more you will be able to distinguish the real effects of change.
I have long wondered about this. And I’ve come to realize that it fully depends on how fed up you become and how badly do you want it. It infuriates people to hear that, but it is because it means we have to own up, take responsibility and make the necessary change. As humans we naturally take the path of least resistance; we have to fight to go in a different direction. The belief that you can suddenly stop everything and make a fresh start is utopian: regardless how much you want to leave the past behind you. The best way to make a change is to face your past and plan for the future.
I have been through many difficult pathways. I am a stronger person from this passage. I have learned from my past. I am happy with where I am today and I can try to be happy where ever I am tomorrow. My life has taken me in a full circle. I am not a shadow anymore. Changes in my life have kept me going. I love my past. I love my present. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve had, I am not thrilled by what I had either, and I’m not sad because I have it no longer.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”
- Albert Einstein