Embrace change and challenges. This is a tough one because many of us have been trained by society to view many life changes and challenges in an extremely negative light. Most of us are programmed to make value judgements about everything that we experience. We place each life experience in one of two bins, “good” or”bad.” Add to this the fact that any type of change causes stress, it is no wonder that, in these volatile times, people are more strained than ever.
Change occurs with every day, every hour, and every minute that passes. It may just be a difference in temperature as you travel from inside a warm building to a chilly winter day outside. It can come in the form of that new car smell. Or it can come in the aching loss felt when a loved one dies. Whether we label our change “good” or “bad”, according to researchers and many mental health professionals, the effects of the resulting stress on our health is the same.
When challenges come to us with change these are most often either labeled “bad” or seen as things to be conquered such as the lack of stamina a runner seeks to lessen as she trains for a marathon. We are urged by counselors to “over come” our grief at the loss of a loved one. We “face” challenges in our jobs, relationships, and just about every aspect of our lives.
When I say to embrace change and challenges, I mean that they should be merely acknowledged for what they are. That is things that have happened and nothing more. Labeling something as positive or negative does not actually help us to cope and can cause us to inaccurately categorize the things that happen to us. We have no idea in the grand scheme of things what really is “good” or “bad” as this zen story illustrates.
Change and challenges will be what they are no matter how we label them. By taking a neutral stance we can approach our life without questioning why things happen or trying to “undo” them in our minds. Worry falls away, giving way to clear thinking. When change occurs and challenges present themselves we are not as flustered or shocked. We accept the effects as is and move on.
I know this is NOT easy! Accepting such things as rejection or the loss of a loved one and being able to view it as part of the impersonal flow of life is very difficult. But the rewards of being able to do so are huge. We can view our lives and the events that affect us with perspective and act rather than react.
There is much more to the concept that we should embrace change and ehallenges. If you would like to learn more contact me here. If you would like to schedule a Jar The Ground talk for your organization feel free to contact me via the “Book a Speaking Engagement” menu bar link above.