By Sunny Simon
Grabbing a magazine I stuffed it in my purse on my way out the door. I knew there would be a wait and it was an ideal time to catch up on reading one of the many periodicals delivered to my door. Full disclosure, I had to force myself to select this particular magazine. I hadn’t read any of the issues in months and I knew why. The publication had converted from a typical shiny cover to a stock parchment with a different look and feel. Even the pages between the cover had lost their luster.
As I began leafing through the magazine in search of an interesting article, I soon settled on one about an editor who attempted to conquer her biggest fear: performing stand-up comedy. By the time I got to the third paragraph I forgot all about the tactical feel I missed when I picked up the journal. After reading three articles in the time allotted, I experience an “aha” moment. When I stopped to think about the untouched back issues piling up in my office, I realized I was avoiding change. Something that was no longer shiny, smooth and familiar was left ignored because it was different.
Having always prided myself on being a change agent, I was faced with a reality causing me to examine some other areas of my life. Running through my memory bank I wondered, did I always drive the same route, hang out with the same friends and frequent the same restaurants? Had I stopped searching out the new and different? At the end of my reverie I came up guilty as charged. I sighed and vowed to start changing things up in my everyday life.
Why do we avoid change? The answer is easy. It takes energy. It means removing ourselves from auto-pilot. I’ve read enough books about changing habits to know the limbic part of our brain doesn’t like change and would be blissfully happy to do the same things over and over again.
Want to change something in your life? Here’s the good news. There are only three parts to implementing change: desire, intent and persistence. You must do the work; it doesn’t happen on its own. Be like the editor who changed her behavior and ended up on an improv stage in a Dallas comedy house. Okay, perhaps stand-up isn’t your game, but you can experience and accomplish something new and different. When you do, your life will become more interesting. Don’t try, just do. I did.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog, www.lifeonthesunnyside.net