When making changes in your life, whether it be personal relationships, career, fitness, etc., there are things that you can expect to happen and you will likely not like some of them. Not everyone is going to be on board with whatever your change is and you have to be ok with that. Many people hate change. Many people get to a point in their life where they are comfortable and anything that disrupts that comfortability is seen as a threat. These people are not risk takers. They wake up each day to a mundane existence and they are comfortable this way. They reach for nothing, strive for nothing and mostly look forward to nothing. They are not goal oriented. They don’t have some burning desire to accomplish or achieve something. They are simply content. There is nothing inherently wrong with being content. However, never mistake contentment for happiness. They can coexist but it isn’t the norm. Many people are content and contentment is often times just another word for afraid. They are afraid to try something that has some risks involved. What they have may not be great or all they want but it’s all they have and they don’t want to lose it. They let age dictate what is realistic for them. Age is nothing more than a measurement of time. These people are so caught up with the number associated with their age that don’t actually live life. The number paralyzes them.
You may know someone or some people just like this. In a recent post I mentioned that we often don’t reach our goals because of relationships that we have that are not helpful in our personal growth. If you are a person driven by goals and have friends that are the polar opposite this can most certainly become a stumbling block for you.
Before I delve too deep I want to be clear, I’m not advocating that you simply dump your friends and start over just because they are different than you. Diversity is the spice of life and it’s good to have people around you that are different. However, we must be careful with how much influence we allow these relationships to have over us because the older we get the more our friends become our family. We spend more time with them than we do with our own blood family. Our relationships have a huge impact on how we see the world, how we see ourselves and what we think is possible. If you are looking to make a change you can expect this to have an impact on your friends. I am in the middle of making huge changes in my life. These things most certainly affect my attention, time and emotions. All of these things affect my friends and family.
When making a life change, relational changes are likely but more importantly, your internal environment will have to change as well. How you view and embrace the change, whatever it is, will likely determine your success or failure. I was recently listening to a podcast, Stop Chasing Pain, where Dr. Perry Nickelston was talking about some health issues he had and how he had to make some drastic changes in order to get better. He said something that really stuck with me. He said, “You cannot get well in the same environment you got ill within”. He was talking about his gut health but this can applied to many facets of our lives. You cannot maintain the same thought process and expect things to be different. That is the definition of insanity. Your current thought process lead you to where you are and if you are looking for change, where you are is not where you want to be.
Humans are largely creatures of habit. We get in routines and we stick to them, often without giving it any thought. If you are one looking to make a change you are going to have to be willing to swim against the current of your mind. It might mean that you used to go to bed around 10pm and get up at 6am. Now, in order to accomplish your goal you don’t go to bed until midnight and you get up at 5am. It might mean that you used to go home straight from work and watch TV, however, now you go straight to the gym before going home. This may mean eating later, which may mean meal prepping more often. In the beginning you will hear all kinds of valid excuses as to why you should stop this change. Your brain is used to something else but now you’re forcing it to adapt to something new. The old African proverb applies here, if there’s no enemy within the enemy outside can do us no harm. We must overcome our brain if we are to succeed.
Our relationships and our brains are but two limiting factors to consider when trying to make a real and lasting change. Both can create a bunch of static noise that can distract us from accomplishing our goal.
There is a certain amount of fortitude that is necessary if we are to succeed. We must be willing to sacrifice and work in order to make whatever change we are looking for happen. Eric Thomas said it best when he said the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. We cannot expect change to just happen.
One last thought about making a change, you must be persistent in your efforts. If your goal is weight loss then you cannot give up when your body fat % has not changed in two months. You have to keep working and tinkering with your plan. If you want to open a business you cannot give up just because you’ve been working on it for a year and nothing’s happened yet. You have to press on. Life is about moving forward and not giving up even in the face of failure. Failure is where we learn. Persistence is where we grow.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
― Calvin Coolidge