Pain or Fun?

I often meet people who are reluctant to make needed changes in their lives. This is not uncommon, since most of us (me included!) do find change difficult.

  I am sure that you have listened to someone complain about something in their lives (relationship, job, income, living situation, children, parents, etc.) but seemed quite unwilling to take the steps to improve the situation, especially if they have to make a change themselves!

  Yet change is inevitable. Every day many cells in our body are replaced. Every day brings new challenges and rewards. Someone coined the phrase, “There is either growth or there is death.”

  Such does not stop us from tenaciously clinging on to our old (sometimes worn-out) ways of living life! I love the line coined by Einstein: “Insanity is expecting new results using old methods.”

  I believe that there are two main motivators for us to make changes.  One is painful and the other is fun. When the pain of continuing on with old behaviours, thoughts, attitudes, or beliefs is greater than the pain of risking a change, then we (reluctantly) make that change.

  I remember the pain involved in separating from my wife, a person I still loved. It was excruciating. I had avoided considering a separation in every way I knew how. (In fact, many of these avoidances actually contributed to the destruction of the relationship!). Saying good-bye to Lucie felt like a death to me.

  Once the decision had been made, I certainly felt grief. I also felt freedom and a lightness I hadn’t felt in some time. I was able to use this whole experience to learn more about myself, about my part in the destruction of the relationship, and about how my avoidance patterns had created the very thing I had feared. Rather than giving fear so much power in my life, I was better able to put my soul in charge. What an amazing improvement this made!

  Of course I continue to return to that fearful place when confronted with changes I need to make. Such is being human. It is for a good reason that when heavenly apparitions greet us mortals, the first words from their mouths is often “do not fear.” Yet recognising that fear does not make a good captain of any ship, can free me up to make the changes I need to make.

  There is another good motivator for change: fun, pleasure, excitement, passion, and more! Many changes occur when we are rewarded for taking that step. The fear of going dancing with a woman who is a far better dancer was quickly overcome when I had a great time! What new parent isn’t helped to continue on with the difficult task of raising a child when rewarded with a big smile from their baby or hearing the first words from that young child?

  May you be blessed with such divine interventions as you navigate life’s twists and turns!

Ian Gartshore is a local, sustainable energy coach and fellow traveller.