True Change

Change seems to be the word of the moment right now in the news but not everyone understands just what change really means.

When I was 17 years old, only a few months into my senior year of high school I was on top of the world.  I had it all, good job, parties every weekend, not a care in the world.  All I was focused on was joining the USMC and getting some trigger time in the desert.

My girlfriend at the time who I had only been with for a few weeks dropped a bomb on me.  We were pregnant.  I was so scared stayed home and cried for three days.  Everything I knew was changed, the world had changed in an instant and it was time to become a man.  I had a choice.  I could either shun this responsibility and be a piece of garbage like so many other guys my age or I could take responsibility for my actions and do the right thing.  I chose change.  I laid my life at the feet of this child, my life was no longer my own.

I come from a poor family; there was not enough money to pay the utilities each month, much less anything available for college, vehicles or any of the other luxuries that some are afforded.  For the next 6 years I worked my ass off.  Two jobs while going to school.  It was exhausting both mentally and physically, it was painful but choosing change in response to this life altering event was the best decision I have ever made.

We have all heard, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  Change is not about what you are doing but how you are doing it.  You may move from project to project and think that you are dynamic but if you are always taking the same approach and working in the same fashion you are really not changing at all, you simply applying the same tools you already have to a different item.  True change is about how you approach a problem, changing the tools in your belt.  To truly change you must learn, grow, and expand beyond what do today.  You must set free the prejudice and ideology you currently posses and open up to new ideas.

Change is inconvenient, change never comes when you are ready for it, you may have to drop what you are doing and adapt.

Change is frightening, change can be downright terrifying and we all know this, what we don’t readily acknowledge however is the reason it’s scary.  The typical quick response why change is scary is that people are afraid of failure.  By and large the majority of us work for organizations that are not going to fire us if we fail, they will absorb that failure for us.  The real reason people are afraid of change is the potential criticism they fear from those around them.  People believe they will be looked down up or seen as unsuccessful if they fail.  It is much safer to just waffle around in indecision then to take a stand because taking a stand means risk of being wrong.

Change can be painful, tough decisions will need to be made.  Sacrifices both personal and profession must be made.  Change requires us to get outside our comfort zones which by definition means less comfort and in extreme cases, pain.  Going back to school, dropping an ideology, or putting in the extra hours to get something done all create pain.

Remember, that which does not kill us only makes us stronger.  Choose to be positive, choose to work harder, choose to educate yourself and work smarter, choose new experiences and ultimately change the tools in your belt.

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