For A Change….

For a Change….

I have been involved in several situations over the last month or so where I or someone I know has been confronted with change. I like to think of myself as open to new ideas or concepts but that is not always the case. Like you, I tend to look at the road not taken and for what ever reason think the one I am on is just fine. Then I get this crazy desire to explore new worlds and the wanderlust of my brain takes over. No, we are not moving again…at least not just yet.

Interestingly our brains are wired to fight change. We sense danger or its evil twin insecurity when confronted.This thing we call mindset or predisposition causes the grey matter to fight back. Our brain has to work harder.We have to grind through and fight it. For most it’s a lot easier to put life on automatic and sit back.
How often have you caught yourself on a long drive just going down the road without a great deal of thought? Not really firing many neurons. But what if as happened to us recently you are in a whacky place called England where they drive on the opposite side of the road. The steering wheel and the car’s processes don’t really change but you are on edge and have to relearn a task that you could do in your sleep. But are you really driving differently?

My good friend KC whose husband died a few weeks ago is facing change. Yes, she may have thought about it during Neal’s illness but right now there is a void she could not have imagined. A way of life they had together even when he was so sick is forever gone. That is beyond a natural reaction but how you handle it and move on determines your very survival.

Now she will grieve and maybe even bemoan her lot in life but I think I know her well enough to say she is taking small steps as we speak. She will look at things and say here are the cards (or tiles) that I have been dealt and now how do I play them? In a crazy moment she will look at this as an opportunity to not only move on but create a whole new way of looking at the world. Some will poo poo it as inappropriate to even think of these things so soon after a spouse’s death and good for them.I think she is great. Strikingly we are all so quick to cast a judgmental eye on anything different.

We establish a mindset… a way of looking at the world. We might be inquisitive and accepting or we may be stubborn and intolerant. The old half empty, half full is really our manner of facing the world. Now everyone is more than entitled to call their own shots. If your mantra is we have always done it that way and it’s good enough for me, then so be it. If you like jumping off cliffs or swimming with sharks, good for you. Yet I often wonder if either side of the spectrum really believes their way works.

We all have this voice inside of us. It sets the tone and filter of our lens. Some might say it is what side of sanity you fall on but I think that is a little too extreme. It is up to us to see if that whisper in your ear is valid and well formed or just an annoyance to prevent you from being better. Does it hold you back from using your talents or is it a bit of sound advice?

This is evident in all aspects of our lives today. Iran nuclear treaties, same sex marriage, climate, your marriage, your home. Do you do things the same or invite new arenas? I believe we become more staid as we get older because we are more insecure. We see a new and evolving world and it scares us to death to think we might become a part of all this lunacy. We don’t really know how we would fare financially, intellectually or just as people, so we stay in the background. We might sit quietly or worse throw brickbats to try to bring the adventurous down. How sad.

Going back to neuroscience you ask how can I break through be I young or old when my mind is wired to stay put? Therein lies the beauty of our intelligence. It seems when we perceive a breakthrough moment little chemicals get released. Whatever they are they whisper “go for it”. In my case I think they yell. But those Aha moments become easier to greet and the satisfaction of learning new things or meeting new people does wonders for the heart and soul. Young or old you feel empowered.

If you have ever played golf you have learned in some way how to hit the ball. Same holds true for tennis, baseball or whatever. You have repeated that swing over and over again. Of course you think it is a beautiful thing even though it may be atrocious to the camera’s critical eye. That repetition creates a thing called “muscle memory”. It is instinct. It is the way you have always done it. It is ingrained in you.

Now to break that pattern is extremely difficult. Whether you are taking it back or following through, you just do it. Your brain is the largest continuous muscle in your body. It contains the muscle memory in this thing we call life. To alter that will take a lot of practice and work. Now you can keep your crappy swing that just gets you by. Snuggle under your security blanket. Or you can CHANGE and really accomplish some wonderful things. I guess it comes down to how you want to live your life?
As always
Ted The Great.

Factoids:
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy

“Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.” – M. Scott Peck, Author A Road Less Travelled.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Margaret Mead

Wanna Change?
Breast Implant…$7,100
Breast Lift (Whatever that is)…$5,200
Breast Reduction…$7,200
Eyelids…$5,000
Lips…$2,500
Facelift…$10,000
Rhinoplasty….$7,000
Tummy Tuck….$7,000

People will change jobs 5-7 times over their career. Fully 1/3 of the workforce moves around every year. The major reasons are boredom,downsizing, money and their boss.

There are 876,000 divorces in the US per year. Ironically there are about the same number of widows/widowers created in any given year.

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