Posted Feb 26, 2017

Article: The Seas Of Change

Written by: Geoffrey Nault

“To SEE the change, you must BE the change”. Okay, so I’m sure you’ve seen many depictions of similar catch phrases. Or the opposite: “If you keep doing the same things over and over again, and expect a different result, that’s the definition of insanity”. So does all this ‘woo-woo’ talk make any sense? Does it even apply to our every day lives?

Change seems to be something that eludes us like the infamous butterfly who’s linked to happiness. You cannot catch it, it just happens upon us. But is that so with change? We just arrived into a new year, some sixty days ago, and for a percentage of us we made a resolution list and anticipated that change was upon us. This usually involves career, money, relationships and health. The big four that keep the commercial self-help industry booming. The problem being, statistically, most people that have ‘resolved’ at the start of the year, have succumbed to the notion that change won’t happen and have already discretely shredded their list. Is this simply pure laziness on our parts, or is there something more to it?

I bring this up because I myself, am seeking change. More so, change in my lifestyle approach to derive more meaning to what I’m doing work- wise. Details aside, I, like most, find change difficult. But maybe this is common amongst us all as human beings?

Difficulties in change I find, are rooted in our habits, daily routines and comfort levels. We adapt to our environments as we see fit, and to disrupt the status quo (or to change) means to get UNCOMFORTABLE. For me, I’m already used to my current work schedule, I know when I have time off, I know how much money I’ll make in a given month and I know my responsibilities. Knowing in itself, is comfort, at least for me it is.Take fitness for example. For someone to radically change their body composition, they will have to practically re-structure their entire lifestyle. This is usually far too painful or uncomfortable for most to burden and hence, usually leads to a high failure rate. So then, can we overcome the inertia’s of our comforts and produce ever lasting change?

I like to use the ‘SEA‘ metaphorically to depict the outcomes in our lives. Meaning, we simply CANNOT predict the outcomes. Sure, we can navigate our vessel in the best direction we can, but like Christopher Columbus, our voyage can go drastically off-course to entirely new discoveries. Were Columbus to accept the notion (ahead of time) that ‘success’ is purely subjective to one’s own set of expectations, perhaps success to him was the voyage itself and not the outcome? Like self-help guru’s will ‘sell’ to you, “Happiness is in the journey (or life itself) and not in the destination (or outcomes).” I do believe there is some merit to this statement, question is: “how do we get our minds to think like that?”

It’s becoming more accepting to me that REAL CHANGE does require a leap into the unknown and it almost always means getting uncomfortable, like Columbus. But wait, what if Columbus thrived on adventure and the excitement of the unknown? What if his mind was wired that way to begin with? Can we be so bold as him to risk our fate for the King of Spain (history details aside)? Okay, fine, so we’re not exactly living our lives in search of efficient oceanic trade routes (or maybe you secretly are?) And we’re not risking life or death either. But one interesting saying I’ve heard before is: “are you willing to risk who you are now, for who you will become?” That to me was profound because even though we may want change, we’re usually unwilling to change what we currently have. But to ultimately WELCOME change in our lives, we usually have to completely deconstruct our livelihoods for an entirely new, and unpredictable outcome.

So, am I then willing to BECOME the butterfly and escape the comforts of my cocoon? If I don’t want to be a caterpillar anymore, then I guess I have to be. I am currently in that process of transformation, and believe me, it is not easy. I am still trying to let go of my current comforts in order to allow change to happen. I’m not much of a ‘water baby’ so I won’t be sailing vessels (ocean wide) any time soon. So to pay homage to Columbus and all the other explorers who risked it all in search of their own glory, I will guide my ‘Santa Maria’ to the promise land. The outcome is irrelevant, but the journey is worth the risk to become a new version of me.