Change Or Die
I was reading an article in Fast Company the other day. The article, by the same title, was discussing our nature against change. You would think that if you were given the choice to change or die, change would be only nature. However, the article goes on say how although all say they want to change, how in truth, few ever do. The article triggered a thought into my own dilemma. I can change my bedroom, change the look of my site (btw: what do you think?), move to new places, but the fundamental things I want to change, remain the same. So how is it that one makes change?
First, I think you need to have sweet sweet time. Change is never easy, it hurts and sucks. It’s like shedding skin. Take a look at every creature that sheds skin. If you could ask them how it’s like to lose that layer, I’m sure all of them would take a puff on there smoke and same, “Man, it sucks”. It’s full of pain and awkwardness, just take a look at our own puberty process. Everyone knows how bad it really is.
Second, a really good time machine. You know that feeling of going around, and around in a circle. That feeling of chasing your own tail. You think I’m just doing the same thing over and over again. You might also think to yourself, “this is pointless, I’m not going to….[fill in the blank]” Well, this is where I’ve taken a thought from Dari. Some might say it’s a circle, but if you look at the path, it’s more like a spiral. Sometimes the spiral is wound so tight, that it overlaps, like a snakes coil, and other times there are leaps and bounds. But there is still motion. There is still progress towards the desire or outcome. But, only with a really good time machine do we ever see the progress. It never feels different at the time. You ask anyone in the process of change…ask a teenager, go ahead, ask them how there change is going? If the answer you get isn’t “F*&@# YOU” or “What are you talking about?” I’d be surprised.
Thirdly, rinse and repeat. It might be an old school train of thought, in a way it is. But how often did you write, or read, or type over and over in school Even crappy typers can eventually type extremely well with 2 fingers given enough time and practice. Musicians need that repetition, if not, there joints just won’t stretch the bridge of the guitar, or that octave and a bit stretch. If they don’t practice, they can’t focus on the melodies in their head during a song. Instead of being in the moment and enjoying the beauty that is coming from them, they are questioning, what’s the next note? Repetition can do magical things to people. However, repetition needs will power like no other. It’s hard sometimes to work on something everyday when there are so many other wonderful things to be doing.
Most of all, there must be the emotional need. There must be a driver; a drive; a goal; an outcome. Something needs to point the way. And, when the article was proving that death wasn’t good enough, I was first taken aback. How could dying not be good enough? And the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Everyone dies. It inevitability makes for an impossible struggle. Whether it be 2 years or 20 years, it ( or they, if you’ve ever seen Dead Like Me ) will always catch up with you. There is no triumph. I bet that the people who made a change, found that driver. They didn’t change because they were running away from death, they changed because they wanted something from life. Something they wanted deep in there core. So what is it that you want from life? You’d be surprised at how much time, effort and clarity you get when you are working on something that means something to you.