Change is inevitable. And yet, it’s very easy to get caught up in change and let it pull you along, like a stick in a river being swept away by the current. Instead of making conscious choices, one day you discover that you’re living a life shaped primarily by change rather than by choice.
There is only one way to counteract this tendency. And that is, to have a clear vision of what you want and why you want it, and to then use these benchmarks to qualify and guide your choices. Someone with a clear, strong vision for their life is far less likely to be tossed around by the winds of change. In fact, with proper planning and a willingness to seize opportunity when it presents itself, you can actually tack into that wind and use the force of change to move even closer to your original goals.
Steps for Taking Control of the Changes in Your Life
1. Know What You Want
It’s just common sense that if you don’t know what you want, you don’t stand much of a chance of getting it. Take some time to really think about this. It may be something as specific as a particular position in a particular firm, or as vague as a wish to live in a general region, doing a general kind of work. Sometimes, if you’re not sure of what you want, it’s easier to look at what isn’t working for you in your current life. This can give you a place to start looking for what would make you happier.
2. Know Why You Want It
Now that you know the “what,” it’s time to work on the “why.” This is important for two reasons. First, knowing why you want something will prevent you from getting what you want in a way that doesn’t actually suit your needs. (If you want to live in the tropics so you can hit the beach every day, it won’t do you any good to move to a land-locked tropical location.) Second, knowing why gives you options if the most obvious routes to satisfying your desires are blocked. As above, it’s sometimes easier to determine why you want something by laying out why you don’t like about what you currently have.
3. Qualify Your Choices
When change occurs – a career change, health issues, an inheritance, etc. – rate your options through the lens of the “what” and “why” above. This is often harder than it first appears. A great career move may seem like an obvious “yes,” until you pick it apart and realize it takes you further away from your desire to work with people in need and involves a lot of travel, which you loathe. A job that involves a pay cut and a loss of social status may actually prove to be far and away the best choice, if it’s a better fit for your goals. Without a clear vision of what you want and why, however, you could easily be persuaded to take a better-looking offer that is entirely unsuited to your needs.
Change can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day aspects of dealing with the human reactions to change (http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/futures.htm). This can make it harder to see just how far we’ve been blown off course until it’s too late. But being clear on your goals, dreams and desires, gives you an edge when dealing with change.
As I tell my life coaching clients, the best time to get clear on your goals is before you need them. That’s because when change hits, you’ll be far too busy dealing with what’s in front of you. Like money in the bank, a clear vision of your wants and needs is ready whenever you need it, to let the winds of change serve you rather than the other way around.
Thanks to Widow’s Quest for including this post in the Carnival of Positive Thinking, to Living by Design for featuring this post in the Living by Design Blog Carnival, to Positive and Successful Lifestyle Tips for publishing this post in the Carnival of Inspiration and Motivation, and to The Next 45 Years for inclusion in the Personal Development Carnival, to Energies of Creation for featuring this post in the Carnival of Creative Growth, to pinkblocks for publishing this post in the Blog Carnival of Personal Power, and to Your Health Guide for inclusion in the Carnival of Inspiration and Motivation.