I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about change and I’ve reached an obvious conclusion: change is inevitable. It is the defining factor that proves we are alive.
There is an endless number of illuminating quotes from experts, writers, and gurus about change, but one I came across I’ve known forever; it appears on the ceiling in dentists’ offices. I’m now looking at it from a new angle—the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
What a perfect little package. It’s comprehensive, comprehensible, and cliché all in one. Who can argue? Agreed, I can’t change that thing or that person, so let it be grasshopper. And I might be able to change this other thing, if I’ve got the grit to do it. The last part about having the wisdom to know the difference, that gets a little sticky.
There’s actually an earlier point in the change process I’m finding myself stuck. I have this clawing sense I must change something about my life—I’m just not sure what.
I’m confident of things I don’t need or want to change: my identity as husband and father, my work status, my positive relationships with those I love, my desire and dogged endurance to write.
So what has to change? Look closely, my friend. Yes, I have some habits that don’t fit under the perfecto column, but they’re not causing this stir in me. I have some less-than-stellar character traits I could keep reshaping, but that’s more a long-haul project than this acute conundrum I’m experiencing.
Whatever it is, I sense change coming. Not just coming like some lucky or unlucky stroke of fate, but actively being sought. Required.
One of my favorites wrote:
that’s what kills a man: lack of change.Charles Bukowski
I’m on it, like a detective who’s just been assigned a case that’s going to be difficult to solve. I haven’t uncovered any evidence yet. I haven’t found the first clue. But I’m on it.