Every day I walk to work along this path.
The area probably spans 10,000 square feet of lush green grass and yet I walk on a narrow path of dead yellow grass. If someone is gaining speed behind me, I step off the path to let them past and I get right back on again. I’ve seen others do the exact same thing. Day after day we step in line, we stay in line.
I have taken a bit of a break from writing this blog because I was busy studying and taking exams, getting ready to start a new career. A new career that some people have reminded me is a 180 degree difference from my current field of work.
“That’s a drastic change don’t you think?” some have said. “Why would you give up a secure pay cheque?” “You went to grad school, you won’t even be using your masters anymore.” As though this career change will render all my knowledge or experience automatically useless.
I’ve teetered like a rag doll over this career change. Most people in my life have been supportive, pumping me up and making feel like I’m making a “good move”. But then a nervous Nancy comes along, awakening the nervous Nancy inside myself. Reminding me that change is scary and that taking a risk may mean you’re stepping out on a limb that might snap in two.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that risk taking isn’t sometimes accompanied with failure. There are no guarantees in life. Actually, I just thought of a few. You’ll never change anything in your life unless you actually CHANGE something. And one day you’ll die. People say that life is too short to not do what you love but I think that life is too short to stay in your comfort zone and wonder what if.
Change can certainly lead to hardship, struggle and discomfort just to name a few things. But it can also lead to a few other things.
1. Pushing yourself to new limits
Muscles can never grow unless they are pushed. You could go to the gym and lift the same weight for your entire life, but your body would definitely adjust to this new normal and your progress would halt.
2. Personal growth
Changing your job, your city or your life usually means you need to learn new skills, a new language, or a new way of getting around. You may have to do things you’re scared of doing but I have yet to meet a person who regretted learning new skills.
Nobody ever accomplished anything new or great by saying, “you know what? I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, I hate change”.
If anything, changing yourself is the only thing you can do. Aldous Huxley once said, “I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself”. And he was right. We can always blame a city for having no “scene”, your boss for being a tyrant, or your neighbour for being too noisy but the only thing in life you can truly change is yourself.
Do you have something in your life you want to change or a risk you want to take? If so, what’s holding you back?