Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Get On With It

There is a fine line between being patient and being passive. I recently retweeted the following:

From @ThisInspiresUs: They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol
#LiveBetter #change

There is an interesting truth to this quote. Indeed, time does change things--not in and of its own accord. Change comes about because, as time passes, people are taking actions. Depending on the actions taken, things will change one way or another.  The more like the past that new actions might be, the less things will change. The more radically different new actions might be, the more things will change. It is not time alone that brings about change. Change comes as a result of changes made by people compounded over time.

Sitting back passively waiting for time to change things is ineffective. Surely, some things change slowly. Being patient while waiting for effort and actions to pay off is fine, but to fail to participate in bringing about change simply does not. Change will (or might) occur with time because others are directing it. In such a case, the outcome will be determined by the effort of someone else. The passive person will have no influence on what the new circumstances will look like. Their hope to see changes they desire will be squashed by the desires of someone else. To realize desired change, then, means not being passive.

The trick to bringing about desired change is to know what one wants and to work toward that. I cannot understate how important it is to "know what one wants"! Change to a vague, undefined image of something is frustrating at best, if not totally fruitless. Know what the desired change looks like, then get on with the work of bringing about that change.

There are two sides to such work. One side is like painting a picture. When you know what the desired outcome looks like, start adding things to the canvas that fits. For example, if people seek to change the dynamic of a relationship to something more fulfilling, then they need to add to the routine things that are part of a fulfilling relationship!

The other side to the work of change is like sculpture. Once the desired outcome is identified, chip away everything that does not fit.  Take away everything that does not look like, for instance, healthy eating, and what is left will be--well healthy eating.

Change, then, comes from the sum of the two processes--adding in things that fit the desired outcome and taking away anything that does not.

When a people take on the task of changing, they cannot sit back passively and wait for time to act alone. They should be patient--yes--but patient only in giving time to their efforts at making change for themselves.

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