Here's the first principle of change navigation:
Nobody can sell you change, you’ve got to WANT it.
Do you belong to a CrossFit group or do you just want to belong to a like-minded group of individuals dedicated to maximizing their strength, stamina, and endurance?
Maybe you don’t care about the camaraderie - you just want the CrossFit body.
Photo by LJ Lara on Unsplash
I just want to be strong.
Years ago I had a personal trainer who helped me get my rear to the gym through accountability.
The idea of going to the gym most days brought pure dread.
I just wanted to go home, grab something to eat, and then veg out in front of the television until bedtime.
But once I got to the gym and started working, I loved nearly every moment - except on the days he pushed me on cardio.
Day by day, week by week, year by year the strength came.
So did smaller waist sizes.
Stamina, I never knew what you could do for me.
Endurance? Well, isn’t this a handy tool!
My trainer friend Nathan didn’t sell me on any of those things.
I walked into his gym a few months after my dad had undergone successful surgery for lung cancer.
That he was more physically active than I could be - because of my battle with chronic lung disease - just seemed ridiculous.
Change comes from within
When I went to see Nathan for the first time, I was buying change.
I wanted change and was willing to part with treasure, time, and energy to make that change - through accountability and the expertise of a professional.
Here’s the thing about change, though.
Change is coming, whether or not we’re ready for it.
We can deny it, rage against it - and the people we think are responsible for the changes in our lives - or be victimized by change.
And, oh my goodness, am I good at playing the victim card.
Even now that I’m aware of my propensity to play the victim and know how good life can be when I burn that card, sometimes I realize it’s crept into my “game” again.
So, no shame if you’re claiming that victim role.
One of the most important things I’ve learned about change navigation is that the world is - at best - indifferent to me.
In The Obstacle is the Way Ryan Holiday talks about the notion that humanity can bend the universe - and nature - to our wills.
The hubris at the core of this notion that we can change everything is somewhat new. In a world where we can beam documents around the world in nanoseconds, chat in high-definition video with anyone anywhere, credit the weather down to the minute, it’s very easy to internalize the assumption that nature has been domesticated and submits to our whims. Of course it hasn’t.
Heck, in our first-world society we can’t even agree on which is the better soft drink, which way the toilet paper roll should go, or much more serious matters like climate change.
Which leads us to the second principle of change navigation:
Understanding that the world is - at best - indifferent to me.
Millions of us recite Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer on a daily basis and my ability to accept the things I cannot change begins with the ongoing realization that the world isn’t my BFF, my protector, or the archvillain in my life.
The world is just there, doing what it does, and my job is to simply respond or ignore.
If you’re a Christian - and I am - there’s a second part to this realization that the world is at best indifferent to us.
And that is that my Creator loves me.
Right here, right now, exactly as I am.
When I accept that unconditional love, I’m prepared to fulfill Jesus’ command to love others as He has loved me.
When I fail to do that, we get what we’ve got in the world today - people wearing the name of Jesus and expecting conformity from the rest of the world.
Jesus wasn’t talking to the world, really.
His command to love others as he loved us was for his followers.
Culturally, I think we Christians are doing a terrible job at that right now, and it grieves me.
Seriously, where did we get the idea that our "job" was to demand that the world conform to the teachings of Jesus?
Too often, we're not even doing it ourselves.
Bob Goff, in Live in Grace, Walk in Love, talks about how believers in Jesus are to respond when life buckles our knees.
…at some point in life something will break you. We can’t avoid it, because we’re all a little broken and we’re bound to get things wrong. Someone will eventually nestle their way into your heart and then let you down. And when they do, you’ll either explode in anger or show a steady stream of love. Be love, so love will flow out when people fail you, just like it flowed from Jesus when He took the fall for us.
Note: This is the first article about the necessary truths about change navigation.
Principle 1: Nobody can sell you change, you’ve got to WANT it.
How about you?
Are you ready to invest in change?
What’s the number one thing about change that’s most difficult for you right now - accepting change or initiating change in your life?
What kind of change are you ready for?
Hit me up at @tracyplaces or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in more ideas like this?
I typically post a few times a week.
Thanks for reading.