I’m going to step out on a limb here and assume this has happened to you, or you’ll at least relate to it in some fashion. When I went on my recent trip to the west coast I had an amazing time. I returned refreshed and invigorated, full of fresh new ideas, and I was feeling on top of the world (minus the jet lag). I truly noticed a huge difference in myself, even with my usual routines and the changes I was making. Then something happened - the workweek!
I swear, that is the ultimate thorn in a person’s side. I mean, I enjoy my job, but I think there’s more to it for everyone. Not just the workweek itself, but you’re getting back into how things were done before, and it doesn’t make any sense. We left to go on our dream vacation and came back revived, yet we return to do the same things again. I guess it’s that Einstein quote on insanity...
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The point is that I, and I’m going to include you, need to do something different! That’s why we read these posts, love the daily insights, and really try to get our mind in the right place. Awesome! But we’re missing the rest of the puzzle. The silly part is it’s not even that difficult to figure out what goes together, it’s figuring out how to change the areas of your life that really need changing. We know what we need to do, but it’s actually how to do it.
We go on vacations, to conferences, take a trip, and have new experiences. You turn over a new leaf and then you come back. So how do you maintain that goodness? Not just through reading and absorbing, but truly changing your life. That means you need to change what you’re doing. I need to change what I’m doing. EX - You can think of being as healthy as you want, but if you don’t exercise and change what you’re eating you aren’t going to be in shape.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” - Buddha
First and most importantly - What changes do you really want? Without direction you’ll stay lost forever. How do you know what to be happy about if you have no idea what your moving towards?
I’ve also provided this solution before. This is the formula I use:
"What works and what doesn’t? Get rid of what doesn’t and add more of what does."
This can be applied to your overall life, a specific setting like school or work, or to a facet like your relationships. Most of the time I start with a specific scenario or setting and make sure I’m doing my best to make it work. Sometimes it’s just one minor thing that throws everything off, so when you go through the process lots of changes can begin to happen. That’s why I always say first - Try and learn to be happy where you are in order to move to where you want to be. However, some are a lost cause and I remove them completely - ending a relationship, changing jobs etc.
When you go to make these changes there will be three groups that you are most likely going to interact with - Friends, coworkers, and family. Let’s be honest here, it will be awesome when they support you. The real thing you’re worried about is when they don’t, and call you out. I call that Combat. I’m no expert, but here’s some thoughts on how to deal with it.
As for friends and family that’s where you will probably get the most flack for your changes. It’s not that people don’t like change, in fact they freakin’ love it - that’s why they’re always buying the latest product. What people don’t like is being changed, and when you change what you do they get nervous and wonder what’s going to happen. Are you still going to be their friend, have your movie nights, or in what way are you going to play a role in their life? They love you, that’s why they can present such a challenge, but you also have to do what’s best for you.
So what exactly are you combating when it comes to friends and family?
People will come out of the woodwork as naysayers, or you’ll have people asking you a billion questions to try and make you feel like you’re wrong. Perhaps they just want to feel like they’re right. I could provide some tips for arguing, and you could answer them and try to stick up for yourself, but you know you’re not really convincing them. As well intentioned as they may be, we don’t always have all the answers we need, and sometimes we don’t even have a plan lined up at the moment. We just know we want something different. So how do you respond?
Honestly, I ignore them. Yes, I can be stubborn, but if you never try you’ll never know. If people really get on my nerves this is what I say(Although I think you should start with this instead of waiting like I usually do):
“I really appreciate your concern but I’d appreciate it if we didn’t talk about this anymore. I know you’re looking out for me, but I’ve already decided I’m doing this. If you have suggestions from your direct experience then I’m all for it, if not then let’s talk about something else.”
*Side Note - Remember that it’s better to go through the momentary awkwardness than live a life of what could have been.
Remember that - Direct experience. You either have supportive people in your life or you don’t. Get advice from people who have done it before. If they haven’t, do they really know what they’re talking about? This reminds me of the scene from Thank You For Smoking at around 1:02 when he asks about the girls mother. If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out. You’ll definitely learn some tricks! Check this clip out.
Update: Link no longer works, but you should definitely watch the movie.
So how do you deal with coworkers?
The question is - what are you dealing with at work? Are you changing careers, your processes, etc? There really is no one way I deal with coworkers. You know whether you’re leaving your job or trying to get people on board to an idea. My suggestion is, if you’re trying to get people on board, start with why. Not the results you’re trying to achieve, but why you’re trying to achieve it. That’s the real way to gain support. It will help you realize who’s on the same page. If you’re just changing the way you do things personally at work, stay with it. It can take awhile trying to find a new groove, but trial and error is really key. Don’t resort back to an old way just because it's comfortable, use the formula I provided and move forward!
When it comes to changing your daily routines or processes at work. We try to do so much at once that when we make a mistake or get stressed we revert right back. So there are two options: go all in or gradually make a transition. Write down your goals/changes so you can remember them down the line. Here’s a post that speaks more to this occurrence http://www.thechangeblog.com/firm-limits/
Move forward with confidence. Now we have to be honest, that’s not moving confidently forward, knowing exactly what to expect. What I really mean is you need to be able to trust yourself and believe in yourself so that when you don’t know the outcome you can still move forward confidently. The picture is rarely ever clear, but as a wise man would say....
“I have learned, that if one advances confidently
in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
- Henry David Thoreau
I’m finding that to be so true lately! So what are you moving towards, or what great experiences are you coming back from?
Have Fun In Combat and Changing, let me know the results!