“Change is inevitable; growth is optional.” John C. Maxwell

Feel like there are never enough hours in the day to juggle all the ever-growing, ever-changing demands of work and life?

Frustrated that the program you just got comfortable with had yet another “update,” putting you back into learning curve status?

Overwhelmed by the enormous amount of “new” scientific and technological information out there?

You are not alone.

In addition to death and taxes, there is one other certainty in life that affects us all: change.

I know for some of you, change is like a four letter word – you cringe whenever you hear it.  But like it or not, change is here to stay – the key is learning to embrace it.

I don’t believe all change is necessary, but many are for our benefit and even essential to our health and wellness.  Take starting an exercise program, for instance.  I don’t know many people who would label a workout at the gym their favorite activity.  A lot of us would rather sit comfortably in front of the TV with a dessert.  But no one can dispute the health benefits of exercise: increased strength and energy, improved cardio-vascular endurance, and reduced risk for a host of preventable diseases.

Most change is like this.  It’s not that much fun to initially make the changes, and sometimes it feels downright painful; but in the end, we will reap something better – something beneficial for our lives.  Which is why embracing a mindset that is open to change is so important: it will keep us flexible and open to the opportunities that are critical for our success and wellbeing.

If you are faced with significant change, whether that be a move, a new job, going back to school, or an altered relationship status, consider this:

Don’t just change your behavior – change your mind, too.

Many of us approach change kicking and screaming on the inside, especially when it’s placed on us by outside influences.  We go through the motions, nodding our head to the right people, and even changing our behaviors to align with the “new” plan – but inside we resist.  This creates a tremendous amount of unnecessary internal stress and compromises how quickly and effectively true change can be realized.

According to cybernetic theory, which basically refers to goals and taking action to achieve goals, there are two types of change: first order and second order.  First order change is behavioral and can result in incremental changes over time.  Second order change, however, is breakthrough change, and it requires a paradigm-shift in our mindset.

change, however, is breakthrough change, and it requires a paradigm-shift in our mindset.

Going back to the topic of fitness, if all you do is apply first order change to your New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, you may indeed reach your goal of losing 10 pounds in 3 months, by forging enough will-power to change your habits, for a period of time.  But if you don't apply second order change to this goal - meaning you don't change the way you view exercise and nutrition in general - chances are you will re-gain the 10 pounds.

We can’t control many of the changes that come into our lives, and some are easier to embrace than others.  But to be successful with any change we must first learn to embrace the larger concept of change.  We must engage our minds and transform our perception of change from one of dread to one of growth.

The mind is a powerful tool.  Let’s use it to its fullest potential.

For inspiration on the topic of change, check out these videos: https://www.ted.com/playlists/8/a_better_you

To discover the amazing power of the mind, check out www.drleaf.com

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