Today, the Daily Prompt question is: You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?
Oh man, I am definitely NOT the queen of big, fast changes. Not. At. All.
At least, I think I’m not. I am constantly craving change at a faster pace than it happens, but then I look back and realize, OK, so my life was pretty different a couple of years ago. Still, I want more variety! I’m constantly trying to find ways to fit change into my regular routine. At least, I’m always trying to take a new course, or do a new activity.
I am the queen of ideas, sometimes making them happen and sometimes not. Most of the time, I don’t have the time, money, heart or focus to make (bigger) changes happen fast, so they take a while by default.
Take school for instance. I get free tuition (to an extent) but I also always work full time. So I am obligated to take one course at a time, thereby taking forever to get the next certificate, diploma or degree.
One thing I’m bad at cold-turkeying (for better or worse– OK, mostly worse) is relationships. A break-up should really be a straight up split – no talking, no contact, no nothing. I get too flaky about this kind of thing, and wish I had more discipline.
I think that regular small changes are so important, though. To use a somewhat trite example, a new hair cut /color can do wonders! I’m not the queen of dramatic hair changes, but I like to make small ones regularly, and then once every few years do something a little drastic.
I’ve been waiting for that big leap-of-faith change for a while. I’ve been craving a complete turnaround, wanting to make a move that’s spontaneous and crazy, surprise and inspire myself and everyone.
Not just talk about it, but actually make the move.
Hopefully my capacity for this gets greater as I grow older. I want to be braver and jump in with both feet more frequently.
But there is something to be said for taking the slower, more cautious route. Creating the space for new things to come in naturally (rather than forcing fast changes for the wrong reasons) can be healthy too.
I think that our Western society is much too ‘goal’ oriented: we want things fast, we want things now. We forget that making one or several small changes leads to – or, is essentially the big change.
Practice doesn’t always make perfect: practice is perfect.
The big change might just happen quietly, subtly, more slowly and perhaps more naturally than an ‘all or nothing’ change. It doesn’t need to be too painful or too scary. The path to the eventual big change might just teach you the importance of space, discipline, patience, consistency, faith. Baby steps are OK too!
Don’t underestimate the power of small, consistent changes (if you don’t smoke for just today, it matters), or the importance of spontaneity and risk (ask that girl you like out already! do it now!), if the latter is what your heart wants.
A massive change, a clean slate – well, that can be a terrifying and fabulous thing. But it’s not always the only – or the best – way through.
Being a naturally cautious person (who yearns to be more exciting), a nice balance of this is summed up in one of my favorite sayings: plan to be spontaneous!