Thursday, 6 November 2014

Small changes can make big differences.

This is the October Wellbeing Column from the York Press.

The clocks are going back an hour, the leaves are falling and we are wearing warmer clothing. A time of change.

There is a well known song written by Pete Seegar from the 1950/60s called, ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’.  What is not so well known is that it’s almost word for word from the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3 v 1-8.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The words help us to understand that change is a given and all around us. We can all become frustrated when shops change their layouts, but most of us are able to get used to it fairly quickly. The brain adapts. It’s the same in our own homes, cars and workplaces. Change happens and we adapt. 

If we don’t change, we won’t grow. Emotionally, if we remain responding to life as a child in an adult’s body, we will be unhappy and make others unhappy too.

I was giving a talk on change and used our shoe size as an illustration. I suggested that it would be odd, if as an adult, we had one foot wearing an shoe in an adult size, but the other foot was still wearing a child’s shoe. A man in the audience had a ‘light bulb’ moment. “Oh, my goodness, I’ve been emotionally limping through my life.”  Someone else pointed out that there’s expression, ‘Act your age, not your shoe size!’

Change can be exciting, but often we’re held back by fear of change and the fear of the unknown. We’re comfortable in what we know, our routine and our surroundings, even if truthfully there is discomfort, even danger, in remaining as we are, where we are.

Some changes are huge, but there is a good deal of truth in, ‘small changes can make big differences.’ Can you start today?

Turn, turn, turn.


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