These words by Rumi the Persian poet “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” make us think is the role of change the first step in transformation and growth?
Change, a word we all come across every day. Some of us like it, some of us live it but most of us detest it. Why is it that we all avoid it, to the extent of forgoing opportunities, procrastination, and doing everything to help us maintain the status quo? What is change? And why is it so important to make it a part of our growth?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary- it is defined both as a verb and noun. As a verb, it is the act of replacing or substituting one with another. As a noun, it is the process of transformation.
Change- the first step toTransformation and growth
The way we define change determines the growth we wish to see. If our outlook is, it is a painful process and we like the status quo, growth should not be expected. Think, if a caterpillar were to be content and happy gorging on leaves, it would never realize that it is meant for the skies after going through the process of transformation. It would lose the opportunity to discover that greater things are in store for it. It can grow wings to reach the skies -a caterpillar on a leaf would have never thought it is possible.
So, what does it take for this growth? And the answer is
How do we start then?
Let us start by asking
How difficult is it for us:-
- to break stereotypes
- leave the herd
- Do something different and take risks?
If we were to honestly rate, most of us would range in the maybe, maybe not for the above scenarios. Mediocre is another name for that range. There is nothing wrong with that, the questions we need to ask then is-
- Am I happy?
- utilizing my complete potential?
- I have given my best?
- explored all opportunities and possibilities?
Even if one answer is negative, we need to realize we are limiting ourselves from achieving our true potential and growth. We are afraid of the word CHANGE- the first step as it means challenging what is happening, undergoing the process of transformation, through simple acts like replacing some of our old behaviors, substituting some of our habits, grinding through discomfort, and all that is part of an uncomfortable journey.
Steve Jobs rightly said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Who doesn’t know Steve Jobs and Apple which revolutionized the world of telecommunication through the world of Mac books and iPhone? He believed in doing the unthinkable of leaving the herd and take charge of what he wanted and the rest is history. He chose to take the first step to transform.
Is the road to transformation easy?
Estee Lauder is a premium high-end luxury brand in perfume. Estee Lauder was the only woman on Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century (Wikipedia). When someone asked her about her success story this is what she said: “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.”
No, it’s not easy but definitely not impossible. However doing what we do every day, following the same routines, and working the same mill will fetch the same outcomes or results. Dreaming, hope is very important as they give people something to look forward to but unless you move and work towards it, it will never be yours.
The steps you need to take could be small or big-
- Tweaking a small habit of yours. E.g. probably become an early riser if you are not one as it gives you more time to plan your day
- Network better to understand more opportunities, in any case “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” –Ayn Rand
- List your priorities to find time for what matters to you
- Reinvent the wheel if required so that you are at the right place at the right time
As you work towards reinventing and reengineering yourself the steps would increase, sometimes decrease.The process is continuous and evolving. That leads us to the next question, how long and what if all this leads to always wanting something, searching, and never being happy.
One needs to understand the goal is happiness and contentment in what we do.
That brings us to Day zero when the process began.
Remember how we asked four questions to decide if this journey was for me. The deal was one negative answer and we start on the path of self-discovery to make the CHANGE –THE FIRST STEP TO TRANSFORMATION.
Now, is the time to go back and revisit those questions-
Are all the answers in the affirmative?
A state of contentment, happiness, and achievement is experienced?
If yes then continue to stay there….Else you know what to do…
Define your path to transformation
We all have a butterfly inside, waiting for us to change what we do every day. To help us achieve the wings we need, to fly and aim high. Define, what is it that you need to do to develop those wings of flight. A little discomfort, some frustrations, disappointments, and many such feelings will be a part of the process but as Henry Ford rightly described “Obstacles are those frightful things you see once you’re taking your eyes off your goal.”
A simple checklist to keep reminding us- why am I on this journey?
- If I keep saying CHANGE- the first step to transformation is good I will start believing it
- It isn’t easy but it’s not impossible
- I am on this journey till I say yes to all my questions
- there is a butterfly in me waiting for its wings of flight
- If I’m uncomfortable, disappointed, hurt maybe, tired ….so be it
- I will unearth opportunities even after everyone has finished their mining
- I AM READY