Life can sometimes deliver wonderful opportunities that we would be fools not to grab with both hands. Alongside opportunity come the inevitable costs of doing that thing, whatever it is. From career moves to personal commitments, life is rich with opportunity.
Starting my new job today, in which I have taken a step up the ladder of responsibility and taken on a huge new project, it was tempting to feel as though I have bitten off far more than I can chew. And then I remembered that I’ve been here before, more than once.
Beginning new things is always hard. There is a great deal of work to be done and there are many challenges to overcome. We will make mistakes and it’s important that we are open to the learning that can come from such errors. It’s all very exciting and, if you’re anything like me, it’s terrifying.
Uncertainty surrounds us and stalks us, especially when we move into periods of change. But I needed to remind myself of the wisdom gleaned from BJ Fogg when he wrote that we change best by feeling good (not by feeling bad). This is a post-it note on my wall above the computer upon which I am typing now.
Accepting where we are is important. We are here today because of the accumulation of decisions that we made yesterday. I choose to believe that I am exactly where I need to be, working alongside those with whom I need to be interacting, and serving those who need my support. But then I believe in an intentional, ordered, meaningful universe.
This is a choice which helps me to change better (because I am feeling good) and it’s a useful tool (some might say a placebo) that works for me. The point I am seeking to make is that acceptance of the situation – of the opportunities and challenges that surround us – is a prerequisite to change. If we refuse to see the truth of things then we make decisions rooted in falsehood.
Which brings to consideration of the impacts of the changes that we face. Will my new job drain my energy and time so that I cannot continue to do all the things I used to do? Or will it simply transform the parameters within which I choose to live?
In the past, I would be tempted to see it as invasive and negative. Today I am seeking to reframe it as challenge and opportunity. Either way, big changes in our lives are transformative. The question, in relation to my roleplaying hobby, is what form with the transformation take?
I suspect that I will need to streamline my gaming as I respond to new challenges. I may have to prune the extremities to preserve the healthy root and stem of what brings me joy through play. I think that’s ok, especially if I am the one intentionally deciding what gets pruned and what gets to remain.
I’m writing this down so that, on the toughest of the days ahead, I can perhaps look back and remember that I change best when I am feeling good.