Many times throughout our lifetime, we come to the proverbial fork in the road. Even the Bible mentions this dilemma in Matthew, Chapter 7. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”.
The fork in the road presents us with the challenge of choosing one way over another. Often the choice seems easy and, if we were thoughtful and deliberate when making the decision, then it’s likely that our selection was the right one. But, this is where I believe we often get into trouble because the road that is less attractive is often the road that will require us to change.
Change is not easy as it asks us to leave the familiar for the unknown. Those of you who are adventuresome will find these types of decisions easier than those who are more security-focused. However, we need to remember that change is constant – and necessary for growth.
Here are some famous quotes about change:
- Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do – Apple Inc.
- If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living – Gail Sheehy
- There is nothing permanent except change – Heraclitus
- Change before you have to – Jack Welch
Obviously, change has been on the minds of people for a long time. Sometimes I think that we feel it is a new phenomenon. That it’s modern times or the technology revolution that is causing the need to change. What we forget is that change is as old as the world. Change is what has brought us from the beginning of time until now. If we hadn’t changed, there would be no modern drugs with which to fight disease and illness, hybrid automobiles, cell phones, internet, microwave ovens and all of the other wonderful inventions that make our life enjoyable and easier than life was 100 years ago.
Maybe we need to eliminate the word “change” from our vocabulary and replace it with the word “progress”. The Japanese found an acceptable word for change – Kaizen, which actually translates into “good change”. In America, Kaizen has come to be known as continuous improvement, and many of us certainly seem to embrace that. Just look at the baby boomers who are enrolled in colleges learning new skills, people training for marathons looking for that 2 second faster time or those who purchase the latest technology the minute it is released. It seems that we’re not against progress or improvement – we just don’t like change.
So, when you come to that fork in the road, don’t just follow the path that requires you to keep doing what you’ve always been doing. Take the time to consider what would happen if you “improved” or “progressed”. We know that change will bring different results. So, examine yourself to determine if you are looking for different results, or is the status quo your life’s dream.