For the past few weeks, I have been transitioning from a company I had been with for quite some time to a new company, new role, new people, and new industry. This is something that I very much wanted to do, am excited to do, and have been looking forward to for a while. It has been, and I fully expect it to continue to be, a great experience and choice. What has become so evident is just how much the majority of people struggle with transition. It is certainly challenging, and there is the anxiety of the unknown, but isn’t that what we are really wired to do? Aren’t we here to find new things, learn what they are about and determine if it is good or bad?
I always have to laugh when Bella, our golden retriever, encounters something new. First of all, she is incredibly visually aware of everything around her, and more impressively, anything new or out of place. Whether it be construction cones on the path of her daily walk, or a new piece of furniture in the hallway of our building, she will immediately notice something is different. Her reaction is always the same sequence. First, she slows her pace and approaches cautiously. She instinctively knows that the unknown may be bad, reinforced by the occasional snapping turtle or skunk, but her curiosity compels her to investigate. As she draws very near, she smells and then will inevitably touch the object, ever so gently and briefly, with her tongue. At this point, she has smelled, tasted and determined her course of action; eat it or leave it. She has accepted the new object in her life and moves on.
It is not so easy for us humans. We create our lives, our patterns, our situations and for the most part, we would rather have them stay as they are. We would like to orchestrate them into what we believe our ideal is. As we mature, change becomes more difficult and is more often avoided. As children, this wasn’t the case. Like Bella, we explored, learned and changed continuously. Somewhere along the line, change for us becomes difficult and something to be avoided. Personally, I am not so change averse yet. In fact, I like changing and finding new things, new jobs, new careers, new people. It drives me to learn and adapt. I can almost feel my old, crusty synapses having to break down and create new paths. I like it. I thrive on it. Ultimately, I think it is good to change and reorder our lives, as it is what makes us learn and grow.
So, when you see something new that is intriguing, and maybe a bit scary, go ahead and investigate it. Certainly, you should be a little cautious, but open up your mind. Get close enough and get a sniff. Hell, stick your tongue on it if you want. Make your assessment and see if you like it. Change is challenging, it makes us uneasy, but it is worth it.