Change is Inevitable: Create Your Own

“I enjoyed doing this at a specific time in my life, with a specific group of people, and under a particular set of circumstances. Things have changed.” -Anonymous

Street Art photographed by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

One of the challenges of working with or for someone else is that they may change. Their direction or focus may change. If we are talking about a company, leadership or even ownership might change. The economy or individual financial circumstances could shift suddenly, forcing people to to look at stabilizing, growing, or downsizing. Unless we are the ones steering the ship, it is highly unlikely that we will have much say in when or how any of these variables affect us.

On the other hand, we may be the ones who change. We may lose interest in the what we are doing or who we are doing it with, or our interests may shift to something new. The values or priorities we once had might evolve as we get older or as our life’s circumstances become more complex. Our financial, emotional, or physical needs may shift over time. We may have new opportunities that, if passed up now, may never come again.

There are an infinite number of variables, many of which are uncontrollable and unpredictable, but, one thing is certain, either outside or inside of us, something is going to change. How we deal with these changes will determine whether or not we are successful on the other side of them.

We can choose to resist the change, fighting back against it with all of our will and might. This may work for a while, but change is a funny thing. There is too much of it and it is far too unrelenting to resist forever. On the other hand, we can choose to go with the flow or roll with the punches, as it were. This may work for a while, but eventually the change will become overwhelming, overtaking us and changing us into something or someone we are not.

There is a third option, however, and that is to create our own change in ourselves and in our lives, so that we are ahead of the unknown and above the wave when it crashes.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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