They say that the only constant in this world is “change”. Day in and out, by the millisecond, there is that – change. And even when we refuse to change, the process of refusing to change is hardly consistent. The introspection that we go through is never the same. The factors that weigh in on our justification to refuse to change vary. And so even the act of not changing, the variables that play out, still takes on some gradient of change.
Transformational change is not merely about yourself. It is about changing for the better and the good of what you see around you. It is about knowing others, about the issues that surround and affect you and them. It is about you stepping up to the challenge, doing what is right and just to build not just your world or their world – but our world.
Change by one is not change at all. That is why it is called “transformation”. Just as a man or a woman can’t live by bread alone, a man or a woman can’t define and reshape the world alone as well. You need to be one; you need to be whole. You need to see yourself beyond the world that you rotate in. Absent a fuller appreciation of your role in the whole equation of change makes the pursuit of change devoid of purpose and meaning.
Transformational change starts with us. Ghandi said: “Be the change that you want to be.” And times have proven this to be true. Our complaints about how bad our world is and how lousy our government is turning out to be rise from an inherent realization that there is something that needs to be done, or that things are not working as they should.
Going by the concepts of psychology, we live to please ourselves first. It is oftentimes about self-gratification. It usually starts with an internal rumbling: “What is in it for me?” That sums up why every time we wail over a request that was not granted, we are likened to a child who wants to get whatever and whenever he or she wants it.
Later in life though, we realize that this concept of “self” is elevated to a concept of “self with others”. When before it was a picture of “what is his is ours, and what is mine is mine”, we imbibed that value of sharing. We learned to give a Gummy Bear to a classmate and an apple to a teacher. Eventually, we calibrated this gesture of generosity and thoughtfulness to an act of receptiveness. We then became shoulders to cry on, hands that feed, and ears that listened with compassion. This gradually built within us a unique trait that transformed us into individuals who naturally connected to people and found that longing to be of service. We slowly evolved outside our own shells and started to see ourselves pulling others out of their own.
That is transformational change. When we hit that point in life where what we want to do creates that ripple effect. Where our goals factor in what we want others to become. When fulfillment in our own life is about being able to share a piece of our lives in order for others to build and lead their own.
As we flip open a new chapter of our book of life, welcoming the New Year, let me share with you some thoughts I scribbled down in 2011:
Every day is a page – every hour, a story; every minute, an emotion; every second, a thought.
How you come out of every situation that presents itself to you is a punctuation mark. You can end it with a period. Shock it with an exclamation point. Challenge it with a question mark. Or leave it hanging with ellipses.
But however each sentence, each phrase, each word concludes itself, note: each tells both of what you have become and how much more you want to be in moving on and ahead.
Like a book, life involves processes. Birth and death are the hard covers that cuddle the pages within the chapters. While you may not have control over how your book opens and closes, you maneuver the pace at which you savor every bit of experience that the drama of each page offers.
At the end of your read, you realize: You own each page; you have the freedom to write in whatever form and style; you determine the breadth and depth of each chapter.
Indeed, your life is your book. You write it. You own it.