Change is not pleasant, but change is constant. Only when we change and grow, we’ll see a world we never know.
—Wisdom of the Orange Woodpecker
One important pre-requisite for managing your time better is in understanding and embracing the concept of “Change”. Change management will precede time management. Unless you bring the required change in your actions and attitudes, knowing more about time management will be of very little use. Improving time management will require you to change. Thus, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of change and change management.
We may like and desire change—not in us but in others or circumstances. When it comes to improvement, most people think of bringing a change outside of them. Though it rarely works, yet it is the human nature related to change. We resist and fear change.
“The Earth was flat or a disk” was believed till 6th BC. Though Aristotle accepted and gave proof for the spherical shape of the Earth in 330 BC, many did not believe the Earth to be spherical for centuries. Indian currency nominations were changed from Anna and Paisa to Naya Paisa in the year 1957. Till then, a rupee comprised of sixteen annas and each anna of four paisa. Though more than half a century has lapsed, you can still find people using the term annas.
Change is the biggest attitude to deal with for most humans. The fact of life is that everything that can be perceived by our five senses is in the eternal state of change. Nevertheless, we fail to consciously acknowledge this fact. Though the phases of life are either of growth or of decline, most people desire to have status quo. You must know that steady state is like a mirage. Similar to the water appearing in deserts keeps moving away with the chasing observer, the status quo too keeps eluding us.Change involves risk. Therefore, most people resist it. They become spectators of lost opportunities.
Change involves uncertainty and uncertainty breeds fear. This is yet another reason why most people resist change. Some of the common fears are:
1) Fear of discomfort. This makes people live in their comfort zone. Whatever the conditions are, they know how to adjust to these.
2) Fear of what others will say, think or do for violating the conditioning to follow traditions and rituals by family and society.
3) Fear of failure.
4) Fear of losing what we have in hand.
For improving the degree of success you have, you will have to make a change. If you do and think the way you have been doing and thinking, you will get the same results. For getting different results, you are required to do and think differently. Fear of making a change is what keeps many from being more successful. Let us discuss fear in some more details.
FIRST, we must understand that fear is a natural response to uncertainty. Fear is a debilitating emotion and has been eternally present with the humans. You might think that the explorers and discoverers like Vasco de Gama, Columbus, and Edmund Hillary, to name a few, were fearless. I don’t think so. It is not that the most successful people take big risks because they have no fear; actually, they take big and calculated risk in spite of having some fear in their mind. They are prepared for the worst and make efforts to get the Best.
SECOND, we must know that fear is very destructive in nature. We think we are safe by being fearful of taking risks. Unfortunately, by not exploring our potential, we take bigger risks of losing opportunities. If we understand that life is a process of evolution, we lose an opportunity to evolve to higher level of consciousness by inaction caused by fear. The God-given potential is to be continuously explored. There is no end, and there will never be, to exploration of human potential. Unfortunately, humans hardly use a fraction of their potential. I keep saying often, “The greatest waste on the earth is that of the wasted human potential”. The sky is not the limit.
THIRD, be aware that fear is like a soap bubble—too big in size with very little substance. Fear can be written as False Expectations Appearing Real. Since it is our own creation, most people magnify the fear they hold in great proportions. This becomes a big reason for their inaction. Fear paralyzes the power to think and act.
FOURTH, fear is mostly born out of our ignorance or lack of information. Society, in order to maintain order, has used fear as a motivator to compel people to follow the norms. Some concepts like hell and heaven have emerged through ignorance and lack of experiential knowledge. How to deal with what we fear?
Be aware that the most common response to fear is fight or flight. These responses have been with humans since the time they were living in jungles. Our bodies have evolved accordingly by shutting the blood supply to reasoning centre of brain and supplying extra quantities to large muscles of legs and arms to run or fight. That is one reason that fear paralyzes our thinking capability.
The only response that can help you succeed more is ‘Face it’. Face the fear and the death of fear is certain. If you wish to experiment, write down your fear and how it is making your life different from what you desire. Having written, now take one very small action that can make you move closer to what you desire. You will find, action is the best enemy of fear that comes by preparing to face the fear. You can face the fears you have only on recognizing that these exist. Also know that fear of most people is not based on facts but on feelings.
For getting better results and success, you will have to make changes in the ways you spend your time. You will have to notice the factor that is likely to make you resist the change and deal with it. Realization is the first step to change. It may need changing deep-rooted habits, attitudes and perceptions. Once you realize and make efforts to bring in the desired change, possibilities exist. You can, if you will.
Some ideas that can help you make change in you are:
1. CHANGE IS THE NATURAL STATE OF LIFE.
Whether you like or not, change is “changeless”. Nothing in this universe is stationary or in a state of status quo. Universe is designed to be in a continuous state of change. In fact, the speed and quantum of change has changed in the last few decades. The Information Age is witnessing an accelerated process of change.
Change embraces all of us equally. Some realize it faster than others. Those who resist change, spend much more energy in resisting compared to anticipating and embracing the change. Successful people always anticipate change even when things appear working. They know that the biggest enemy of the success for future is clinging to the success of the past. Complacency is one of the worst diseases that makes people not use their full potential. Good becomes enemy of the best.
2. CHANGE IN US IS THE FIRST STEP FOR ANY IMPROVEMENT.
We cannot have and become different before being different. Remember, change can lead you to both— opportunities and threats. It is the awareness of your needs that will help you take a decision that can benefit you. If you study the history of highly successful people, you will summarize that they all brought in change that people in their time did not think was possible.
3. CHANGE NEEDS ITS PRICE TO BE PAID FIRST.
Nothing is free. The law of nature abundantly evident around us reveals—first sow then reap. This is to be followed for bringing in any change that can be useful for enhancing your success. The price to be paid for improvement may be any combination of the three factors, namely money, time and effort. Routines bring us to a comfort zone that change thwarts. We all look for bigger success in time to come. Do we anticipate the roles and responsibilities of the state we desire to be in? Hardly. Most people don’t keep their body, mind, and soul fit through continuous process of change.
Planning the details of what you want to achieve, working on your competencies for greater effectiveness are the prices required to be paid for bigger success in life.
4. THE TIME TO CHANGE IS NOW.
There is no better time to change than “now”. Waiting for the right time, situation and condition is our rational response that makes us procrastinate and procrastination is the biggest enemy of opportunities. Once you have realized that the change is necessary for the improvement, get started immediately. Get started on any ideas from this book that will help you manage time better.
5. IT TAKES PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE TO CHANGE.
Change is a gradual phenomenon. It takes time and energy to make a change in habits, attitudes and power to shift perception. It, thus, needs power to persist and patience to wait for the desired result of change. I have observed people becoming impatient in getting results and by that, they stop making efforts to continue the process of change. It is like planting a seed into soil and then impatiently waiting for the plant to emerge.
Motivation to change occurs by some kind of compulsion or fear of some loss. The other motivator of change is some benefit in time to come. Since the latter is in future, it does not have that power as the motivation by compulsion. The true motivation can only come by realizing the fact that there is a storehouse of power within us and that power used can make us reach the destination we have in mind.
For exploring your potential on a regular basis, it is important that you nurture an attitude of “Beating Your Best”. Winning is not making others lose. It is stretching yourself to limits you have never experienced before—continuously.
Think how you can make your tomorrow a better day compared to today. Think what single improvement can you make in each area of your life, viz. Body, Mind, Soul, Career, Family and Society. Once you set goals of “Beating Your Best” in each area of your life, you will realize that the available time of one thousand four hundred and forty minutes of a day is not sufficient to get you what you desire and deserve. How can you, then, afford the luxury of wasted time in unplanned entertainment?