The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
I was staring at my flight ticket. My mind was blank. I was not sure what to do. Mom just told me that grandpa just left us and his funeral would be in three days.
It was the first ever death and a major change in my life. I was only twenty one years old and all excited to leave for my first business trip overseas the next day. Or that was my state of mind until I received the call from my mom.
The call brutally broke my chain of exciting thoughts. In fact, I had attended funerals of relatives that I only met once every two years. At that time, death did not feel real to me, until it happened to grandpa.
That was the funeral that brought me closest to death. The avalanche of emptiness will wash away all your thoughts. Then an opportunity will present itself as an opportunity for clean slate and to reassess what life means to you.
Before the first reactions to life changes are on the your way:
Always be prepared.
Accept that change is constant. Change will always be part of life. When we flip open newspaper online today, count the number of news that are posted.
Each event represents change in someone’s life, somewhere out there. Life changes will always happen regardless how unprepared you are. It is brutal.
The only way to get through it is to be ready to plunge when the waves come.
Look out for signs of incoming life changes
Observe the people around you, your family and loved ones, your children. Notice their well being, rising of age, level of physical condition. Sickness or old age are likely present in the form of physical and mental signs. If you notice them early, you have time to prepare for the hard times ahead.
Pay attention to coffee corner conversations.
Listen even if you don’t participate. Reorganization in a company usually starts from whispers. Some whispers are valid and some are not.
As the whispers turn into chatters, you’ll know that something is happening soon. It has always been a rule of thumb for myself not to be too attached to a job or a company. Any one is dispensable to someone else. But you’re irreplaceable to your life.
Moving to new place usually takes time to plan and coordinate.
You’ll feel the jitters thinking about the new place you’ll be calling home. But time is in your favor. Use social media to find out more about the new place you’re moving to.
I love travelling. After I moved to Europe, I hosted many travellers through CouchSurfing and meet others that have similar passion in travelling. I have made some of my closest friends during the first year in Europe because of CouchSurfing.
There are opportunities to meet new people by finding out things you both have in common, such as passion, hobby, skills, sports. Allow time to make the necessary arrangements for your family.
Imagine the worst case scenario.
Always be ready to ask, “What’s the worst that can happen to me right now?” If you’re going through a divorce, think about the worse outcome that you may get from the legal arrangement. Would it be with your properties or children?
When life changes, you gain some and you lose some. Be aware of what matters most to you and what you’re afraid to lose. Think about how much can you influence the outcome of this situation you’re in.
The worst part that makes you feel upset will be the fact that you cannot influence the outcome. It’s ok to feel upset and give your emotions the space to flow over. Change is an opportunity for a different state in life.
The more often you go through it, the better you are at getting back into the game again. Be bold and play it big in your life. Your heart will grow stronger every time it breaks.
Your mind will appreciate the opportunity to learn about resilience every time you get whitewashed by change.
I will write more about change in the coming few posts.This is one of the three-part series about dealing with major life changes.
As unpleasant as change can be, what is the worst change that happened to you in your life. What was the mantra you used to get through it?
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