The Happiness Connection  

Resist the knee-jerk reaction to change

Change is OK

I recently heard about a new way of packaging shampoo and conditioner. Rather than being liquid in a bottle, you can buy it in a bar like soap. What a great idea, especially if you are travelling with carry-on where your liquids are limited. 

I mentioned this to a friend and was surprised at her negative reaction. 

Perhaps it caught my attention because she is a hair stylist who loves to travel. I expected her to at least be open to the idea. 

She had lots of reasons to justify her opinions and they were probably all valid, although she had never tried this new type of shampoo. That wasn’t what interested me. I realized I was observing outdated programing in action.

Humans have been programed from evolutionary times to embrace certain behaviours that helped them survive. One of these is a distrust of anything new.

If you try a bar of shampoo and don’t like it, you probably won’t lose anything but the cost of your purchase.

People in more primitive times had too much at stake to try something new for the sake of curiosity. If they had tools and strategies that worked, they were better off sticking with them. 

If you tried something new to evade a predator or get food and it didn’t work, there is every chance you would die.

Historically, change happened slowly. The same types of tools and strategies were used until they didn’t work anymore and there was no choice but to find new ones.

Change no longer happens slowly. In the lifetime of my grandfather, he went from horse and buggies to cars; from slates to computers; from the moon being a mysterious thing in the sky to seeing a man land on it. 

Staying secure by maintaining the old way of doing things no longer works. Your world is changing so quickly that if you slow down, you will be left behind.

How can you become less resistant to change? Here are three ways to get started.

Recognize that resistance may be your ‘go to’ response. Notice when this happens and then open your mind by looking for reasons why this change may be good. Take time to explore both sides of any situation.

Try new things on a regular basis. This will make you more comfortable when you find yourself pushed into change.

When you are presented with a new idea, process, or activity, have an open mind and give it a try. View it as an experiment. You don’t have to love it, but first-hand understanding gives you an advantage. You aren’t basing your thoughts on someone else’s experiences.

With the right mindset, you can view new things with curiosity, rather than fear. In our fast-changing world, this will serve you and help you by taming your outdated programing.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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