The Fearless Art of Changing Your Life
March 12, 2021
They are common notions, that life-changing experiences occur rarely and require drastic measures. Not so, posits Low Entropy Volunteer Writer Daniel Wilkens. Daniel proposes that, at any time, we are surrounded by a myriad of life-altering, low-barrier opportunities, just waiting to make us into the best versions of ourselves.
Sometimes change is forced upon us. Sometimes it’s for the better, but not always. Often we struggle to accept change and have to find ways to deal with new realities. But if we are feeling like we’re spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere, we don’t have to wait for changes to happen and hope they are positive. We can initiate change ourselves, sometimes with very little effort.
A number of years ago, I was given the opportunity through work to volunteer at the local high school track for the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. They were looking for a photographer and, being handy with a camera, I volunteered my services. I was to photograph the event and present them with a digital record of their efforts – no big deal. I didn’t even blink at giving four or five hours to a good cause. I’m so glad I did!
My first year was a real eye-opener. It was one of the biggest events in the town, with multiple teams, dozens of volunteers and hundreds of spectators, donators and well-wishers. There were people present who were cancer survivors themselves. Participants were thrilled that someone was there to take pictures of their accomplishments. Most ended up laughing, posing, being silly and getting family members together for group shots.
Did volunteering that one afternoon change my life? Absolutely! I met town council members, business people, entertainers and other photographers. Because of it I got offers to shoot weddings, engagements and sporting competitions. I cemented great friendships. People still recognize me from my time there. I went on to volunteer in this capacity for another seven years.
The point is, changing things up doesn’t have to involve a big, scary, complicated commitment. It can be simple and rewarding. Seeking personal growth is not just admirable, it’s essential. And the best part is, you can do it anytime!
Think about that – you can change your life at any time. I know so many people who are stuck in ruts. They go to the same job, hang out with the same people, listen to the same music, eat the same food, drive the same route to work – and then wonder why they are bored, listless, uninspired and unhappy. If you don’t like your current circumstance – change it! You can reshape your life in a couple of hours if that’s what you want to do.
I’m not suggesting you quit your job, run away and go live off the grid. I am saying that making personal adjustments is quicker and less intimidating than most people realize or are led to believe. Little changes can lead to huge results without jeopardizing your stability.
Everything you know, everyone you meet and everything you do has the potential to change your life. Everything connects to everything else. People come and go (and come back) throughout your life. Never pass up a chance to help someone out for no reason. It’s not just exercising human decency. A junior staff member you help with a minor problem now can resurface as your supervisor at another company years down the road. You will have a built-in good relationship with that person because you once took a few minutes out of your day. Is *that* creating change for yourself? Of course.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” the old saying goes. Personally, I think it’s a good healthy chunk of both. I’m addicted to lifelong learning. You can take online courses on absolutely any topic that exists. Those courses are often reasonably priced and in-depth. For as little as the price of a fast food lunch you can learn Photoshop, how to perform card tricks (fool your friends!), how to cook with white wine and so on. Any knowledge you acquire gives you more tools in your life-changing arsenal. Knowledge gives new layers, new perspectives and new outlooks. A spontaneous remark to an acquaintance about a course you’re taking could spin your life in a whole new direction.
Being proactive, interacting with people and searching out new experiences are the best ways I know to make lifelong changes. You may not always know how those changes will manifest – but they’ll happen. Granted, this was all easier a year ago, when you could join a gym, join a theatre group, go on a bus trip, attend a craft workshop, take guitar lessons, get a part time job at the cafe downtown, etc. Hopefully those opportunities will return in some form. And even though we are at this crazy time in our history, it’s still possible to meet new people and make new connections.
Network, network, network. Expanding your circle will always pay off. Learn new things, make new friends, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to change your life for the better.
What would you like to do to make your life better? Share your ideas live with others in a Low Entropy meet-up, or simply jot a few words in the comments below!
At Low Entropy, we believe changing the world starts with changing ourselves.
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