The Ups and Downs of Change

A lot of the time things change when we’re not ready. We’re just getting settled in something new and some outside force completely discombobulates the situation. Or we are quite comfortable and happy and something unexpected turns everything upside down. For example, I’ll have a few weeks where I go to the gym consistently and then I get sick or I have to work overtime and it throws me off and it takes me a few more weeks to get back into the habit. Perhaps a friend moves away or a new person comes into the mix which can throw things off. Our expectations are shattered like a broken mirror or puzzle that has been disassembled. It’s easy to get frustrated and wish things hadn’t changed.

Change can come when you really want it and that is beautiful. We have a new pastor at my church. The previous pastor had been there eighteen years, was in his early seventies and had health problems so he needed a break from being the main person responsible for the parish. He said the new pastor was younger and more energetic and would come with new ideas to handle the challenges of the parish. Our old pastor was quite wise and seemed to know everything about everything from science to history to fixing things and it seems a little strange seeing a new pastor at the altar, but I do find this change refreshing. It’s nice to hear a new perspective in the homily and see that he’s already made a number of small improvements in the two weeks he’s been here.

We may think we want a change but it doesn’t quite go as we expected. Last month I switched from an iPhone 7 to a Samsung Galaxy Eclipse because I haven’t been a fan of some of the changes Apple has made to the iPhone recently. My reason for switching and that experience could be its own blog post so to stay focused on my original topic I will say that I returned to Apple and now have an iPhone 8. I switched back because although I liked many of the things about the Samsung phone and thought I didn’t like many of the things about iPhones now, it because obvious there are other things I do like about the iPhone and those matter more that what I don’t like.

We can’t predict if the changes we experience will go the way we expect (both good predictions and bad predictions) but there’s something about the way life works that things fall into place again sooner or later. We can take a moment and see that somehow the fragmented pieces have come together again.

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Goals

Photon
Image from howstuffworks.com 

Have you ever considered the connections between people and things across small and great distances? Are there things that don’t seem connected but really are? And what impact do we have on each other that we aren’t even conscious of most of the time?

It turns out there are light particles inside an atom called photons which can be in more than one place at a time and the photons share an invisible connection with other photons. When something happens to one, the other one can feel it even if they are far apart–like twins.

 

An article called Quantum Leaps, published in the Economist discusses how this knowledge can be put to use in our lives in the near future. 2017_gThis concept could allow atomic clocks to make self-driving cars more reliable and could be used for other purposes such as finding things underground or underwater.

I attempted to research atomic clocks to learn more about what they are and how they could do that but to understand that would take a little more time than I’d like to take to do so now and goes beyond the scope of this post (but please feel free to share the answer with me if you know 😊).

I thought that this was an interesting idea and it ties in with my goal for this blog to take interesting things I discover and add my own spin to it to make us think differently about what’s going on and improve our lives. Here is another way to use our imagination to consider the possibilities.

#AtoZChallenge

Focus

Focus2It’s so easy to get distracted. I often grab my phone with a goal in mind, let’s say I’m going to check my email as an example. I discover I’ve received a text and after I reply I go on Facebook for a minute. Then I put my phone down and go off and do something completely different.  But I was going to check my email because there was something I was supposed to be doing based on that email. I might remember an hour later and then the same thing happens all over again.

img_3772Lately, I’ve been trying to keep a helpful acronym for the word FOCUS in mind. “Follow
one course until successful”. While there are obvious big goals that can be applied to, I’ve found it helpful to apply to everyday situations where it’s very easy to go off and do something else instead of finishing what I’m doing.

Do you have tricks to help you focus?

#AtoZChallenge

 

Instead of trying to do one big amazing thing, try to do a whole bunch of things a tiny bit better

Do you find yourself trying to make big plans to improve your life but finding it hard to stick to the new plan? Instead of trying to do one big amazing thing, how about trying to do a whole bunch of things a tiny bit better.

This concept is called Kiwi Kaizan. Improve 100 things by 1% instead of 1 thing 100% and the effect will compound. (Kaizan means constant improvement. The Kiwi’s were a sports team.) We all want to eat better, exercise, save money, devote time to a hobby, etc. How do we go from hardly being able to keep a plan to being a success?

Instead of trying to keep your whole house or an entire room clean, start with a section or zone. I started with making my bed, then I moved on to trying to keep my dresser organized. It’s usually piled with makeup and mail. By attending to it every day, it’s less of a psychological drain than thinking about having to clean up a whole area.

Do you find it hard to save money? My friends have been doing that thing where you start out saving a dollar in an envelope and then you add another dollar every week for a year. You should have accumulated $1378 by the end of the year. This is a great example of seeing how your small effort compounds.  

If you need a different type of motivation how about going the other way? Instead of starting out with a dollar and increasing, you begin by saving $52 and decreasing the amount you save by a dollar every week (Save $51 dollars the second week, etc). For more on that you can check out Pocket Your Dollars 52 Week Money Challenge . I can see this method working better for me, I would be excited about it in the beginning, so it would be easier to start big.

Get a tiny bit better in the things you do. Make it a game to find things throughout the day that you can do to improve your life. Then increase it another 1% the next day. Your results will accumulate as you build better habits little by little.

This idea comes from Brian Johnson’s Philosophers NotesKiwi Kaizan