There are only three things that are certain in life.
- You will pay taxes.
- You will die.
- Things will change.
Most people can accept the first one. It’s the other two that people struggle with. Heck, I’d argue organized religion is so prominent because it helps people deal with the last two.
But what if you’re not religious? How do you deal with the last two? I’ve seen a lot otherwise smart people, waste years of their life, doing stupid shit in order to resist change in their life.
The key for me is to detach myself. When I become too attached to material possessions or other people, that’s when I resist change. Fear sets in. What if the things I’m attached to are taken away?
The reality is, I can’t stop them from being taken away. And neither can you. All you can control is how you’d react.
The trick then, is to imagine what the world would be like, if they were taken away?
Assuming you didn’t die, what would the world look like?
You know you’re detached from something when you’re able imagine a future that has you carrying on. Sure, it might suck, and the change could be painful, but you know you’d survive.
For example, if my car were totaled tomorrow, it’d be an inconvenient, but I could certainly make due without a car. I’m not attached to it. For me, the goal then, is to be attached to as few things as possible.
That includes people.
People are much harder than things to detach yourself from. To be clear, to detach yourself from someone does not mean you don’t care about them. For me, it means I’ve gone through the mental exercise of asking myself what I would do if this person was no longer there? If anything comes up, then I know I’m attached to the person until.
For example, often times when I ask this question about people, I find there are things I want to communicate to them, that I haven’t yet. It could be telling someone I love them. Or it could be telling someone I’m proud of them. The next step is to communicate it to them, as soon as possible. Once I do, I’m able to detach myself. I can imagine a world where I would be able to live without them, even if it was painful at first.
So ask yourself the question, what would you do if X was no longer part of your life? If you’re like me, you’ll find going through this exercise makes it easier to accept and react to the change, rather try to fight it.
And as you probably already know, fighting change is a battle you will always lose.