Should we embrace change even when things are going well?

December 23, 2015

I have been thinking a lot about change lately.

I think a lot of us consider change this time of year because not only are the seasons changing but we’re changing into a new year as well.

If I’m being totally honest, I’m not good with change and, as a result, I don’t change things very often.

  • I go to the same church I have been going to since I was 8 years old.
  • I live in the same city I’ve lived in since I was 8 years old and I’ve never moved anywhere else.
  • My car has 256,000 miles on it because I don’t want to get a new one.
  • My closet is full of clothes that I have been wearing for more than a decade.
  • I married my high school sweetheart, whom I have been head over heels in love with since I was a junior at Anderson High School.
  • I waited for two full years after I made the decision to start my own agency to finally do it – partially because I was afraid of failure and what it would mean for my family, with two kids in diapers at the time, but also because I was wary of the change it would bring to my life.

Many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and thinking – “boring!” – but this is how I roll and, honestly, I am a pretty happy guy.

I love Highland Park. Austin rocks and Spicewood, the Hill Country suburb we now live in, is even better for us now with a family. Toyota makes a damn good car (I’m headed to 300K). My clothes fit and work just fine for me (although many, including my wife and coworkers, might disagree with this if I’m judging from their disapproving non-verbals on my “dad jeans,” as Lauren King called them). The best thing that ever happened to me was Paige walking into my life at 15 years old. And had I started the company in 2008 instead of 2010, who knows where we would be?

My opinion has always been that change should be actively avoided when things are going well – but as I get older I’m wondering if that is the right way to approach life?

I honestly don’t know the answer, but it’s a question I’ve been pondering a lot over the past few months.

Worn out platitudes on change tell us to embrace it. You probably see the quotes below littered across social media as much as I do:

  • “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished” ~ Benjamin Franklin
  • “Without change we can’t grow” ~ Gail Sheehy
  • “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • “Change before you have to” ~ Jack Welch

Those quotes can be helpful in certain situations but I also believe there are things in life that should never change, including your core values, love for family and friends and your faith.

But what about everything else?

Is change something we should actively pursue and even embrace even if we are really happy with the way things are?

I’m really preoccupied by this question because my life is set for several big changes in 2016, including, most notably, the addition of a new member of our family in February.

I can’t wait to meet our new baby girl but I also find myself really holding onto and even concerned about losing our current family dynamic, with our sons Luke (8) and Brady (6) at such awesome ages and Paige and I really in a groove in so many ways.

The four of us have a blast together and life is flat out good. What will the addition of a new member of the family mean for us?

If she’s anything like her brothers, it will mean a lot less sleep for starters (acid reflux anyone?), but it will also likely mean an even bigger dose of the richest blessing we have in life – family. She’s going to have me totally wrapped around her finger in like a day and I know she’s going to bring us happiness and joy throughout our lives, but it will be…different.

I think one of the reasons I’m trying to get better at change is because, when I look back at the biggest periods of change in my life – moving to Austin as a kid, meeting Paige, going to UT, having kids and starting the agency – they were also the richest and most rewarding times in my life.

I also realize that not all change is good and I’ve been very fortunate that the big changes in my life through the years have been really good ones.

What about 2016? Will it turn out to be a year of positive change? Will I be up for the challenge?

We’ll just have to see but I’m diving in with an optimistic heart.

I’m curious – how do you approach change in your life? When things are good, do you seek and embrace it?

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