From the day you are born until the day you die, there is one constant throughout your life: CHANGE. From your physical appearance to your intelligence, from your emotional awareness to your spiritual well-being, you are constantly in a state of flux. You are changing.
Many of these changes come without effort on your part. You don’t make your hair grow – or turn gray. You don’t wake up in the morning and grow your fingernails. You may do things that impact those changes, like eat healthy or take vitamins, but you are not causing those changes. They are part of what it means to be human.
There are, however, changes you do have control over. They are in areas like relationships, passions, and work. These kinds of changes might also happen without much effort from you, but they usually turn out poorly without your input. That’s why so many people spend so much time thinking about the changes they wish they saw in their lives.
There are two types of changes a person can make when it comes to relationships, work, or passion. In fact, the same two types of change are present in almost any area where you have some say in the process. The two types of change are novel and needed.
A novel change is distinctive, and it brings a fresh energy. It creates a sense of value and momentum. It gets us excited and invested in the outcome. It can sometimes seem like it came out of nowhere. Novel change, however, is not always necessary. In fact, sometimes it’s just change for its own sake.
Think of how your phone suddenly becomes “obsolete” when a new model comes out, even if it’s only been less than a year since you bought it. The differences between your old phone and the new model are often slight, so the selling point is often simply, “It’s different!”
Needed change is often viewed as the lesser cousin of novel change. Needed change isn’t always sexy, or unique. It rarely generates excitement or energy. It often feels gradual, or even tedious. Because it’s necessary, it can feel like an obligation or a reaction. In fact, needed change is vastly under-appreciated in part because it’s needed!
But here’s the truth, in both business and life:
NEEDED CHANGE EVENTUALLY BECOMES NOVEL CHANGE
Because needed change is usually small and gradual, its results aren’t always exciting – or even apparent. Only by making needed changes over time can we see our progress. Steady improvements in areas of need are what yield the dramatic breakthroughs that make people say, “Wow!”
Think about it in terms of fitness. You don’t fall asleep with flabby and soft muscles, and then wake up the next morning to chiseled abs and big biceps, do you? No! You have to go to the gym regularly for months in order to achieve the look that causes others’ jaws to drop. You have to consistently make the needed changes – in your diet, exercise regimen, schedule, and personal discipline – in order to be rewarded with a novel change.
You can’t avoid change. No matter how hard you try, tomorrow will always be different from today. But you can focus your energy on making the needed changes that produce the novel results. By making those changes consistently, day after day, you can be better today than you were yesterday, and better the next day, and the day after that.
The more you grow – the more you make steady, needed changes – the more opportunities you’ll have to experience “Wow!” moments in your relationships, work, and passions. While so many resist change and pay the price for staying the same, and others chase novel changes that they may never catch, the person who embraces needed change will keep moving forward, step by step, on the journey of success and fulfillment. You might not see the results immediately, but they will come. And when they do, you and others will say, “Wow!”