Originally written for: http://gulfnews.com/opinions/offthecuff/the-motivation-for-change-1.996480
Change. Such a poignant word. In every day of our lives we see it happening — sometimes we are conscious of it, at other times it happens so unobtrusively that we don’t even notice it. A pretty obvious example would be about how this city was just a few years back, without the looming Burj Khalifa, the metro and various other developments. Changes, in the way we are, in the way we behave and invariably, in the way we look are inevitable.
Like the oft-repeated Isaac Asimov quote, change is really the only constant in life. This piece of writing comes about because after an intense period of soul searching, I’ve come to one conclusion: I want the changes that will happen in the future to be positive. I want to cast off old attitudes of cynicism and embitterment nestled deep within and I want to ‘be the change’ I want to see, to quote another famous personality. It is true that I can’t control the future, but I can at least let the road ahead of me glow with the sheen of positivity and clarity that emits from my own self.
Change, when you consciously want it to happen can be hard too. It can be challenging to let go of old but undesirable patterns in life just as it is difficult to sever infected limbs from the body. But I want these changes to take place. I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to conquer, and I desperately want to make up for lost time. Because I can, and it would be foolish — nay criminal, to let life slip by without making it count.
As I see it, the best impetus for modifications of one’s own shortcomings comes from reading and learning. Far from feeling empowered, with every new bit of information I acquire, I feel like a bigger ignoramus, and no, there isn’t an ounce of sarcasm when I say that. To put it metaphorically, as I scrape the tip of the iceberg, I realise just how deep into the obscurity of the waters it is, and that there are a million more icebergs left to surmount.
I find myself submerged in a raging sea of self-doubt as I question my decisions, my activities and my principles, wondering if I’ve always got it all wrong. Yes, learning is exciting, and it is unnerving too. Change happens when I let the wisdom of the words seep through my insecurities and welcome the new with courage.
Change is when I learn to make lemonade with the lemons life throws at me, change is when I rise again, confident and assured after every unpleasant experience. Change is when I try sincerely without the fear of failure snagging my soul. Change is when I let myself soar free of the boundaries I think exist, but in reality are just invisible restrictive parameters I’ve laid out for myself. Change is snapping out of a virtual fog and entering the sunlight, accepting realities and moving on, even if the harsh glow from the sun sometimes hurts your eyes. Change is allowing oneself to fail (and cry) because failure is a certain part of life, and knowing that when that happens, as it often will, it is not the end of the world. Change is persevering till the end; it is painting the full picture, not leaving it half-finished. Change is learning to love, and learning not just to forgive, but also to truly forget.
I believe in destiny, yet I know we ourselves play an enormous role in shaping our lives, our relationships and in finding true contentment. It will take time to learn, to understand, and to adjust but the biggest change that has occurred within me is that I consciously want to jettison the old and embrace the new. It feels as though there’s a clean slate now, with me left to write my own story. Pun intended.
(Text and photo by me)