The Biggest Challenge To Change – The Status Quo

Creating change, accepting change, making change work, being rewarded by change – all are resisted by that condition called the Status Quo. And most of the time we don’t even realize it.

A story to illustrate my point:

I was out hiking in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve – one of my usual routes – and thinking about the subject of change. As I came to the place on the trail where I always stop and drink some water, and prepare for the climb forward, it hit me that every thing about this hike was predictable – and that felt good. But, at the same time, I had my eye on a distant trail that looked pretty challenging – but every time I thought about taking it, I would rationalize my decision by telling myself I didn’t know where it went, I needed to get back in an hour, I had lots of alternatives that I had already discovered, ….. My feet kept me on the same old trails – every time. In my defense, I do have five different trails that I take at different times – it’s not as if I only have one.

But I know people that have been hiking and jogging for years, who wouldn’t think of trying a different trail.

With a conscious effort, I turned my feet to the new trail, and away I went. The desert is a funny place – it looks so blank -but it isn’t. Go around a bend and a new view presents itself. Go further and a narrow trail to the top of a mountain shows up. A particularly beautiful tree or cactus – a saguaro with a really distinctive shape – a coyote that crosses the trail – all reward the senses when seen for the first time.

My exercise in challenging my personal status quo had a great reward – a new trail to add to my alternatives – a fresh view of an old friend that is full of surprises. And I had overcome my resistance to change – if only a little.

The status quo is a subtle enemy – it presents itself in little ways. And it presents itself day after day – it always will. And when the challenge of change is imposed on us, all those little acts that have reinforced the comfort of doing the same things the same way can keep us from accepting and benefiting from change – we see it is an intrusion on our comfort zone.

How to overcome the effect of the Status Quo? I challenge you to examine just one way you do things – it doesn’t matter what. Then do it a different way – just to see what happens. And every day after that, try to seek out change in your own life. The practice of looking for and trying new ways can be one of the most powerful personal skills you can have. Honor the status quo – routines are important – but routines can also create an illusion of comfort, and it is an illusion.

Another story:

I just finished checking the status of articles I post on www.submityour I check to see how many views and downloads have taken place since I posted them. I noticed a symbol on my summary page – what could that mean? Inspired by my new quest to try different things, I clicked on it. The result? I found a way to check statistics on all my articles more quickly. Wow – that’s neat! A little triumph in my ongoing battle to challenge my personal Status Quo.

Try it yourself – do it today – it will enrich your life. Look for those little discoveries that can make life, careers, relationships that much more meaningful. It will prepare you for those inevitable changes that hit all of us – sometimes without warning – and make dealing with them an advantage, rather than a threat.