There are four climate seasons each calendar year. Depending on which part of the country (or world) you reside, the climate may remain relatively the same from January through December, or change with the passing of each season.
Aside from the one year I spent living abroad in Guatemala, I grew up living in the Midwest region of the United States. January would arrive with the first snowfall and people appreciated this ‘change’. By the end of the month there was a countdown until opening day for Major League Baseball – this meant that Spring, and warmer weather, were getting closer.
Spring would arrive, and it was a refreshing, and even exciting feeling, knowing that sweatshirts and jackets could make their way to the back of the closet until Fall. Then, Summer would show up at the doorstep, swimming pools would open, and the sun wouldn’t set until 9:00PM. After weeks of 80-90 degree weather, the humidity would take its toll and you would find yourself watching the trees and taking notice of the leaves changing color.
Green leaves turn to yellow. Yellow soon becomes shades of red, orange and brown. Just as quickly as you put the jackets in the back of the closet, you find yourself pulling them back out. Excited for the temperatures to cool down a bit, and even more excited if you find a few extra dollars in the pocket from last winter.
Shortly after the leaves begin falling, the clocks turn back an hour. Darkness arrives by 5:30PM, the mornings are cooler, and the trees become bare with nothing except the branches exposed. And so you wait, looking forward to the next ‘change’ in order to bring about something to motivate you when you wake up in the morning. Soon after, December arrives and your snow boots find a place next to the back door, and you begin waking up 5 minutes earlier to scrape the ice off of your car windows.
What happens next?
January arrives, and the cycle repeats itself.
This has been the pattern for me for 27 years. Albeit some summers a bit warmer or a few winters more frigid, the general cycle and change of seasons has been rather consistent. Constant if you will. And in life, the only constant is change itself. You have no control over the fact that life circumstances will change. This can prove to be challenging, especially for someone who is set in routine. As challenging as change can be, it can also be rewarding.
How can change be rewarding?
You embrace it. You view it as an opportunity for learning, for growth. As I stated earlier, my life has been fairly consistent for all the years of my life, except for the one year I chose to live abroad. Choosing to live in a developing country that I had only visited for two weeks prior was a difficult decision to make. Why was it challenging? Because it required a change – it would put me into an uncomfortable environment that required me to ‘figure it out’.
Have you ever done something that completely flipped your life upside down?
Each morning when you wake up, you are forced to make the biggest decision of your day within the first 30 seconds.
Do you know what that decision is?
“Am I going to make today a good day?”
No matter what happens, how much your schedule changes, and regardless of what is out of your control – how in the hell are you going to get through? Are you going to cower down to change? Let it break you down and having you hoping for tomorrow? Are you going to embrace the change? Use it as an opportunity that has you firing on all cylinders?
Had I not lived in Guatemala for a year, I probably would have never understood the purpose of change – whether it’s the seasons of the year, the people I considered friends, or my outlook on life. And so I accepted the fact that life can’t always be a constant – it requires change, and you must learn to embrace it.
5 Reasons to Embrace Change
- It provides a new perspective – What you see out of your two eyes isn’t the case for everyone else. In a sense, it’s a fresh start and a clean slate. Whatever troubles, fears, or doubts you had before, change can provide the catalyst to give you another view – another perspective that you weren’t exposed to before.
- It forces you to adapt and be courageous – When I first moved to Guatemala, I had no other choice but to ‘figure it out’. I had to learn a new language, navigate through a new city, and understand a new culture. Through bravery and courage I made it beyond my mistakes; overcame the challenges and learned to appreciate a world I would have otherwise never known. Be curious and be courageous, you too can grow from being exposed to something new.
- Without change, you will live a life of complacency – It’s easy sometimes to go through the motions each week. Wake up on Monday morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner with the family, go to bed, and repeat until Friday. Embrace every new opportunity for self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-growth.
- You will see and experience things you otherwise would have never known – By living life in a ‘bubble’ it’s easy to put blinders on and block out anything outside the norm. You limit exposure to new places, new people, and new ideas. In doing so, you limit your ability to grow. If you drive the same route to work every morning, then you just might be missing out on a route that is a few minutes longer and a bit less convenient, but provides a better view.
- Change helps you reach goals and achieve your dreams – Think about a goal you might have, or a dream you want to achieve in your lifetime. No matter what it is or where it is at, it is a guaranteed that it will require you to change something about your current behaviors. So, you want to lose 10 pounds? You can’t do it if you continue to consume more calories than you expend. Either you change how much you eat, or you incorporate more exercise into your daily activities. Do you have goals? Is there a dream you are after? If so, make the change in your life that puts you on the path towards success.
Change is hard. It’s difficult. It can get the best of you. Although, you can choose to embrace it. When you choose to embrace change, it becomes easier. Hell, you can even get the best of change!
Note – All photos are my own which were taken while living in Guatemala. Photo one is at the top of ‘El Nariz’ (The Nose) in Panajachel, Guatemala, for a morning sunrise hike. Photo two in the town of Zunil during a town market day. The third photo is me at the top of the Volcano Santa Maria (approximately 12,000 feet) as a smaller volcano erupts below it. In the fourth photo, I am sitting on the edge of brick wall at Lake Atitlan (arguably one of the most beautiful lakes in the world). The final picture was taken atop Volcano Tajumulco – just shy of 14,000 feet which is the highest mountain in all of Central America. The cover photo for this week’s post was taken at ‘The Cross’ in Antigua, Guatemala.