As the calendar flips to September, memory-driven anticipation builds as I work hard to quash the urge to buy a new Trapper Keeper notebook and a box of No. 2 pencils for school.

I recognize fully that I am not always in the majority on this, but I love change. The idea of starting something new and the transformation and adjustment that are part of that process set me atwitter.

I also know that there are situations when change is thrust upon us with little to no warning. You’ve lost your job or some tragedy has befallen you. Yet, while those adjustments are slower and likely painful, you simply must keep on plugging or else you will get stuck in a stagnant state of grief, misery, and self-pity. Boo-hiss on that. One foot in front of the other—even if you are only taking baby steps, at times—is the only way to move forward through trials and challenges.

Choosing to reset or to embark on a new path can be thrilling. When I hear the Southern colloquial phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I feel like someone has thrown down a challenge. “Yeah, yeah,” I will say aloud, but inside, I have started a conversation with myself about some tiny tweaks or major overhauling that would enhance whatever the unbroken thing is that has captured my attention.

“To change is difficult. Not to change is fatal.”

 

This quote from scientist turned Episcopal priest William Pollard is one of my favorites: “To change is difficult. Not to change is fatal.” I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to accept defeat, so bring on some invigorating changes, a surefire way to keep us on our toes and at the top of our game.

Our willingness and ability to welcome change are essential to our happiness and success, both in our personal relationships and in our careers. Consider the most successful person you know. I have no doubt that even a quick conversation with her about what her life was like five, ten, fifteen years ago will reveal a pattern of embracing opportunities to change, grow, and flourish. Consider also someone whom you imagine has the most winning personal relationships. I guarantee those relationships have evolved over time, with mutual respect and love as the glue that binds through growth.

Whether we elect to make a change, or it is imposed upon us, change is about new beginnings. I will leave you with these wise words of master poet and songwriter Bob Dylan: “If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’.”