Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Changing Gears

Have you ever managed to change directly from 1st Gear to the 4th Gear in a Car? If yes, this article is not meant for you.
I presume you are also just like me who goes from 1st to the 4th gear while driving the vehicle of life. More often than not, most of this driving is on auto pilot.
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who was desperately wanting to make a change without going through this cycle.  What makes us then try and achieve change overnight without going through the “Gears”?
Myriads of examples came to my mind. Here is a sample of them
§  New Year Resolution
§  Learning a new subject
§  Acquiring a new skill
§  Going back to school for continuing education
§  Learning to cook
§  You can add more
Whether it be the New Year resolution that we make or any new habit that we want to acquire, or for that matter, any habit that we want to replace, it only helps to become aware of this cycle of change. Else, we are setting up a trap designed to crash.
Changing Gears is a metaphor I coined to help ease the process of #change I am undergoing. It works for me, and with this belief I am offering it for your use. Before you decide to throw it, I suggest you to apply its simplicity of use. You always have a choice of junking it anyways. Most of us know the importance of each gear in the mechanical world of motor vehicles, hence I will not elaborate on it here and share a few examples of my life to be able to relate to.
I have very recently going into a fitness regime which covers all the 4 dimensions of my awareness. (Refer 4 dimensions image). Before embarking on a journey, especially a long one, do you check whether your vehicle fitness for the long haul? I can see you nodding a “yes”. I did exactly the same. I checked myself (vehicle) to take stock of my current levels of fitness on these four viz. physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The physical one was done through a doctor. For the remaining three, I started writing a journal which captures key elements of the current state. As I started writing, layers within me started surfacing, rich in intensity, unleashing a catharsis in my life. The initial journal writing was designed for only 4 weeks, however, it has now become a part of my life.
The vehicle was now ready for the journey. Having ignited the desire of change, I stepped on the clutch of inspiration and put the first gear of influence. The vehicle roared to life. The immediate temptation was the race the engine of life and cover maximum distance in the shortest possible time. Acknowledging this temptation, the engine of my life reminded me of the mechanics. These mechanics are not alterable, unless you want a breakdown. The first 2 months has seen me journey the terrain of physical and mental fitness. Under random circumstances, I would have said to myself “that’s it, you could have achieve more”. However, with my new found awareness of change, I continue to appreciate and celebrate small victories of change. The results are visibly tangible. Gathering momentum releases its own dopamine of growth. Putting the vehicle into 2nd gear has given acceleration a completely different meaning on the road to change. Unlike roads with potholes, I am already on the expressway of change, with toll gates designed to give out “R&R” rather than collect usage fees. Isn’t that exhilarating? The dashboard of life is exuding vibrancy. The physical body is light and bubbling with energy. The mind is alert and churning out ideas of change. I truly believe I can touch the sky.
As I changed gears, my eyes fell on the horizon of #clutter. #Cluttering was impairing my mental fitness and it was visible on the dashboard of life. The indicators were blinking RED to the point of breakdown. You may be familiar with situations of not finding crucial papers in place or missing deadliness on important projects and simply, getting frustrated with the inefficiencies that clutter breeds. It was time for a pit stop at the motel called #De-clutter. During this halt, identifying, assimilating and acknowledging the #clutter details in every area of life put my vehicle in motion. Once the vehicle is in motion, it is a matter of maintaining lane discipline and speed in the right lane of change. Every single day, I give 15 minutes for getting in to the first lane of “De-clutter”. The first lane is the speed lane, where I am able to drive at the speed I desire. What started as a simple act of de-cluttering unravels change at its best. Change that leaves me energized and radiating with a sense of fulfilment and completion.
This simple act of awareness has reconnected me with the elixir of peace within. As Peter Senge says, “Small changes produce big results”. I am constantly looking for those small changes.
Let me share my final example to highlight the power of changing gears. I was introduced to P90X by my friend in Feb’14. A series of fitness videos by one of the most dynamic fitness legends in current times, Tony Horton ( I was so impressed that I took it upon me to master the game. I started working out in Feb’14 with only the stretching piece for the first 4 weeks. I was just igniting my engines of change. The stretches are powerful and I was getting back to exercise after almost a decade. The junk my metal had gathered resisted, objected, shouted. Yet the engines had to move. During this time, I was focused on moving the body and gently, I did. 4 weeks later, I could literally see my body expand in flexibility. Exhilarating!! Shifting gear to 2nd, routines have been created to help achieve total physical fitness. As my vehicle accelerates in physical fitness, I can see the signage of #Yoga and #Plyometric beckoning me to get into 3rd gear.
Each one of us has the inherent ability to make #change. Recognizing this ability begins the #change. I experienced #conscious adaptability of the body for the first time.
Learning to “change gears” is one of the best investments I made in navigating my vehicle through the narrow lanes, bylanes and expressways of life. These narrow lanes or bylanes or expressways are symbolic and represents the journeys of our life. In some part of our journey, we come across bumper to bumper traffic where life seems to be standstill while there are moments, when life is moving through the narrow lane of slow growth. Are you then ready to seize the moment when you hit the expressway of change, in your life? Be alert then and look out for the signs in your life. You are your own GPS.
One last question - How do you “change gears” in your family, organization, society and global community at large? Do you recognize these in them too?

(*Image Credit : Google)