Have you ever been in a situation where you were forced to change? I have. As a kid, I had to move from my comfortable Atlanta suburban home to an apartment in Orlando in the middle of the 1st grade. I loved it! I have always been drawn to Florida for some reason. Maybe it was Ron John Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach where I got my first boogie board. I rocked those waves laying down!
I was also forced to change when we had to move back. My mom was only there on an assignment from work for a couple months. I hated coming back. I got a different teacher in school than I had when I left and had zero friends. I was miserable the rest of the school year and even got in a fight on the playground, which was completely out of character for me.
What is it that makes some of us elated and others so resistant to change? For me, moving to something new was exciting and adventurous. Like exploring a new city with wonder. I’ve been to lots of “new cities” in my work. The first time I went to Boston I was so amazed at Boston Common. I walked through it instead of getting an Uber because I wanted to see what the city culture was like. If you ever want to see what the culture of a city is like, walk through the city park. Interesting people await you at every corner. I have never seen evangelical Buddhists until I went to Boston Common. Some guys rap battling, a dance demonstration, and a fitness class later, I realized culture lives in downtown parks.
When I went to Boston the second time, it was cool, but not nearly as cool as the first time. Then the third time it was even less exciting. Then it became like, “Oh, I’m in Boston again.” The hope and anticipation of new keeps our imaginations alive and active. It makes us wonder and think about the possible.
So what is your “new city?” What is that idea or thought that keeps you thinking about the possible? When are you going to take the first step toward it? If you have already started, what is next? And after that? And after that? We need to keep thinking about “new cities” all the time. It’s what keeps the creative juices flowing. My new city is speaking at a conference. Then running a conference. And writing a book.
I know one thing remains true about all people at all times. If you don’t change something, you will at very best always remain the same. So what is it for you? Are you good with remaining where you are in life? If so, do nothing and hopefully you will. But, if you are not content with where you are, start today, no, start now by changing something and working toward your new city. Because the best part of arriving at a new city is getting to explore it.
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