10 Ways to Embrace Change
Blindsided by a job loss, the author learned that the unfamiliar isn’t to be feared: It can be a chance to turn your life around.
8. Learn to live with uncertainty. When I began learning Hindi, my teacher encouraged me to get out and practice with native speakers in New York. I wound up asking a waiter for love (pyar) when I’d meant to request a cup (pyala). But in that way I inched into a new language. That anxious feeling does not signal that you’re doing something wrong, only that you’re trying something new.
9. Say "really?" a lot. When you start to turn this sudden shift in your life to your advantage, you might shake up a lot of people, especially the ones who aren’t happy with how they’re living. To them, your efforts to move forward may feel like a glaring searchlight that needs to be switched off and fast. To their descriptions of the terrible fates that will surely befall you if you dive headlong into a new life, respond with “Really?” Alternatively, “Oh, yeah?” works, too.
10. Shed your old skin. Discard physical clutter, tired ideas, old routines. Seeing things through another’s eyes can help. I had that chance when the Hindi school I enrolled in asked me to list my daily requirements. I could honestly have said, “For the past 62 days, I’ve eaten pineapple sandwiches for breakfast: toast, butter, canned pineapple (sliced, not crushed). Bedtime: white-noise machine (surf, not rain), four pillows (two hard, two soft).” Instead I wrote, “None.” It’s only when you have cast off what has been weighing you down that you can finally move on.