How Do You Choose to Handle Change?

Anyone who knows me, also knows how often I can be found at Starbucks.  Several locations fix an Iced Quad-Shot Espresso when they see me pull into the parking lot.  That is, after all, my preferred drink and has been for several years now.  Originally, my drink was a Grande nonfat, with whip, Mocha.  After several years, I chose a Grande Iced Coffee.  Then, my doctor suggested espresso since it has less caffeine and much less acid than brewed coffee. (I know it doesn’t sound right, but see references below). Even though it has a stronger flavor, espresso is lower in caffeine and acidity.

The other day, someone in line commented on my paying for my order without ever saying what I wanted.  It made me think about choices and how we make them.

We hear a lot about making choices.  Sometimes it is frustrating because we may feel we did not actually make a choice.  When I say, “Fear is a choice”, a common response is “I don’t remember choosing it!”.

Maybe, that’s because you didn’t choose fear today.  You may not have even chosen it recently. You may have it today because of a choice you made a long time ago.  Until you announce your new choice, people will assume nothing has changed.

We also hear that change is a constant.  While there is plenty of evidence to prove this true, most people rarely change.  Common sense phrases demonstrate this very well.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

“Don’t mind him, he’s set in his ways.”

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

We often have difficulty with relatively small changes that affect us.  Today, Sirius Radio changed their channel line-up. Bloomberg Radio has always been Channel 131 but is now found on Channel 113. Since most channels changed, most listeners will have to reset their favorite stations.  I bet many will think of the work and inconvenience this caused today. “Why did they have to mess up my day?” will be a common thought.

Given the many things we do each day, it is very understandable that change can be irritating particularly when someone made the choice for us. It may seem even harder to decide to make a new choice ourselves. But, we are always free to make a new choice.

You cannot change the past. The only power you have is now. Make a new choice, one that reflects who you are now. And keep making that choice until it becomes a habit. Fear really is a choice, why not choose something better?

Reference: Caffeine, Acidity

Photo Credit: Paul E. Puckett, Jr. 2011

(This post originally appeared on my blog, Whole Investor, with the title “Choices” in April of 2011)

About Paul Puckett

2 Responses to “How Do You Choose to Handle Change?”

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  1. I use to hate change. With a real passion. When my family started our journey to eliminate our debt, we knew things were going to have to change. It took a long time for us (too long) to make changes that were necessary. I still like routines and “life in a rhythm,” but at least I’m more open to the idea of change. 🙂

  2. Paul Puckett says:

    Thanks Travis,

    Whether we like, love, or hate change, it is a constant. But we have free will and the ability to choose not only what we do but how we react to the constant change around us.

    One of my favorite quotes, of all time, is from the book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry is concerned about similarities he shares with Voldemort. Albus Dumbledore reminds him, “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

    We may not remember the choices we make, but we are always free to make new choices. Accept change and consider your choices.

    “To thine ownself be true” is only possible if we know the meaning of truth and understand and know who we are.

    Money is not your life, remember to live your life on your terms. And, have fun!

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