‘It’s not the light that’s the problem; it’s that you have been in the dark too long.’
You know when you’ve had the lights off for a while and they suddenly come on again that it takes a while for your eyes to adjust – what’s the real cause of that? Is it really because the light has come on, or is it actually that you’ve been in the dark for too long?
On one level, that might seem like a pointless philosophical question. You could argue the case for both positions or you could conclude that it’s a combination of the two that causes the discomfort.
How might it be useful to apply the principle to other areas of your life, though?
Are there areas of your life where you’ve been trundling along, perfectly happily – until a potential change comes along that could disrupt your status quo and initially might cause discomfort?
Do you look at it from within the confines of your current perspective or are you open to seeing it from a new one?
This could apply to fairly major changes such as a career move, a new location or even a change of partner. How might it apply to you?
How does that potential change seem when you compare it to the comfort of your current position? Is it possible that you’ve been keeping yourself in the dark for too long?
How might things be once you’ve got through that initial discomfort of the change itself? Is it possible that things could be even better, that you might grow or learn?
Perhaps you might be considering a new way of doing things, whether that’s a new system or process within your business, a different daily routine that means getting up earlier being more active or eating more healthily.
It’s all about stretching your comfort zone, which I like to think of as an ever expanding area.
Just like your eyes adjusting to light, that period of stretch and adjustment can be uncomfortable. It’s easy to blame the new thing for that discomfort – but is it more the fact you’ve been attached to your old status quo for too long that’s causing the discomfort?
Our natural reaction to the lights coming on when we’ve been in the dark it’s to want them to go off again. We see the light as the problem. However if they don’t, our eyes do eventually adjust.
Alternatively, if the lights come on gradually our eyes can adjust gradually with less discomfort. The end result is the same – we’ve come out of the dark into the light.
Are there ways that you can introduce or adapt your change more gradually to make it more comfortable? Or do you prefer the short sharp shock approach?
Either will get you to the same place eventually.
What’s important is that you recognise that the light is not the problem, but how you adjust to it.
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