Whether you are conscious of it or not; whether it seems visible or not; whether the magnitude is wide or very meagre; one thing is certain- you are changing.
I will give you a simple instance. Have you, for any reason, returned to an old neighborhood you once adored and called home, and found yourself possibly irritated about it, making funny comments about it? Or have you attended a reunion party and found it painstaking to “flow” with the people you once called friends? Trust me, the examples are endless- from food, to fashion choices, to beliefs and culture. You don’t need to wonder why. It’s simple.
I find the answer to the question “why do we change?” and “what do we change into?” the same or let me say ‘complimentary’.
For instance, if you ask me for one of the reasons people change, I will tell you it is because of their “environment”. If you ask a follow up question about who they change into, one of my answers will still be “their environment”.
We change into what we have constant contact with- be it material, intellectual or emotional. Think about it:
You are not the same way you are now before you entered college.
Or before you got married.
Before you started reading that author.
Or listening to that speaker.
Or started exploring some emotional holds, say sex or meditation.
Whether you were conscious of it all or not, you have changed into everything around you- people, beliefs, culture or things. Do you doubt it?
As much as I would have loved to explore this subject in its entirety I am bound in theme to limit this article to one of the causatives of change if not the most powerful: Relationships.
A wise man once asked his audience to write the names of the 7 closest persons to them, their wives/girlfriends as one and children as one, with the remaining 5 are open (I’ll advise you do the same). After the audience was done, the wise man told them that the persons in that list were a mirror of who members of the audiences are. How profound!
Relationships are one of the most powerful change causatives that exist. No wonder it is popularly said- “if you ever want to cause a change go to the family…” Why? Because the family is the smallest unit of relationships. It is the first environment you are introduced to, be it a nuclear family, a foster home or an orphanage. You have no say over these kinds of relationships. You don’t choose where to be born or into what kind of family, language or culture to be born into, and that forms the basis on which our life is built but as we grow into adulthood.Relationships are one of the most powerful change causatives that exist. Click To Tweet
N.B.: Though our location limits the number of people we come to be in touch with, adulthood offers us the opportunity to have a say over who we want to be with.
While entering the university 10 years ago, a big brother of mine told me: “Don’t let anyone choose you as their friend, but choose who you want as your friend”.
Truthfully, we are left without choice on the basis on which our life is built because we don’t get to choose who our family members are. However, as we begin to understand our identities, desires, direction and what we need to get to where we are headed, we also become open to making the choices that will make or mar that future- one of which is the issue of relationships.
Remember the simple task of writing the seven closest persons to you? You indirectly choose who you change into when you choose the people closest to you. Note, they don’t have to be physically present.
Take, for instance, I am a big fan of the “116 Clique”, Lecrae, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, KB. I listen to their songs the most during the day, as well as during those idle moments, times on the road or on the commute. I ingest their ideas and philosophy. Unconsciously, I am becoming the ‘116 Clique”, talking about their ideas and philosophy.
If you are mindful of who you are changing or wish to change into, then you must be mindful of the relationship you build. Are you allowing the tides carry you wherever it wills or are you consciously steering the tide to where you desire to go?If you are mindful of who you are changing or wish to change into, then you must be mindful of the relationship you build. Click To Tweet
Place the picture of the man/woman you intend to change into. Do a conscious review of the present state of your relationship. You might need to drop some people. I am not promising that it will be easy, but if you are indeed interested in the person you are changing into, then it’s a choice you must make. Likewise, you will need to pick up new friends, build new connections, and form new relationships.
Life is all about relationships. The kind of job offers, contract offers, the vacant apartment offers even wedding proposals you get is limited to the kind of people who are within your relationship circle. I can write a whole post on it but to wrap this up, be conscious, be intentional and be proactive about the kind of relationships you build.
To be more specific, be conscious, be intentional and be proactive about the kind of people you call friends, mentors and counsellors. They are the picture of your future.
I hope this was a worthwhile read, feel free to leave a comment.