Chaos is a catalyst for change. You are the inhibitor of that change if you let yourself miss out on the opportunity to be uncomfortable. Our lives have changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Our work, our interactions, our daily routine… it has all changed. The situation around us is incredibly serious and it is everyone’s duty to do their part in keeping themselves and the ones around them safe and healthy. Keep them moving forward. With that being said, I am a firm believer that every moment we have a decision. We have a decision to define the moment or let the moment define us. How can you define this moment for yourself instead of letting this chaotic moment define you?
The way that I imagine the majority of people go through life is like a fully completed puzzle. I am sure after reading that sentence you may have a “puzzled” look on your face but stick with me here for a moment. We have every piece of our life that comes together to create the picture of our life. We have our family, our friends, our work, our health, and our personal well-being to name a few that come together to create the life that you are living. We all want to grow and develop and better the “pieces of our puzzle.” Our growth and development seems to never be at the pace that we desire. Why is that? It takes a lot of energy to remove a piece of our puzzle, change it, and put it back in place. It is a meticulous task. A task that requires a plan and dedicated action to change a piece of our life. It can often seem daunting when we have multiple pieces of “our” puzzle that we want to change. We have to carefully remove one piece, make adjustments, and put the piece back in place, without disturbing any of the other pieces. Then do the same thing for another area of our life. This requires a great deal of energy and can often seem daunting.
Let’s look at going to the gym as an example to really set in place the puzzle analogy. The piece of your life that you want to work on is going to the gym. Now, you barely go to the gym. Whether it is what you want it to be, that piece of your life is a piece of the puzzle. You want to start going to the gym in the morning before work. It was difficult to make this happen because you were not willing to get up early enough to go before work because changing the “going to the gym” piece of your puzzle would be disturbing another piece of your puzzle which is getting enough sleep on work days. If you change when you wake up on a work day then you must change when you go to sleep to keep the same amount of sleep, thus disturbing another piece. When our puzzle of life is complete, and we want to change a single piece, it often disturbs many other pieces of our puzzle.
Why is “chaos” the secret here? Why is it the catalyst for change that so many of us could leverage as the momentum we need? When chaos hits our lives, whether it slowly creeps in or hits us all at once, our “puzzle” is no longer put together. It is as if we are starting the puzzle over again. You grab the box and you dump the puzzle on the table and the pieces are everywhere. Some are upside down, some even fell off the table, but the important thing here is they are easy to move around. They are easy to change. They are not all attached to other puzzle pieces. What does this mean for us? Chaos created the time to make the changes to the pieces of our puzzles that we have so desperately wanted to change. Now this is exaggerated compared to many of our situations of course. Some of us have pieces of our puzzle that are still connected together, but some of them have been shaken up. Use this time now to make the changes to those pieces you have always wanted. If you don’t have to commute to work now, use that extra time to make the meal at home you have been wanting to make. Do you have less school work? Double down on connecting with the relationships you have let slide. Chaos has jumbled up the pieces of our puzzle. When things get closer to the normal we were accustomed to, are your pieces going to look the exact same and fall into the same place? Is the puzzle of your life going to be the same finished picture? Or are you going to let this be the catalyst for change you need. Are you going to define this moment for yourself or let this chaotic moment define you? The choice is yours.