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Hem and Haw about Change

Try this: Tell someone you’re going to change your life. What happens? Try it. Throw out a possible idea you’ve been mulling over and see what you get for a reaction.

No possible ideas? What?

If not, then the first part of this continuing blog post is for you. It seems that we fall into two camps regarding change: those who painfully crawl to it as a last resort and those who are drawn to it like flies to a picnic.

Do you remember the #1 best-selling book on change, Who Moved My Cheese?

One of the things I find interesting about the little book, is the symbolism about change. The cheese could stand for the good things in life, or could be basic survival. It could symbolize anything necessary for the good life.  Anyway, we need cheese.

If you have no ideas of any change you’d like to persue at any point in life, you would resemble one of the two main characters, Hem. Hem is stuck, majorly. He even argues against looking in other locations of the maze for his cheese or for new cheese. You see the problem.

No, I didn’t memorize the book, but I remember this much. Hem kept returning to the same spot in the maze looking for the cheese long after it was gone. Day after day Hem and Haw checked to see if it was there again. It never returned and I’m not sure what happened to the cheese but the point is what happened to Hem!

If you have no ideas of any change you’d like to pursue at any point in life, you would resemble one of the two main characters, Hem.

Interestingly, the reaction he gives to Haw’s suggestion that they explore their maze, is a full-out argument. Hence the suggestion to talk to someone close to you about a change.  Are you getting negative reactions? That may say more about them than you.

Following that trail, it may say more about them than about your idea of change. They may naturally be a Hem. Maybe you should talk to a Haw. Obviously the happy ending must involve Haw, the other character.

In case you didn’t notice I’ve not listed your possible reasons for avoiding change, other than negative reactions so why not tell me? I’m waiting for a day or two and then, being a Haw, I’m going to write about the plus side of change.

Why do people avoid change? You tell me. I don’t get it.

6 thoughts on “Hem and Haw about Change

  1. Wow I’m so way behind. I love it all. Good response Marci. You might just want to watch out if I actually get a hold of “change”.

  2. Pingback: Part 2 « FORK IN THE ROAD

  3. Fear!! Fear is the reason many of us avoid change. Fear of the unknown is a powerful blocker.
    The present path may not be perfect, but trying something new presents new chances for improvement or unknown risks of failure. The old shoe may not look the best, but the new one is not nearly as comfortable.

    • I love your shoe analogy! That’s it exactly! I gravitate toward comfort. For most of my life, I’ve dipped a toe, or at most, dangled my feet in the water. I could out hem, Hem. I resisted change as if I couldn’t swim. Once in the river, I held my breath for a really long time, but I didn’t drown. I’m beginning to find the current carries me to places I would never have dreamed of, and it’s remarkable! This quote is a little extreme, but I like it.
      “The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.” ~Ellen Glasgow

    • Marci. Thank you for sharing on the blog! You say fear of the unknown is a powerful blocker and I agree. The image I get is one from watching Dad’s high school team at football practice. My dad made the line practice blocking every day. There were various ways of doing this, but the one that I see, is a skid with stanchions, kind of like the ones in a barn, but on a couple of skis. Each post of the mock “opponent” had a big dummy pad to absorb the hits. The team would squat, charge and hit in the dummy line in tandem and the skid load (my Dad on the back of it) would move down the practice field a ways until they lost momentum or he blew the whistle. I believe we give power to our addictions, (if I can use Debbie’s terminology) and we become the practice dummy. How long are we going to let the guilt or fear or whatever push us around? In the end we have only ourselves to blame for continuing the practice. It’s time to blow the whistle!

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