Change My Whole Life

Noah at HSP 2013

“What would it look like to change my WHOLE LIFE?”

A few months ago I jotted those words in my journal.

A few weeks later, during a counseling session, I was told to throw that idea out the window. My whole life didn’t need a change. Many times we get hung up on the BIG HUGE changes we think are necessary to be successful in life. The problem with this thinking is we forget to take into account all the parts of our life that are good. Our fallen, simple, minds tend to dwell on the problems and conflicts we experience. We forget about the good.

Two percent. That’s all we need. That’s all I need. 2% can be HUGE. 2% can be significant.

Do I need to change EVERYTHING in my life? No. If I set out to change everything about my life I would lose and discard so many good things. Changing everything doesn’t look too good when I take the time to ponder what it would look like. I would need to leave my family. Well that settles it pretty quickly. I’m not going to change everything. I like my family. I want to keep them in my life.

What else does ‘everything’ encompass?

Do I want to change my job? Yes. No. Maybe. In the now legendary words of Jenny Acuff, “income helps”.

Do I want to live elsewhere? No. I enjoy living in West Michigan. My boys like their schools.

How about hobbies? I like to play golf. Should I give that up? NO WAY! Food, vehicles, clothing, hair style, etc.

Some of you may want to change everything I’ve mentioned above, but I’m sure if you took the time to look at your life, you would find numerous aspects to deem off-limits to change.

2%. Let’s get back to this small number.

Would changing 2% of your life make an impact on, well, everything? I say yes. Here’s why.

Apollo 13. April, 1970. 2%. The Apollo 13 astronauts had a miniscule window to hit in order to successfully re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. If they weren’t within the window, they would burn up or skip off the atmosphere and out into space with no hope of return. 2%. How could such a small number make such a HUGE difference? Earth’s pretty big. How difficult could it be to splash that capsule down in the ocean? Pretty darn difficult for a regular person. Thankfully, Jim Lovell, his crew mates Fred Haise and John Swigert, and the man left behind, Jim Mattingly, were not regular people. Training matters. These gentlemen and the dozens of people helping, knew what needed to be done. And, they knew how small the window was for success.

2%

Small changes in direction have potential for causing significant change.

Small changes to multiple areas of life, implemented over months and years, can have a significant impact on the trajectory of your life and the lives of those around you. Taking the initiative to make a small change in direction is important for growth and improvement. I’ve been working toward significant change in the direction of my life. I experienced a huge change in the spring of 2013. Since then, I’ve worked on many small areas of my life. Small, seemingly insignificant changes you may or may not see in me if you know me well. Trust me. Small can be big. Ask my family. They’ll tell you.

More and more small changes are in store for me.

What changes are in store for you? Where is the 2% in your life?

Let me know in the comments below. Join the conversation!

#Next3Decades

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14 thoughts on “Change My Whole Life

  1. I think the key is to make the decision to change something and it doesn’t have to be major. Small changes can have major ripple effect. For example by practicing gratitude every morning instead of complaining about going to work you can have a much better day. Small changes of a person’s mindset from negative to positive can have a significant effect. Small changes like walking more and eating healthier a few times a week can have a dramatic impact. Good reminder! One change in store for me is to become a better planner and commit to certain dates in the future. I’m starting small by only looking a few months out.

  2. Rick,
    I think there’s amazing vulnerability needed for someone to ask themselves, “What needs to change?” Not from the world’s standpoint, but through the lens of the gospel. When I see how impatient and self-serving I tend to be, I’m reminded of all the work only HE can do in me. I give my 2% to Him every morning. That’s 29 minutes in the Word – 2% of my time each day. Without that 2% I don’t have a chance.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this Rick. I love the idea of focusing on what things ARE working in our lives. Changes work best if they are “baby steps”. I’m a bit inspired now, myself, to start adding writing back into my daily world. We’ll see what happens…

    • Heather – Thanks for reading and joining the conversation! Take the step. Write something! I’d love to read it.

  4. Thanks for this Rick! I have been spending tons of time craving a complete life change. New job, new state, new everything. 2% seems much easier to handle and much less overwhelming!