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The Only Constant is Change

The Only Constant is Change

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Published by: alcoholrehab on Feb 09, 2010
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06/07/2010

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Universal Axiom 1: The Only Constant is Change.
Life is continuously changing. People move, children grow up, careers change, health iscompromised, people gain their health back, the climate changes, and life cycles begin and end.Whether a person can adapt to these changes and become a proactive participant in a constantlychanging world is a key component in “full development” or maturity. Are you ready to gaincontrol of your life?To illustrate this point, look at life from two different perspectives. On the one hand, theimmature child is dependent on those around him or her. On the other hand, a mature adult isresponsible for those around him or her. Being responsible makes the ever changingcircumstances of life a lot more challenging. The adult or fully developed human is a participant,not a spectator, in the process of life. Fully developed adults create their present circumstancesand sometimes have to react to unexpected circumstances (often very difficult ones) in positiveways. Children observe life’s circumstances with little or no concern for or affect on theoutcomes.Many adults never reach full development; that is, they fail to mature. They may maturein certain aspects of life, such as their work life, their financial life and/or family relationships.But they are unable to move beyond instant gratification in other areas of life, the most obviousof these being substance use and a tendency towards drama-filled relationships.Physically these folks grow up, but emotionally and mentally they develop ways of coping using the many techniques that they used as children. They hold tightly to their childhooddrive for immediate gratification. These non-matured adults create a form of “victim-hood” because for them the world and its flow of changes are perceived as just too tough to handle.They become frightened, may have panic attacks, and develop debilitating fears. They oftendevelop phobias toward everyday responsibilities of living. Their careers are shaky, their relationships struggle, they feel a sense of impending doom, and they tend to become maudlinand depressed.Childhood coping mechanisms that are used in adulthood, such as tantrums, pleasureseeking and comfort seeking are sometimes methods that are used to avoid needed change. Theresult of this is usually plummeting self-confidence, loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, lostresources and emotional instability. In these cases, the “non-matured adult” sometimes usesalcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc., as a means to gain greater comfort and happiness.Unfortunately this sometimes has drastic and counterproductive results. The person feels “stuck.”The individual watches others move on to build joyous lives while he or she wallows inyesteryear, trying to hide from today’s responsibilities. Believe it or not, all of this is based on thedesire to be happy, but because of the perceived lack of options, the person keeps returning toactivities, methods and relationships that bring only fleeting moments of happiness, usuallyfollowed by remorse and self-pity.The most defining characteristic of fully mature people is their ability to initiate andembrace internal and external changes. Adaptation to change is native to everyone. Yet, some donot accept it, no matter how much discomfort (unhappiness) must be endured to reject change or to ignore normal adult responsibilities. Look at those who sink into the mire of self-pity after adivorce that may have occurred many years before. Or, look at the person embittered by theuntimely death of a loved one and who becomes incapacitated because of the loss. Or, thefinancial head of a household who is unemployed because of downsizing and dwells on the lost
 
 job rather than searching out new and exciting prospects. These are examples in which anindividual’s unhappiness results from avoiding needed change. Rather than accepting that changemust occur to attain a more satisfying experience, such people deceive themselves by decidingnot to change in favor of the status quo: self-pity, embitterment and fear.But why would people choose self-pity or fear over happiness? Simply put, they don’t.Their self-pity or fear, like all other neuroplastic change, becomes their “normal” condition. So,they are not rejecting happiness in favor of self-pity and fear, but rather they are clinging to their self-pity and fear as their learned level of comfort. As time goes on, it becomes far more fearfulto think beyond their status quo than to accept their status quo. They have become “happy,” or unhappy, depending on one’s point of view, in their unhappy negative condition.But life’s progress does not stop and everyone must learn to adapt. Even some of themost outwardly successful people who have completed this program are astounded at the level of immaturity with which they had been living.To find out how open you are to the process of personal change, a further understandingof certain universal life truths is needed. We must realize that there are certain indisputableaxioms that do not change. These axioms produce the benefits, health, happiness and structure of everything in the world. Maturity (the acceptance and ability to personally change) and joy arethe results of enthusiastically embracing and putting into action these truths. Each of these axioms becomes obvious as we grow and change as individuals.For most people, maturity is simply a function of living. As these folks grow older theysee the ineffectiveness of hanging onto old ideas that seemed to work as adolescents, but do notwork as an adult.Selfishness is an inherent part of childhood and for most people this trait continuesthrough adolescence. Selfishness in the human young is a survival mechanism. When a baby ishungry, it cries. It doesn’t know or care what everybody else is doing; it only knows that it'shungry. This selfish behavior is rewarded. Every time the infant is hungry, it cries. And bingo,someone comes to feed it. The infant learns cause and effect: I cry—I get fed. Without theinfant’s inherent selfishness, parents may sleep through feeding times causing the baby’s robustdevelopment to slow. Some studies show and most parents know that an infant’s cry is of such a nature that ittends to provoke action by adults to address the infant’s demands. One needs only the experienceof not promptly waking up for a 4AM feeding to understand just how effective the pitch of their  baby’s cry is.Inexplicably as the infant matures into a toddler and begins saying words, its cry changes.Characteristics of a toddler’s cry as compared to an infant’s cry are dramatically less compelling.The crying that worked well as an infant does not work nearly as well for the toddler. In fact, itcan become downright confusing when mother says to the toddler, “Danny, if you don’t stop thatcrying, I’ll give you something to cry about.” Did you notice the universe just changed? If thetoddler refuses to change with its universe and continues to hang on to the infant behavior of crying to get what it wants, the toddler will be setting itself up for failure and unhappiness asadolescents and adults often do.As children we are the center of our universe because we have not seen enough of our surroundings to know otherwise. Adolescence is that period between childhood and adulthood

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