Maybe you are thinking of making a change in your life. Or, maybe, change is upon you.

  • You are thinking of making a change because you are likely experiencing a mismatch between your goals/views/beliefs and your current situation.
  • A change brought upon you, similarly, might create a disparity between your beliefs and the new situation.

In both cases, this tension between reality and mental models is present.

Changes involve cognitive dissonance#

Both Responding to change and making a change have something in common. You are dealing with Cognitive Dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance appears in consciousness when information conflicts with our goals and intentions or distracts us from carrying them out.

Your focus in times of change#

You should be focusing on reestablishing order in consciousness, a.k.a bringing back happiness. Happiness is something you prepare for, something you make happen. You do it by dealing with psychological entropy and by controlling the contents of consciousness.

What you do now affects your happiness, both present and future. Thus it is best to adopt a proactive mindset for making happiness happen.

What does a proactive mindset involve?#

  • Understand that, to an extent, your choices led you where you are now. This might seem obvious, but unless you recognise the effects of your past choices, you can’t choose otherwise.
  • Find how you are empowering the things that control you.
  • Your mental state is influenced by a set of internal and external factors. Your control over the external factors can be anything from substantial to nonexistent. There is this notion in systems thinking that to create change you have to find the right leverage point. That is usually the way we experience change internally.
  • To Improve quality of life, you can either Try making external conditions match our goals, or Change how you experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.
  • Become more engaged and involved with the situation you are interacting with, paying attention to it’s different facets. Paradoxically, that way you become more connected with the environment you are interacting with.
  • Remain goal-driven and at the same time observe and be open to adapting to external events in the environment.
  • Strong people find a way to function harmoniously within their environment. Maintain trust in yourself, your environment and your place in it. Yet, have the humility to acknowledge that your goals might be peripheral to a greater thing. This might mean the need to play by different rules.
  • Control your routine and habits. What you repeatedly do now can influence your happiness in 2, 5, or 10 years’ time.
  • For things you have indirect control over: Focus on things you can do that might in turn effect positive influence over the things under your indirect control. For example, in a romantic relationship, focus on being a better partner.
  • Accept the things you can’t control and do not let them control the contents of your consciousness.

While are not always in control of change, you are in charge of what you make of it and, consequently, influence your life and happiness.