Never Be a Victim of Circumstance

by Travis Hellstrom

  Things change a lot, all the time in fact. You could say life is change and you'd be right at the microscopic level and every other level we know.

Some people fight change tooth and nail - they can't accept it and they try to create as much permanence in their lives as they can. Routines. Plans. Expectations. They try their best to stem off change but despite their best efforts, change comes. It feels like it takes all their energy just to stay afloat.

Other people use change to their advantage - they accept it, embrace it and roll with it the best that they can. Others call them creative, flexible, ahead of the curve, visionaries, change makers. But truth be told, most change makers aren't as much makers as they are seers. They are like surfers riding the waves, they see what's coming and they jump on it quicker than everyone else.

Instinctually each of us has two built-in responses to something perceived as a threat: fight or flight. Both are found in the oldest and most powerful part of our brain, way in the back and at the bottom in the brain stem. In Linchpin, Seth Godin calls it the lizard brain. In response to change the lizard brain either becomes aggressive and charges at the problem or becomes meek, run and hope that it will go away. This part of our brain only contains these reactive responses: it requires action first and then responses. Fight or flight. You can see how this would be helpful in a saber-tooth tiger situation I'm sure.

Luckily, however, we evolved.

We have newer, kinder, smarter and more brilliant parts to our brain. We now have a third response available to us. It's a proactive response: it doesn't require any action first, it creates an action. It houses our creativity, imagination, hopes, and dreams. This third response isn't scared - it's smart enough to accept a situation for what it is, doesn't perceive it as a threat, but instead embraces the change. This is the reaction that visionaries choose, on a daily basis, to create something amazing - their life.

People who want to be victims of circumstance won't like this next part, but I didn't write it for them. I wrote it for visionaries. I wrote it for you.

I'm sure you are old enough to remember a million fight or flight scenarios in your life. But how many times have you been proactive? How many times have you smiled and thought creatively when something difficult happened to you? How many times were you able to see further than everyone else because you knew, with every fiber of your being, that something great was right around the corner?

As I mentioned before the lizard brain has been scientifically proven to be the most powerful part of the brain - it can hijack the best of us and force us into a corner if we let it. Don't. You are smarter than that. You've proven it over and over again. Your lizard brain told you it wouldn't work, but it did.

Your lizard brain told you people would laugh at you if you tried that, but they didn't. Time and time again a small, scared and embarrassing part of you tried to make you change your mind. But you said no. Keep saying no. Don't fight or run away, embrace change and figure out how to use it to your advantage.    

### This is a mini-chapter from my book Enough. You can download it for any price here.