Two weeks ago I upgraded the hard drive in one of our home computers. The machine itself wasn’t that old, but replacing that one part boosted the machine’s performance dramatically. In fact, it made such a difference that afterward I had to wonder, “Now why exactly didn’t I do this earlier?”
Perhaps you’ve had the same experience. You’ve either fixed or upgraded something only to wonder why you waited so long to do so.
So why does this happen? Maybe it’s because our perspective of the value of the change gets skewed. We may underestimate the benefit, thinking the extra time or money won’t be worth it. Or we may overestimate the cost, thinking the cost will be so great that we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Even if we know that improvement is a possibility, perhaps we don’t realize there’s a viable option given our current resources.
Or, maybe we wait to make any changes because we don’t even realize there’s room for improvement. We’ve grown accustomed to what we have and think it’s normal. Little by little, things have gotten worse. And, like what I experienced with the showerhead not all that long ago, it takes a while to realize it. And even though things may have been fine earlier, what was once sufficient is now struggling to keep up.
Sometimes this is because of deterioration. Physical components will eventually wear out. But other times it’s because of the increasing demands they’re under. With a computer, for instance, the resources needed to run an older version of the operating system are often not the same for a newer version. With every update to the OS, it’s not uncommon for it to require more or different resources to operate optimally. It may still work with the original resources, but it may not operate as smoothly as it should. This isn’t because of a failure of the original components themselves but because of the increasing needs of the entire system.
The same thing can happen in life. Maybe the daily routine that worked well when you were younger isn’t providing the same value at this stage in life. Maybe the habits that helped you in your last role aren’t helping you in your current one. And it’s not because they were faulty, but because the needs of today are requiring something different than what was necessary in the past.
So, the question to consider is this: Are there any habits, routines, attitudes, or perspectives that could benefit from an upgrade? Even if one worked well in the past, is it still providing value in the season you find yourself in today? If not, why not reevaluate and see if you could make an upgrade in that area? It may not be easy, but it could also make a dramatic difference in your life moving forward. And if it does, you may wonder why you didn’t make the change sooner.