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The 3-Letter Acronym that Will Change Your Life

| written by Alison Lam | 8 comments

Let’s be honest.  

We make new year’s resolutions or, in this case, we choose ‘one word’ so that our lives will change. We don’t participate in this annual ritual in order to stay the same. To varying extents, we are not content or satisfied with the current state of our life (whether internal or external), therefore, we make resolutions or choose ‘one word’ in order to motivate ourselves to change. 

Our goal is personal transformation. 

Anything less than transformation would fall short of our intended purpose as humans. Human beings are characterized by growth, change and development. How small that transformation is at the end of the day/month/year is not really important. What matters most is that ‘something’ in us has grown, something has changed, something has improved and developed, and some momentum has been made. Even the tiniest of transformations in a positive direction is still considered a success.

We physically grow and change with each passing year, and so it is with our hearts and souls. We are always growing and changing, but how are we growing and changing? Is it for good or for bad?

Now the next thing I’m about to say may press your buttons, but I’m going to say it anyway.

I would go so far as to say that if we do not make any active, intentional and positive goals and choices this year, all the changes that happen in us will primarily be negative. Ouch. It’s the way of humankind. I wish it weren’t, but it is. 

We will always tend toward apathy, stinginess, stagnancy, negativity, cynicism and hard-heartedness when we are not actively challenging ourselves against it.  We must make intentional choices to go in a positive direction toward becoming active, generous, positive, encouraging, loving and soft-hearted. We don’t just “accidentally” become soft, kind, generous people. We must actively wage war against hard-heartedness and cynicism by choosing to redeem our pain, our failures and the failures of others toward us. If left untended, our hearts will always harden. It’s the way of life. How is it that the soft, childlike hearts of children can become so hard, calloused and bitter by old age? It’s as simple as becoming inactive with the tending of our hearts. It’s as simple as not doing anything. It happens when we just accept the pain that comes our way, and not actively choosing to redeem it, day after day after day…

So, what does a 3-letter acronym have to do with all of this?

I’d like to submit to you a very simple (yet annoying) acronym that will help change your life. Here it is:


Now I’m not speaking about the United States of America; yes, there are many things about ‘America’ that will change your life, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. In this case, the acronym stands for:

Uncomfortable Scary and Awkward


Wow. Doesn’t seem very inspiring does it? I didn’t think so either when I first heard it a few years ago from a friend when I lived in New Zealand. 

You see, the key to transformation in your life this year all comes down to these 3 words: Uncomfortable. Scary. Awkward.

It all comes down to your willingness to become uncomfortable. Your willingness to do things that are scary. And your willingness to put yourself in awkward situations. To change and be transformed, you may feel very, very awkward. That’s the nature of change. It doesn’t feel good at first. It feels weird and awkward.  That’s what’s annoying about this acronym! It presses all your comfort buttons. It goes against the grain. That’s why most people refuse to change. Will you be like the majority of humanity that continues to refuse the U.S.A. challenge? Or will you be like the few that accept it?

I can absolutely guarantee you that you will indeed change if you choose to do things that are uncomfortable, scary and awkward throughout 2014 (and through the rest of your life). 

Every single day you have a choice to make. In every single situation you face this year, you will come to a crossroad of decision — you could do one of two things. 

1) Either you do nothing different, do nothing at all, do what’s comfortable and easy and familiar. That’s the one road well-trod by most of humanity.  It’ll be familiar and safe (in one sense, but in another sense, terribly dangerous and frustrating for your heart). If you continually choose that comfortable road, I can guarantee you’ll be frustrated by the end of the year. Frustrated with all the things that did not change in your life.


2) You could take the road less taken (because no one naturally chooses what is uncomfortable, scary and awkward). You could take this road and do something different, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that scares you and something that’s potentially very awkward. And I guarantee you, you will be a different person at the end of the year. Your heart will be more alive. You will have lived. I mean, really lived!

So you have a choice to make now. Will you let this 3-letter acronym change your life? 

I dare you.

Alison Lam is a diverse woman: a combo deal of serious and silly, deep and dorky, East meets West. She is a "plant-roots-at-home" and a "go-ye-into-all-the-world" woman. If adult life has taught her anything, it is to say "YES" to becoming as soft and childlike as possible in the hands of God so He is free to pour out the fullness of His love on her. You can find Alison online at: AlisonLam.com, Twitter, and Facebook


jeanlauzier: Love this post. And it's so true...we have to get out of our comfort zone to grow and change and really live. :-) Gonna add USA to my list of things to do each day. Reply

    Alison Lam: Thank you, Jean! You said it right there all in one nice line "we have to get out of our comfort zone to grow and change and really live!" I bless you in that! And then maybe you'll post on some of your experiences outside the comfort zone ;) - I bless you as you do some USA life each day :) Reply

Debbie: Hmmm...God may be using this to speak to me...thank you for sharing. Reply

    Alison Lam: Debbie, YES, YES HE IS! Not just maybe, but He is! I'm pretty sure if we went through a overview of the entire Bible, most of the things God invited people into were uncomfortable, scary and awkward... yet so worth it. Bless you as you listen to what's speaking to you, Debbie! Reply

Shanique: Yes! I needed to read this today! Thank you for sharing! Reply

    Alison Lam: You're most welcome, beautiful Shanique! Have a wonderful 365 days of USA this year! Reply

Suzanne Holmes Rutherford: Wow Alison! The clan excels in wordcraft and you are indeed a worthy member. I love the intent of the acronym and your explanation but had to wade past my prejudices to consider this new thought. Blush. Having just returned from 9+ weeks in Haiti yes the uncomfortable, scary and awkward festured prominently in my experience and in my personal growth. Thank you for the confirmation xxxxxxx Reply

    Alison Lam: Suzanne, Thanks for reading the article and for the comment! Thanks for sharing honestly! I have come to learn that most transformation and nuggets of gold are just beyond the wall of our prejudices. Just right around the corner from these prejudices are gifts with undiscovered goodness. May this year bring more treasures to your heart as you continue on the path that may sometimes involve something that is uncomfortable, scary and awkward.... but leads to something unbelievably wonderful. Tread on, friend! Love, Ali. Reply

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