Time for an upgrade? -- Recognizing and implementing change

  Hort Snacks - February 2019
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 I’m not a big fan of change. In fact, I’d lay even money that there has been a decent amount of breeding and selection going on in my family over generations, pulling each generation further and further away from the central comfort area of accepting change. Despite that preference, I can safely say that I have not had a change-free life. Who has? No-one.

Somewhere in the dusty library of my mind, it seems to me that there is a quote that says “…change is inevitable…” I’m not sure who said it (if anyone did), but the fact is, things change. They just do. We age. We learn. We fail. We succeed. We experience. It is the nature of life that we are constantly in a state of change and flux, although the amount of change we experience at any one point or another will certainly vary. Change is important. We can’t progress if we don’t change. We can’t improve. The earlier that we accept that, the better. Maya Angelou said “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.

In order to make the most of change, we need to look at it not as a loss of something good, but the creation of something great. Imagine that with each change that comes (whether it is thrust upon your, or you actively choose it), that you are a tree. A tree doesn’t lament the addition of a new growth ring. The previous years’ growth aren’t lost. Rather, a new layer is built upon something good.

Change can be good. It can be energizing and exciting. The cool thing about change, particularly where we are upgrading, is that there will almost always be something that remains from before. Something familiar and tried and true and tested. Something to build upon.

It is easy enough to be critical and point out needed changes. However, I’d say that there is a bit of an art to recognizing things that can (and should) be fixed and also HOW to fix them. There are some people who have a gift for being able to observe a process or see something, and then recognize both the need for a change, but also some way that it might be accomplished. That sort of skill can be honed and developed over time.

How do we start? Develop the habit (through conscientious implementation and practice) of looking over things. What is working? Does that “thing” seem as smooth or efficient as it might be? Is there something that could be added to the whole (as an add-on, not a replacement part)? Over time, you’ll not only start to do it unconsciously, but it’ll be easier. If you recognize that you aren’t great at doing this, then find someone that is. Bring in an outsider and get them to watch or provide feedback.

Jimmy Dean said “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Barack Obama put it about right when he said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on January 31, 2019.