Change is a fact of life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, stays the same. For those who “hate change”, this reality makes your skin crawl and can even throw you in panic mode. But just like my recommendation to “embrace conflict”, it is good advice to “embrace change”. It’s inevitable after all, so there’s no use fighting something that cannot be stopped.
Have you ever heard the Albert Einstein quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”? Do you really strive to be insane? Joking aside, humans crave variety and challenge, otherwise we wither away.
Benefits of Change
Change means you are growing and learning. These are essential elements for a fulfilled life. Believe it or not, you never stop growing/changing as a human being. Change enables you to discover things you didn’t even know existed. Sometimes the result is worse, but sometimes the result is fantastic! Here’s a simple lesson I learned in childhood where change was a good thing.
Until the age of seven, I only ate strawberry ice cream, really. I had no interest in trying another flavor thank you very much, but when I tasted my sister’s mint chocolate chip, WOW strawberry would just not do anymore! I was introduced to the crunchy, deep, savory flavors of the chocolate chips wrapped in the light refreshing cooling flavor of the mint. My strawberry ice cream had the same flavor throughout, no chunks of real strawberry either, so even the texture was the same. In retrospect, very boring indeed. Don’t get me wrong, I still like strawberry ice cream, but look forward to trying something new from time to time.
This is a really simplified way to think of change, but I think you understand where I’m going. You never know what you are missing until you experience it. Change makes experiencing something you never knew existed possible.
A powerful reality is that the most innovative ideas, in addition to the most successful people were created from change, ironically mostly negative change. Nothing spurns on the need to solve a problem faster than overcoming an obstacle (negative change).
How to Handle Change
My example of embracing change when I tried a new flavor of ice cream as a child was easy for me to do because the consequences were very minor. If I was allergic to chocolate, that would be another story entirely. Sometimes change is a result of a tragedy or unforeseen difficulties in life. During these trying times in life, it is often impossible to be Pollyanna and “embrace change”. The reality is we must, especially when the change is hard.
There are some rules of thumb to effectively handle change:
- Remind yourself, “this too shall pass”; everything in life is temporary, even the good things, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking bad things should never happen, because they absolutely will
- Try to view it has an opportunity, “what does not kill you can only make you stronger”; disappointments and/or tragedies brutally expose our weaknesses, but also our strengths
- Take time for reflection to learn from the past; appreciate where you’ve been to figure out where you WANT to go
Overall, don’t waste your life trying to “stay the same”. Change, even from something bad, has the potential to become something good. A good motto to live by to learn and grow is, change IS good, never get too comfortable! After all, change is the only way we, as human beings, can truly thrive.
Learn to Accept and Leverage Change with Fun Team Building
Larry Lipman of Fun Team Building will develop a customized team building day for your organization. Larry can help your organization embrace change by facilitating meaningful team building activities to learn from one another and provide insight for successful team collaboration. Call Larry today at 770-333-3303.