If we all lived in an idyllic Pleasantville where things were predictably good, then we would not want change. We would not have expectations. We would never be dissatisfied with ourselves. We would never worry about the future. But even in the film the desire for change and difference was too great to sustain the utopian world.
Change requires a change reaction. We envision macro changes in the world. Changes that right a wrong or to relieve pain and suffering. We align ourselves with organizations to address these changes. We volunteer, give money, work for orgs that want and work toward change. And as individuals we want change in our own lives. Changes in our diets, in our kids' study habits…..Changes in our workplaces. These micro changes can align or distract us from these worldly changes. So change is dependent on other changes and so on and so on. The chain reaction of change, if you will. Some people can separate change at these different levels and pursue them all simultaneously. Others are more linear and will not think about others until they change their immediate worlds. I need to love myself before I love others. Or I need to work on myself, while I change the world? Or By changing the world I will be changed? Any of these sound familiar or resonate?
Be the change you want to see in the world. Gandhi
Bottomline is the diet of the status quo is inadequate on almost all levels. We are hungry for change. Our appetites are great. So change is a regular dish on the menu. But what are we cooking up to feed our need for change?
It requires transformation by the change agents–that's us. We have to change.
This goal for change is less attainable because of the reverse change reaction. Individuals and organizations that can't adapt quickly enough to employ methods, processes and solutions to address the evolving context. Their bad habits and stubbornness tethers them to assumptions and premises that are no longer true and real change becomes academic.
Often, we are the problem that prevents the change.
The speed of our change reaction is essential. How fast is our feedback loop to digest the realities of the world we want to change, develop a strategy, and implement the fix?
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. John Lennon
People who resist change are either in the wrong place or need to change.
If there is not a feeling of constant change, then you have no chance at improvement, because improvement requires change. Otherwise you live in Pleasantville!
If you don't adopt a philosophy of trying new things your obsolescence is assured.
If it works it's obsolete. Marshall McLuhan
Thinking about change is very much like imagination. We can imagine things, but we have to do things.
The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind. Maya Angelou
Almost all of of my conversations are about change. How to improve, eliminate, alter, move themselves/something/someone else or a cause. Never had a conversation with anyone that starts, "How do I keep everything the way it is?" Never.
Here are three quotes I heard from people this week:
1. I know this career change makes no sense financially but it will give me more flexibility.
2. How do I leave my job, change careers and preserve my current lifestyle?
3. Aren't we going through too much change?
I think one of the benefits of talking to someone else is to hear yourself! You can not change by yourself. You need to connect to the real needs of others and the world. The more you do that, the more you will be inspired, and the more you will change.
How do you start change or a movement? You act. You take a risk and become one of the first. You express yourself even if it looks "silly". In short, you lead. Lead yourself, lead your team, your neighborhood, or your community.
Expectations drive our change and could drive us crazy.
So if you don't want change then you don't have any expectations
As you read this blog you are changing imperceptibly, you are aging, your brain is adjusting to thoughts, and inputs, your weight is shifting to your movement etc etc
Change is life. Life is change.
Change is inexorable. The problems we face will change and not be solved but we will address them and make progress. But the work and the change never ends.
An issue I hear expressed is I am not in charge or in control of the change. If I was in control of the change, I would do it differently. That position in life, of complaining about lack of control, is an excuse and basically a lifetime license to whine. Until you become the supreme ruler of the universe, you will be subjected to change. Your choice is adapt or quit. Challenge the change or surrender. Lean into the change or run.
I suggest altering your change reaction.
Thanks for reading. John
2 thoughts on “What is your Change Reaction?”
Really enjoyed the relevant TED clip! Thanks for sharing. It’s interesting to note people’s reactions to change — more often than not, I find that those who tend to be less flexible are unsettled with change while those who are adaptable are hopeful and embrace the challenges change often brings.
Really like the way Derek Sivers thinks. Yes adaptability is the key. Keep changing. John