Last week I wrote about how change is hard. I think change is also inevitable. However, how we adapt to change determines our sustainability. Think about it, a plant is either growing or dying, both are a state of change. If growth is not sustained, the plant withers and dies. (I have plenty of proof!) Likewise, a business is either growing, thus changing or it dies. To sustain its existence a business needs a continual influx of new customers. “Old” customers leave, either by moving away or changing vendors or by dying themselves. Do you agree?
Assuming we are in agreement my question is, “What does the inevitability of change mean for me as a member of an organization, as a small business CEO, and as a human being who is a member of a family and community? I think it means options:
1) I can embrace change as a reality or resist it. From my perspective: Things are going to change. How much are they going to change? Who knows? Humanity seems to live on a pendulum swing of extremes. Whether it’s political, religious, relationships, or perceived wants vs. needs we seem to go from one extreme to the other. As long as energy is put into the system the ride continues. I can attempt to resist it, but my resistance serves to add more chaos and anxiety and believe it or not – more energy. What we resist persists!
2) I can exercise some discernment. Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher wrote, “Know what you can control and what you can’t…happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” [The Art of Living, interpreted by Sharon Lebell, available through Harper Collins]
3) Having discerned what I can and can’t change I am free to take appropriate action, actions that align with my values and priorities.
Not sure what that might be? Next week I’ll offer some questions I ask myself and my clients when faced with change.
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