Willingness to Change
A willingness to change causes some to shiver in response as they have faced shutdowns, mandates and layoffs. Life feels like it will never be the same with changes almost daily. When speaking about transformation, we envision new life and even renewed direction and focus. But entering into that transformation in our individual worlds takes our willingness to change and adjust to make it happen as smoothly as possible.
There is no one formula to making change easier but there are steps to making transitions smoother and more solid. First, there’s a mindset shift that needs to happen. A mindset of willingness means to be ready, eager or prepared. The enemy of willingness to change is to be so satisfied and comfortable that you don’t move, just like a frog in a boiling pot. All is fine until he becomes a cooked frog. It can also relate to your satisfaction with being just good enough, thus you feel no need to adjust from your life of mediocrity.
Technology is exploding exponentially (see Raoul Pal's Introduction to the Exponential Age - YouTube) and is a part of a dramatic transformational change taking place. You don’t have to be a techie and understand all that is going happening in the tech field but you should be willing to not just wring your hands and give up on moving ahead throughout a technological transformation. For difficult changes, we will cover four steps that will hopefully help you make the emotional changes needed in a transformational world, especially when feeling like you’re swimming with one fin like Nemo in Finding Nemo.
Step One: Simplify the Truth
This step in the willingness to change may feel opposite of what needs to occur in a transformational world, but there are simple fixed truths you can always count on. Those solid truths provide a sense of security as well as a launching pad on which to build new principles and habits. These simple truths are based on the fact that we are human and are emotional creatures. In the past ten years, internet, phones and social media have vastly changed. Moore’s Law states that computer processing speed doubles every eighteen months. If you keep doubling, you have a speed that is compounded in a way that is hard to imagine.
As fast as computer technology is moving, it can be frightening and doesn’t feel simple at all. Our social tendencies, whether introvert or extravert deep down long for personal connection with each other, no matter how virtual the future may become. Additionally, there are basic truths, such as gravity here on earth. What goes up comes down and that’s a simple truth. Unless you are one of the few who will be on a rocket ship to explore Mars or other planets, gravity is a truth we live with every day.
Even though complex, there are basic truths in how a human body is put together. Muscles and bones work together to allow us to walk and we have a natural immune system that has sustained the human race for centuries. The body is also adaptable. There are those who have adapted to live in weather that is either much colder or hotter than where you are presently living. There are many more basic truths if you look around you in nature. This should bring a calm reassurance that certain principles will stay the same.
Step Two: Develop a Growth Mindset
After you’ve identified some simple truths, you should realize that you can change over time with a growth mindset, especially mentally. Fixed and growth mindsets were coined by Stanford researcher and professor Carol Dweck, Ph.D. to describe systems about your ability to change, grow and develop over time.
The mind is a powerful muscle that can take feedback, digest it and grow throughout life. However, many have not exercised this muscle in a long while. They’ve sat back with their preferred beverage and turned off their brain to be spoon-fed information and entertainment. That complacency is the enemy of a willingness to change. Why work that hard?
Recently I noticed a part of my arms getting flabby reviewing a video. I was aghast as the video was done. Either I could choose to just cover up the arms moving forward, which was very tempting, or work them out strategically with weights to make them firm again. I have accepted the fact that I will never have completely young firm arms again, but I can make them firmer with the right exercises. (See: The Importance of Exercise at Halftime) It’s a choice that demands action on my part, not complacency and giving up.
Step Three: Do Your Own Research
This principle of research goes back to those who wish to be spoon fed information and accept whatever comes their way. We have experienced several years with a very difficult worldwide health issue that has become greatly politicalized. It has been absolutely vital for people to get the facts and understand the issues for themselves.
Greg, my husband has worked in the financial field for a number of years. What drives him crazy are made-up numbers which he often sees. Statistics and numbers can work for or against you, depending on how you set up the formula. This is why taking the time to do the math for yourself, or at least find a trusted source that can help you figure out the math and information, is so important.
Bad news sells. This is what my friend Joan of Business for Business (B4B) told me frankly, who worked for over twenty years as a manager at the Los Angeles Times. Reading through any news headlines will confirm this fact. You can easily turn your thoughts to doom and gloom, thinking the whole world will implode and everyone will be completely bankrupt in a world-wide depression within days. Find a way to insert some logic in your reading and study to keep a positive mindset, moving forward. Journaling helps immensely and I suggest you add it to your daily regimen!
Step Four: Take Positive Steps of Action
If you never get off the starting block in a race, you’ll never have a chance of finishing. I equate living life to running a marathon. There are many who start out strong, but either quit way too soon, or slow down to the point where there’s no chance of pursuing a goal of your dreams. In the book Top 5 Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, she states that the number one regret of those on their deathbed is not pursuing their dreams. After this regret came working too many hours, and other regrets.
If you are finding yourself in the camp of complacency, fear or confusion, take positive steps to be proactive both personally and professionally. To be proactive takes setting a reasonable pace that is achievable for you, taking time to study and research the path ahead and focusing on what’s most important to finish the race.
Recently, I worked my way toward the inside trunk of our large avocado tree. From there, the dead branches from the previous year were easily seen and could be snapped off. By doing so, it created space for the new branches and fruit that was still developing to grow unencumbered. You may need to snap off some dead branches that are hindering your growth as well.
Change Will Happen
Change will continue to happen. That is a given. However, trimming off what is not necessary to free yourself to run toward the goals you have set for your personal and professional life will help you finish the race successfully. Technology will double, triple, quadruple and be at a place we can’t even imagine, just as those riding on horseback couldn’t image driving an automobile.
However, your mindset, healthy or not, will help you or hinder you, depending on the direction you choose. It is your personal choice and I sincerely hope you choose wisely! Take time to reflect on the lyrics of I Can Fly. Then claim them for your own life!
Your mindset, healthy or not, will help you or hinder you,
depending on the direction you choose.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning