Stones of Life
Author: Byron Pulsifer, © 2007
Have you ever seen or found a river stone that was perfectly smooth?
Did the stone start out this way, or did it change over
time? To most of us, the answer is obvious. Over time, the forces of the
river current changed the river stone. And, like the river stone, forces
in our lives are constant and never ending causing changes whether
we like it or not.
And, just for a moment, consider what would happen or what life would
be like if things did not change. Life would become boring with everything
remaining the same. There would be no hope of better things or easier ways
of doing things.
Change is defined as, "make or become different."
We can look at products
that have advanced or have been developed further and we can certainly see
the benefit of the revised product. We can look at new innovations and
realize how much easier they can make our lives - the invention of the
car, the washing machine, the electric stove, improved building materials,
to name only a few. Imagine our
day to day lives without those things - they have all had a positive impact on
And, then there is the negative aspect; changes in the climate, in the financial
impact of companies closing, in wars, in loss of life. These changes can have
a devastating affect on our day to day life. But, we can also play a role
in improving these changes, even a small role can make a difference. The climate for example, if we all did
just one thing to improve this impact, for example how much garbage
we send to landfills. We may not be able to do big things, but small action
taken over time can have a positive impact.
Personal Transformational Change
When we watch a child growing up, we see the stages of development, and
by the time the child is 20 years old we see personal transformation. Another
example is the transformation in a person
when they enroll in a course that teaches them a new way to
perform a task. Look at the difference in a person when they sets goals
and open their own business, and with hard work and dedication the business is successful.
The important question for all of us though is how do we respond to change in
our day to day lives?
Past Is Not Present
Many of us have to
work to support
ourselves, or our family. But, does change in the work environment, or
changes in our lives go unnoticed, or is of little concern?
Take our working environment in particular. No longer can we rely on
past experience to give us a safety net. There was a time in history where if you had seniority
then you were pretty much guaranteed to be moved up the ladder; no
longer can we count on seniority to guarantee us
a job. Nor, can we count on the company we work for either being
bought out or going out of business entirely. Working environments have
changed dramatically over the past 20 years.
Are You Properly Prepared?
Let's be honest. You can resist change but it's going to happen anyway.
Ask yourself, what are your chances of surviving if you continue to
Change is hardly new to our society. Just look at your daily newspaper,
or T.V. newscast, or Internet stories. Change is everywhere. It has been
a constant companion for as long as people have roamed the earth.
The most important and significant aspect about change is that it has
accelerated over the last couple of decades due to technological advances,
and a more global society.
Change Your Thinking
In order to benefit from change we need to
more on the advantages rather than the negative. Remember,
change is going to happen anyway; wouldn't it be better to be
part of it rather than a fallout statistic because of it.
If you find yourself resisting a new process, a new strategy, a new way
of doing business, a good question to ask yourself is why the change
is necessary. It is easier to adapt to change when you understand the
reasons the change is required. Rather than grumbling and complaining,
seek to understand the "why". Then look at the "how". How are you
going to adapt, how can it make your life better. Many times this is
difficult to do, but if you are to have success
in life, it is a must do!
I had a friend who lost their job. This was a major adjustment for this person.
They had worked at a company for 15 years. The company, which was a small
business, could not
compete any longer and were closing their doors. At first, my friend was
not sure what he was going to do. He could have taken the attitude of "that
is not fair". But, instead, he decided to focus his thoughts on what he would
love to work at. He identified it, and went on to take a course, and found a
job in the field he loved. Today, 5 years later, he is happier than he ever
has been, he loves his new work. We had a discussion about how he felt
when his original company he worked for closed the doors. He expressed
discouragement and disbelief. He said he then looked at
the reasons why it had happened and quickly understood the "why" and "how"
it had happened. But the difference for him was he also looked for the "good" in
the situation. He realized it gave him an opportunity to focus on what he
loved to do rather than just getting another job. He said while it was a major
adjustment in his life, looking back it
was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Take Charge Today
Taking the inevitability of change one step further, it is vitally important
to keep expanding your knowledge,
and to upgrade your skills, or learn a new skill. Don't wait for someone
else to suggest upgrading, or enrolling in a specialized course. If you wait,
you may never get the opportunity because others may have already
completed what you should have done. Sometimes, it will make the difference
from keeping your job to having no job at all.
Keep a positive attitude about the change. You may not like it, but if you
focus on finding the good it will make the change easier.
Change, adapt, and continue to learn. Change will affect you one
way or the other, just like change happened to the river-stone.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."
You must be willing to make change in order to make progress; however, once you achieve the status of a successful person, do not think that it is necessary for you to have to continue changing.
"Get into a line that you will find to be a deep personal interest, something you really enjoy spending twelve to fifteen hours a day working at, and the rest of the time thinking about."
"Focus on what you have rather than what you don't have and always have a good attitude remembering always to focus on the positive."
Andy C. E. Brown
"If you are uncomfortable with the idea of change, you can ease yourself into the winning mentality of 'change is good' by adopting little variations to your day to day life."
"If you want to be successful, you need to discover something you are actually passionate about."
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
"For success, attitude is equally as important as ability."
Harry F. Banks
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