Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Going Through The Change
How good are you at thinking outside of the box? I am pretty good at it. It's a talent I've only discovered in the last few years. Of course, like most discoveries about our abilities it came from being poked, prodded and stretched. I always hate that but I'm always glad to see what comes of it.
I am what is commonly called a "change agent". Did you know that corporations actually hire people to come in to their companies and do this? I'm not in that class but I am good at challenging the box. I'm a good critical thinker, pretty fast on my feet. I would rather make some decision in a crisis to move forward than stand there waiting for someone else to move while the ceiling crashes in. I don't mind looking at a person with more experience and education than myself and considering the possibility that I might have a better idea.
I'm always surprised to hear that "people hate change." I know it's a widely held opinion but why? Why do people hate change? The only changes I hate are the ones that cost me something wonderful. For instance, I hated the change of of the sale of The Farm. I hated the change of gaining 100 pounds. I hate the change of illness in those I love. But what about people who continually complain about their state and yet dig in their heels and hang on with a death grip? Why do they hate change? I hate this! Don't change anything! What?
I think it's exciting to blow everything wide open. Change it! Challenge it! Do it differently!
The secret to being a change agent is not to be afraid to fail. Changing is all about experiments. And experiments are all about failure. The stories you never hear are about the light bulbs that didn't light, the equations that didn't work, the medications that didn't cure. It's the successes that make the front pages and the history books. But I promise you, positive change is reached by climbing on steps of failure. The point is the climbing. When it doesn't work...change it! Figure out what went wrong, tweak it and move on up!
Here's what I think. I think that we don't like change because we are too egocentric. We want to be the ones who succeed, not the ones who build the steps of failure. I can't accomplish anything if my goal is to put myself in the history books. But if I am focused on the change, on the improvement, on the victory that might come later; I'll put my portion in to see the big picture get bigger.
Change is scary, so I hear. Being that I change my hair every six months and everyone is astounded at my courage, I suppose this is true. But it can be good. If you're one of those change-haters, start small. Find one small thing that you wouldn't mind losing. And then toss it right out of that box you're living in.
Sometimes it's as easy as telling your kid, "I love you." Start today.
You can't get to the top without a staircase.
"Well-behaved women seldom make history." Laurel Thatcher Ulrich