Russ talked about “The Fear of Change” the other day.
There is also an excitement in change, because those updates will allow me to do something I couldn’t do before.
I like Russ’ quote from Lao Tzu, a philosopher and poet of ancient China (about 600 years before Christ) who was said to be a contemporary of Confucius and the founder of Taoism. Tzu said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
There are advantages to embracing change, not resisting it, facing it head on and learning to work with it.
The excitement of New Challenges. Life is a series of changes, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is a fact. We all change and the situations around us change. Just think back to where you were a year ago. You have changed because that is the natural course of things. The Apostle Paul said, “The old is passed away, behold, all things become new”. Even as you grow older and change, you enter and pass through different seasons, each one with its own excitement. Focus on that and look expectantly for the next change. Anticipate and accept change. Let it be something ‘new’ to you.
The excitement of Obvious Growth. As changes come, as you pass from one situation to another, realize that growth and learning are taking place. You are not the same as you were before. You know more and are smarter. If fact, you can do more. Embrace the challenge of learning new things, of adjusting to new situations, of facing new problems. That means you are alive. It will make you a better person, a better influence, with broader experience.
The excitement of Understanding Reality. To live is to change. We get taller, then we get shorter. We have hair and then we lose hair. We become leaders, then we become helpers. We parent children, then we parent adults. We are doers, then we are watchers. Each stage has its advantages and disadvantages. Each stage has its sweet memories and its regrets. And, each stage gives you an opportunity to say, ‘been there, done that!’
The excitement of Progress. Nothing is worse than the same old thing. We like variety in our food, in our clothing and in our lives. If things don’t change we get bored, or we get distracted by something that looks like more fun. Change allows newness in our everyday living. Expect it, look for it and welcome it. It means you are alive.
Here’s my secret: I have discovered that there is seldom anything you can do to stop change. It will catch you if you run, it will roll over you is you resist. So, spend what energy you have figuring out how to live with it. Maybe you can delay it a bit or compromise in some way, but change always wins.
So, let change be your friend, not your enemy. Figure out ways to work with it and allow it to help you be a better person, a better leader.