How I view change

When the new and often unexpected come around the corner at me, fear never dominates my reaction, because change presents opportunity.

Anytime things change — at work, at home, in society at large — some part of the board that is your life gets reset. The pieces all go back to starting positions, the scoreboard gets reset to zero. For a brief time, you are on equal footing with everyone else who experiences that change.

For a brief time.

What you do with that starting period determines how that change will affect your life going forward. Some people hole up, deny what’s happening in front of them, and whine about who moved their cheese. These people get left behind, usually left to moan about how the change ruined their life.

I take stock of what I lost due to the change, then quickly proceed to consider as many new routes as I can, because whatever I might have lost is overshadowed by the limitless possibilities of the new game. Figure out what you can do, make a decision, and start moving.

This world moves really fast. You have to learn to embrace, not fear, change. It’s going to come at you whether you like it or not, so get comfortable with it. Once you’ve done that, you must learn how to quickly adapt to the newness, make it work in your favor as much as possible. Use that brief realignment time to get as much of a headstart on everyone else as you possibly can.

I’ve only recently crystallized this process in my own life, and I’ve learned that it helps eliminate fear and stress of change while setting yourself up for wild new success. Once you experience this “success as a result of change” for yourself, you’ll actually embrace change, go looking for more of it. Think about how far ahead of the pack you could get when you’re making turns that others don’t even see yet.

I’ll give you an example wrapped in a prediction. We’re going through a pretty lousy recession right now, and a student of history can see that the government is making many of the same mistakes it did that caused the Great Depression. Things will probably get worse before they get better. Don’t be surprised to find old standby brands replaced with young bloods who handle this torrent of change more effectively. Take a look at the history of these companies around 1930: General Motors, Sears, General Electric, Proctor and Gamble, and Wal-mart.

Change is an inevitable part of life. Accept it, then leverage it, then you win.