Change – Dealing with The Inevitable
One of the definitions of change is to form to a new situation; whether it is mentally, emotionally and/or physically. Change literally happens when what actually occurs is different from what was intended. People face this in all facets of life and at completely unpredictable times. Whether people like it or not, and are ready or not, they will have to reform to certain situations. It is unnerving, but also unavoidable. I’ve learned throughout my whole life, with everything I’ve done, that change will occur and you can choose to adapt and progress, or choose to be left behind. Those are basically the only two choices. Let’s compare water to a brick. Water flows and is able to adapt. If you put water into anything, it will form and adapt to it. A brick, on the other hand, is solid, rigid and very difficult to reshape. In order to do so, it will have to break itself, or the container it’s trying to form to. It is better to be like water.
In reality, we start experiencing change from the moment we are born. On a daily basis, we live life learning new ideas and the change is often so minute, we may not notice it for weeks or even years down the line. Think about seeing a photo from a few years ago, and how many changes have occurred. Sometimes, change is much more abrupt and noticeable. A toddler may touch something hot and immediately learn a painful lesson. This was a learning and growing experience for the toddler and he or she will have many of these throughout their life. How many times do you self reflect, then suddenly realize that things are much different than they were a year ago. We immediately begin growing physically, learning subconsciously through events and also experiencing many new emotions.
As a sales man, every few months, I am surrounded with new clients. No matter what I knew in the past or what I accomplished, it really didn’t matter when I went somewhere new. I had to adapt to this change very fast as I had to get used to the new environment, learn their policies and work well with the new staff. I also had to show them that I knew what I was doing. If I did not adapt quickly to the change, I would basically have to take my ball and go home. Having lived and worked in many different places, and with so many different types of people, I am quite adept at dealing with change.
Furthermore, while working to become a successful entrepreneur, I have had to learn very fast that ways to market yourself, running a business and taking care of financial matters evolve very quickly. If you do not have good computer and internet skills, you are way behind the curve. I was never a huge fan of technology, but I understand that being tech savvy is a must. To succeed in the business world, or the professional world in general, we must keep up with new technology. A good website is a must; and if you only accept cash payments, while others are able to use their smart phones in all sorts of ways to accept funds, you will be missing out on a lot of revenue. Gone are the days when you can only accept cash, now that so many different ways of doing online payroll exist. These are just some of the changes I have had to deal with in the professional world.
Lucky for me, I love and embrace change. I get very excited about getting new experiences and actually get anxious when I fall into too much of a routine and life becomes stagnant. This is one of the reasons I’ve always held multiple jobs or businesses, sometimes, to my own detriment, because I was not properly prepared. Nonetheless, I need the changing environments, even if it burns me out. Despite this, change is still very scary, especially the anticipation of it. I had to embrace it at every turn, or I would have never succeeded at anything I have done. I haven’t always liked the new directions I have had to go, but I understood the necessity of it just to keep up with everyone else.
Many people do not like change, however, it is inevitable no matter how much we try to avoid it. At some point in life, change will occur, whether it is at our work or with our personal lives. The more that people are willing to get ahead, the more change they will have to deal with. In order for a person to improve the current situation of one’s life, both professional and personal, he or she will have to deal with change. We live in a fast moving world and we must learn to adapt, or we will be left behind. If we are to progress in anyway, we have to experience change and overcome it. This is why we must all learn to adapt to change.
People who are successful in their careers, know how to adapt to change, even if they don’t like it. One example is a doctor. A doctor must be willing to learn the numerous advances that happen regularly in medicine. This can be a new, less invasive, method for performing a complex procedure, or switching to a computer versus a paper charting system. If the doctor refuses to learn and adapt to these new changes, he or she will not be able to advance in their profession. I recall a number of times while working at the hospital, listening to doctor’s and other healthcare professionals complain about the new computer charting system. It was a difficult transition, with some disadvantages; but, we all had to change with the times. With this new technology came improved ways of transferring and keeping up with patients’ health information. It is nearly impossible for a medical facility these days to keep up without some sort of computer charting system.
A business person must continue to adapt to new circumstances. They must familiarize themselves with new technology in order to make things more efficient and economical. Is it better to fly everyone to a certain location to have a meeting, or to host a webinar? Certainly, using a webinar system when possible can cut down on so many expenses and people’s energy. Clients would also appreciate the saving of time and resources in having a webinar versus the other option. If the business person refuses to adapt to the influx of technology, then much revenue, time and resources will be lost and business will suffer; or even end completely.
What will happen to these two different professionals if they refuse to reshape themselves? They will get left in the dust by those who keep reinventing themselves and how they do things. Don’t let this happen to you, because you refuse to move forward. Change is a constant process, but worth it if it gets you to where you need to be.
How do we adapt to change? The first thing we must do is accept it, because it will happen. No matter how much we try for things to remain the same, change will occur. Remember that the one thing predictable about life is its unpredictability. Embrace the idea of change and keep an open mind to learning new things. Even though it can be very scary, what is on the other side can be so much better. Accept that change will occur, and it will be much easier to deal with.
When you are a team player, others are more willing to help you ease into a changing situation. When you are willing to help others, work well with others and allow yourself to be easy to work with, more people will be eager to help you. With the support of other people, change can be easier to accept, or can even be welcoming. How do we become team players? First, learn to take initiative. If you see a task needing to be done and you know how to do it, then do it. Second, If you see a coworker struggling, help them the best that you can. They will appreciate it and if you do it enough, your kindness will not go unnoticed. Even just a simple, “Let me know if you need help,” can go a long way. If your helpfulness is not appreciated, that is a problem within the other person. Don’t let this stop you from giving a helping hand. Furthermore, be willing to take on some extra work, reasonably. This shows your bosses that you are willing to help the team. Remember, if others like you, they will help you ease into change. Be a team player and they will like you.
Remember to always set goals and work hard. With hard work, we improve ourselves. With self-improvement, the change in our lives is generally something we want. It is much easier to adapt to change when it is a change towards something we desire to have. A promotion at work, for example, brings about many new situations: a new environment, new coworkers, new pay scale and new responsibilities, etc. If this promotion steered us towards our goals, then it will be much easier to adapt to, because it’s something we want.
When setting a goal, make sure it is realistic and solid. A goal such as, “I am going to write a book someday,” is not a solid goal. Change this statement to, “I will write a 200 page mystery novel by November of this year.” This is a good, solid goal with a specific outcome and timeline. A little off topic, however, when going after a goal, we will have to reform ourselves, and having solid plans will make this a little easier to predict and we will be willing to accept this change towards something we want.
Finally, be prepared for life as much as you can. We cannot be ready for everything that life may throw at us, but through proper preparedness, we are less likely to be blind-sided. Learn many different skills from new business ideas, to different vocations and job skills. Educate yourself on the basics of dealing with an emergency. Read and learn new information regularly, set up safety nets and have as many back up plans as you can. Why is this important? We never know when a change in our situation will occur. Many times, change, such as a job loss or illness, can completely devastate us financially, mentally, emotionally and physically. Being as prepared as we can with the aforementioned ways can lessen the negative impact of these changes, and help us get back on our feet quicker. Though we do not want to get into an accident, we can take precautions, like wearing a seatbelt and having good insurance, to lessen the possible pain and suffering if we do get into one. Also, when we feel more prepared for life, we fear change less. Think about it, aren’t you less nervous living day to day when you have a nice financial cushion to fall back on? Find as many ways as possible to prepare from life, and then enjoy the ride.
I may have repeated myself a few times, but it is imperative to understand the importance of adapting to change. No matter what people set out to do in life, they have to constantly reform themselves and their ways of thinking. Otherwise, they will be left completely behind. Change is inevitable and we must adapt to it. Many times, change is a great thing for our lives. The fear is often worse than the change itself. Some people say the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. I prefer to get to know the devil I don’t. Usually, they are not a devil at all. Either way, you will meet these so-called devils throughout your life. So, embrace them, be prepared for them and work hard to adapt to them. We all have it in us to adapt to life’s ever-evolving situations.