Monday, September 24, 2007

Who moved my cheese?

"A change would do you good" - Sheryl Crow

It could be that I am biased because I work in the technical industry that I have a different view on change than some I know. In my line of work, things change constantly. We're always anticipating the next project, and we're always trying to recover from what happened yesterday. Its a tough thing sometimes. There are rarely breaks, and if there are, they are usually not the kind you want.

That said, change seems to be a tough thing for people. Some people seem to crave stability, consistency, and predictability. And when faced with the inevitable changes that occur in life, they are left wondering their purpose and their focus, and they find themselves wrapped up in the loss of their previous niche.

So what does this mean for will?

If we are unclear of our goals and making unsound judgments about what directions we should be taking, we can be left in a lurch when things shift. The time we spend recovering from or mourning these changes is time we take from our true goals.

So how should we deal with change to better facilitate our will?

Facing Reality

I think the first thing we need to do is accept that change is inevitable. We need to understand that everything around us is subject to alteration and that on some level, we can take nothing for granted. This doesn't mean we need to be paranoid, but I think it is wise for us to speculate if ever so slightly about how things may be affected if our dependencies change.

Examples:

Our Jobs - Particularly for those of you not in the tech industry, you might be comfortable that your position and your work are stable and valuable and that as long as you keep your shoulder to the wheel, you'll at least have your current job for as long as you need it. It's a nice fantasy, and I think that maybe with the economy being what it is, people are realizing that companies will fold or reorganize with no warning. So what do you do? How do you plan for that? What can you be doing ahead of time that will facilitate your ability to retain further employment when the current rug gets pulled out from under you?

Our Family (chosen and otherwise) - None of us like to think about the loss of a loved one, but it happens all the time. No rhyme. No reason. Or sometimes we kinda see it coming. Point is, what happens after they are gone? What aspects of day to day life and business change because of their absence? What can you do ahead of time to help yourself in what will be a moment of sorrow and loss?

How about something as simple as our vehicles? Breakdowns happen. Accidents. Thefts. We have a set way of how we go about commuting and traveling. What happens when our set way is no longer? How do we deal with that? How can we plan to cope with the transition to a different way to move about, and what do we need to do to restore our preferred method?

These are but the tip of the iceberg. And most of us spend a lot of time in denial. If we can pretend these things don't happen, and can delude ourselves into believing that nothing will ever change, then we don't have to face these possibilities. We don't have to overcome these uncertainties. We can rest easy in the comfort of our Will du jour.

So if facing the fact that change does happen whether we like it or not, or whether we facilitate it or not, then the next thought is that we can plan ahead for what we know will happen sooner or later. And in planning ahead, we take some of the stress away from what will already be a stressful time when these changes do finally occur.

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