All tagged Dealing with change
I’ve got a bit of an issue with articles that proclaim that the golden age of something or the other is over. (I saw one recently proclaiming that the golden age of American dining was over.)
I get that stream of thought when it comes to specific brands or technologies. For example, I don’t think any of us would disagree that The Golden Age of the Walkman is pretty much done and dusted. Or that The Golden Age of Atari is essentially behind us.
Change doesn’t tend to come easily to most of us.
For the most part, we don’t typically choose to change. More often, change - or at the very least, the need for it - is thrust upon us due to some exterior event, shift or development. When profits are severely impacted, when a competitor introduces a revolutionary new product or when an external environmental shift occurs, shifting the steady state we’ve become so comfortable with.
Sunday morning, I woke up to watch the Arsenal-Spurs game, famously known as the North London Derby. It’s a game where form goes out the window and these two arch-rivals go all out for bragging rights as to who is the best team in North London.
It’s a game that hasn’t gone our way in recent years and as I anticipated the stress and emotional rollercoaster I would go through over the next couple of hours, I briefly debated staying in bed and waking up when it was all over. To just not have to deal with it all.
Change is scary.
There’s a comfort in stability, in consistency, in predictability. I know what to do, where to go, how to do it. There are no unforeseen circumstances, no surprises for me to react to, and as a result, my heart rate and blood pressure stays constant and manageable.
Change is the one thing, in addition to death and taxes, that you can count on.
Whether in our personal or professional lives, after a while, you can count on the fact that the way things are cannot be the way things stay. Especially if the goal is to evolve in any sort of positive, developmental fashion.
When I was 16, I decided to move from Hong Kong to Karachi to study for a business degree. It was a decision borne of economics more than anything else, but it seemed to make sense at the time, given the reputation of the school and my family ties there.
"The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings." (Kakuzo Okakaura)
"A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it." (Chinese proverb)
Too often, when there is a change in our surroundings, our environment, our organization, or our personal lives - one that impacts the status quo in a material way, we can be at a loss as to how to react.