It’s actually much easier to answer what doesn’t change. The answer:
Nothing. Every hour, every minute, every second of every day, we and
everything around us is changing. Change is part of being alive. The
trees, the plants, the flowers, the grass, the animals (wild and domestic),
and humans…we are all in a constant state of change. Living on
Earth, which is also in a constant state of change, and working in an
era defined by massive changes shaping the business climate, we see
change everywhere. It is constant.
Whether you realize it or not, no matter how old or young you are,
change is a big part of your life, and it is highly unlikely you were formally
trained to manage change. Change comes in many different
forms, and it’s like an emotion—you don’t always know when it is coming
or what it will look like, but you do get to choose what to do with it.
How well you manage change will affect the quality of your life and the
lives of those around you.
If you are reading this, I can assume you are alive, and if you are alive,
you are changing. All living things are constantly growing and changing…
even your aunt Betty who has worn the same purple pants and
pink sweater as long as you can remember—are changing. We change
because we want to, we change because we have to, and sometimes we
change without even realizing we’ve changed at all as experiences shape
our lives and our beliefs.
When we are born, we are equipped with a few basic survival skills. As
we grow, we learn from our environment. We weren’t born knowing
how to manage money, how to dress, or even whether to put mustard
or ketchup on our hot dogs—we learn from our parents and our environment.
These experiences form the habits of our lives. Only when
we mature do we start to look around and see other ways to do things.
Our habits are the culmination of what we learned from our parents,
friends, TV, social media, etc. Once we are grown, these habits continue
to be shaped by our environment and experiences and become our
own, adult habits.
Like many of you, I have had more than a few moments when change
has come barreling into my life uninvited and unexpected. We can
prepare for many things…if we have a game or recital coming up, we
practice. If we have an interview or test, we practice. If we are speaking
in public or trying to create the perfect lasagna, we practice. So why
don’t we practice our change management skills? Our quality of life
greatly depends on our ability to create and manage change, but we
rarely have the skills and certainly haven’t practiced them. What would
happen if we knew the steps of change management and practiced
them as part of our daily lives? What would happen if our children saw
this and learned to create these habits from a young age? Think of the possibilities!
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