Change Is Both Inevitable And Unpredictable
Change is good; you go first. Dilbert:
Change is like the weather; they both are always happening; they keep changing; they are almost impossible to predict; and everyone talks about them but nobody seems to be able to do anything. Although people often want the weather to change, and want other people to change, they resist change in themselves.
During my career in counseling psychology, a series of changing light bulb jokes was popular: How many counselors does it take to change a light bulb? It only takes one, but the light bulb has to want to change. This is a joke but it also makes a good point. It is very hard for a person to change if he/she doesn’t want to change.
The key to living in a complex world of inevitable and unpredictable change is to be willing to change, and capable. You can’t grow clinging to the status quo. Change happens to you and change happens by you. You can’t always control, or even predict, the changes that happen to you; but you can control some changes that happen by you — you can change your mind, you can change the way you see change — if you want to. Changing your view changes you.
Most of us notice that the weather is changing. We also need to notice that change is changing. Today change is more rapid, more complex, more turbulent, and more unpredictable. In a “white water world” where change is rapid, changing one’s mind is an essential skill. Change and learning are two sides of the same coin. Change is one of the biggest causes of learning and learning causes change.
Here is my advice about change: Become as capable of change as the environment. Being capable, of course, requires also being willing to change. We are so concerned about change, we even pray for a change strategy: The Serenity Prayer, God, grant me:
The serenity to accept those things I cannot change. The courage to change those things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.
My word to the wise: Be careful of your wisdom about the difference between what can and cannot be changed. It may be out-of-date, wishful thinking or a self-serving bias. What you “know” about change may be influenced by your desire to avoid change.
Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. John Galbraith