The fall season symbolizes change. Change is in the air. The leaves are changing colors and the wind is stripping them from the once lush branches of the trees. The temperature is dropping. People are settling down after a summer of moving about and starting to focus on what they want to accomplish in the two and a half months still remaining in 2009. We see change everywhere and the old familiar is no longer so familiar. The things that we have come to depend on no longer offer the security we once relied on such as Health, Job Security, and Retirement.
Current Changes Demand That We Be More Vigilant, Aware, and Responsible Than Ever Before
You can’t turn on the television without hearing about the Swine Flu or the H1N1 virus, job losses, unprecedented home foreclosures, or about another failed company and along with it the loss of the retirement money that so many hardworking people had relied on. And, while we’d like to snuggle in and take it easy, the current changes demand that we be more vigilant, aware, and responsible than ever before. This article discusses five small changes that will have dramatic impact.
The first change we must make has to do with our health. We must make it a priority, do our own research, and take care of our bodies. Note: This is breast cancer awareness month, so make sure you get your checkups! The second change has to do with taking care of others. This is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Is there someone in your life that requires your support and nurturing now?
The third change is to begin preparing for your next job right now. With the lightening speed of change, who knows when opportunity will knock. You’ve got to be ready and poised to make a move. So make sure that you take advantage of educational offerings and stay at the top of your game. While others may be pensive and fearful, you must remain positive, focused, and productive.
The fourth change has to do with interpersonal skills. People who get along with others tend to have longevity. Be sure to appreciate and work well with diverse people. Hispanic Awareness Month was September 15 to October 15. What did you learn about the contributions of Hispanics during that time? Be a leader and set small goals to learn more about the diversity in your organization. Don’t wait until a specific month; instead incorporate learning about others into your daily routine.
The fifth change is to prepare for the future. Start putting into place backup plans for your retirement and future well-being. Are you learning to live within your means and spending less and saving more? With all the fear in the air, it’s easy to get paralyzed, confused, and apathetic. But, for leaders and winners, change implies, taking charge. And, those that take charge are noticed and rewarded! We have a choice; we can be swept up by change or we can learn to face it, embrace it, and manage it. We must be firm, yet flexible at the same time. Spencer Johnson’s #1 bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese tackles this subject with humor and insight. If you haven’t read it already, you’ll want to read it. It inspires great thought and offers a wonderful perspective on how to deal with change. In it he uses four characters, Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw to represent the search for cheese in the maze of life.
How Are You Handing Change?
The Cheese in the story is symbolic of whatever we spend our lives searching for to make us happy. The maze represents the search for our own particular cheese and the twists and turns in life we encounter defining our cheese, locating our cheese, enjoying our cheese, protecting our cheese, and preparing for when our cheese is moved. The characters Sniff and Scurry are represented as mice. Their lives are simple and uncomplicated. They search and find cheese using a trial and error method. They have a routine that works. They arise early, race to work, do what they need to do and enjoy the cheese they find. They always stay prepared, alert, and ready to make changes when they are necessary without over analyzing the situation. When the cheese moves, they move.
Hem and Haw are Little People. Their lives are a bit more complicated. They wind up at the same place as the mice and enjoy the cheese for many years. They get complacent however and don’t plan for change. They don’t stay prepared. They don’t remain alert, and they have no contingency plans. They expect that the cheese they have found will always be there. They also expect that if it moves, they are entitled to be compensated. Even when it becomes obvious that the cheese is no longer there, they ignore blatant facts. All four characters however, each based on their vision, values, and virtues search for their own kind of cheese, define what cheese means to them, and handle change in their own way.
We Must Face Change with Courage, Resolve, and Hope
Now the question for you is how are you handling change? Are you being swept up into the winds of change and enjoying the journey or are you fighting it and falling back into your old familiar routines. The past as we know it is gone. We’ve got to embrace new tecnnologies, learn new strategies, and be open to new possibilities. We must face all this change with courage, resolve, and hope. If we do, we will be the leaders. If we don’t, the dizzying rate of change will consume and paralyze us. Fortunately, you are not alone. Help is all around you. Reach out to others going in the same direction that you are and turn this seemingly uncontrollable chasm of chaos into a journey of joy! I’ve written a book that focuses on change called On Track, On Fire, and On Purpose. It discusses three critical tools for harnessing the power of change, your vision, your values, and your virtues. You can purchase it on Amazon.com or from my website www.thepoetspeaks.com.
Barbara Talley is a Poet, Author, Publisher, and Keynote speaker who speaks on Time Management, Goal Setting, Empowerment, Communications, Diversity, Leadership, and Women’s Issue. To book Barbara for an event, phone 301.428.4831, email her at email@example.com or visit my website.