Let’s Talk

Why is it that so many of us have difficulty in dealing with change? Change comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and flavors. Whether your job has been eliminated, a competitor just outflanked you with a new product, you’ve had a personal loss or rules have evolved as have the way you do things, it’s how you choose to look at and deal with change that matters most.

Fact is, most people feel change will have an immediate negative impact on their life or career.

In communication and language, the word change is often used in a threatening manner. “If things don’t get better, we’re going to make some big changes.’ Or how about, if you don’t change your attitude right now you’re going to your room.” Even when we say, “If he gives up another hit, we’re going to the bullpen and changing pitchers.”

[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”left” cite=”Allan Karl, WorldRider” citeLink=”www.allankarl.com”]So I beg you to think of change more positively. When we say “This is a game changer,” that connotes something good and positive. And yes, it’s okay to “change” your mind.

Why all this sudden obsession with change? Well, just a few weeks ago I was booked to speak to an industry group. They wanted me to weave a theme about change in the context of my three year around the world motorcycle journey. Our conversation was spirited and my client perhaps was surprised at my passion about this subject. At the time of my journey and through the two years of planning, I was going through an incredible amount of change and transition. syria21.jpg

Another reason I thought I should share is about a change a very close friend is going through. Sadly, his marriage is ending in divorce. This wasn’t an abrupt change. He saw it coming over the past couple years. While he tried to pick up the pieces and put it back together, he recently had to face the sobering reality. My friend is a successful businessman, an accomplished athlete and father to three beautiful children and in many ways a wise old sage who is not shy when sharing his opinion or providing the comfort of an old friend or business consultant. But he’s taking this very hard.

Yes divorce and relationship-ending situations are difficult and very emotional. I find that it does take a strong person to weather such change. And I believe he can. He’s just taking it too hard and being too hard on himself. The transition and change in his life may make no sense today, but I am confident that in time he will find himself in a better place—one without pain or regret.

Though it’s often difficult to see when you’re in the middle of it, change is good. So I thought I’d share a few things about how important change is in business and life. And without getting into an entire treatise on change, change management or transition, I opted for a more simple approach. I hope you enjoy Allan’s 20 facts about change you need to understand. =

20 Reasons Change Is Good For You

  1. Without change, things stay the same and ultimately will stagnate and die.
  2. Most people are afraid of change because it forces them outside their comfort zone. (go there it’s not that uncomfortable)
  3. Without change there is no adventure in life.
  4. It takes much more energy and effort to resist change than it does to accept it.
  5. It’s much easier to embrace change than to fight it.
  6. Since most will resist change, successful people will use this fact to their advantage.
  7. Change is learning. Learning is growing. Growing is living. So live.
  8. When you complain about change, the energy you’re wasting will turn you into a curmudgeon. (is that what you want to be?)
  9. Change is opportunity.
  10. Status quo is boring and gets you nowhere.
  11. Change is exciting and forces you to move.
  12. Change can be scary and uncomfortable only when you look at it that way.
  13. Fear of change is a feeling you can change.
  14. It’s okay to change your feelings.
  15. People resist change because it brings feelings of fear of the unknown.
  16. The unknown will be uncomfortable unless you shift your position.
  17. Change is a harbinger of possibilities.
  18. Everything must change.
  19. When we change we adapt and move forward, when we don’t we move backward.
  20. The weather will change, so don’t worry about it and stop talking about it!

Take a moment to comment on this post and share your thoughts on change and how you’ve been able to adapt and embrace it and move forward.

Photo note: When I rolled into Damascus Syria in May 2008, it was hot and traffic unbearable. I rounded the corner in the hectic downtown area when suddenly my rear tire went flat. I knew I’d have to find some shade and get the energy to change the tire or tube. That’s when the manager of a 4 star hotel spotted me and proceeded to roll up his sleeves and help me change my tire. That was perhaps the tire change of my entire trip and I made a friend forever, as did he. Now I look at what’s happening in Syria and hope that both the people and the government can agree that change must happen. Good change must happen there and I’m hoping for the best.