Change: Love it or hate it, we all yearn for it

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We simply cannot round out another calendar year and prepare for a time of Thanksgiving without again paying homage to our love/hate relationship with “change.” Few proclaim to love it, most are adamant they hate it and yet we certainly yearn for it. How many times have you felt aggravated, only to conclude, “Things really need to change.”

One thing that is certain about change is that we need to be active in it. Remaining passive will rarely, if ever, lead to the outcome we hope for; change is the outcome of need, aspiration, discernment, wrestling, compromise and acceptance. If we are not active in it, we will not learn and grow, and we may feel disconnected from the outcome.

So how do we position ourselves to be active in change?

  1. Listen to the need that is driving the change. Try and really listen regardless of your initial opinions. Solicit feedback from others who have a different perspective than your own.
  2. Consider what you might imagine the positive outcome of that change to be. Sometimes this requires peeling back until you can find one outcome you think might have a favorable result.
  3. Spend time reflecting on the necessary steps to ensure the change reaches the positive outcome you identify with. What are you willing to risk in pursuit of the change you hope for?
  4. Setting aside your self-interest, how can you help to validate and amplify the voice of the people who are most impacted by this change?
  5. Wrestle with the joys and disappointments the process of change provides as the winds shift in directions you did and didn’t expect. Reconsider your position.
  6. Regardless of the outcome, embrace the change and where it has left you. Did you learn and grow through the change? Did you grow from it or have you allowed change to discourage and diminish you? Change is necessary, growing through change is your choice.

Through this season, I encourage you to be particularly focused on change in your life and why you are grateful for it. Let that reflection inspire you to pursue and embrace more, as no matter its package, it will continue to prepare and improve you. Onward!