Change is cyclical. It repeats, continues, endures,
and follows us wherever we go. Rather than curse it, let’s
understand how to thrive with it.
Recognizing that we live in a world of profound change is no longer a profound statement. Statistics from Worldometers (http://www.worldometers.info/) remind us that our world is one of unrelenting and constant movement. Consider the following items I extracted from Worldometers on July 18 at 10:45 a.m. Each of these figures represents the number (rounded by me) for the entire year (up until July 18):
- New book titles published: 1.3 million
- Blogs posts written: 806 million
- TV sets sold: 141 million
- Computers sold: 191 million
- Cell phones sold: 1 billion
- Emails sent: 92 trillion
These statistics can take us in a number of directions: passing of the traditional bound book; rising importance of social media; number of people accessing information on the go and on their handheld devices. And more.
OK. That change is not going away is obvious. So, for the purpose of this post, let’s consider how we deal with change. More specifically, let’s examine how we can thrive in an environment of change by applying a simple four-step model.
Martha Beck in her bestselling book Finding Your Own North Star wrote about the cycle of change. This reminds us that change is a cyclical. It is not something we address once—and then it goes away. Oh no! It repeats, continues, endures, and follows us wherever we go. Rather than curse it, let’s understand how to thrive with it.
I explained this model at the Noel-Levitz Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention last week. I used it in the context of helping students thrive and persist toward their collegiate and career dreams. You can apply it to any phase of your life.
- Recognize. The first thing you have to do is have an awareness that what you are doing now is no longer working like it once did. Perhaps it is a relationship that needs tweaking—or ending. A job that has grown weary. Or a pace of life that is no longer sustainable. Whatever the situation, the first step to change the situation is understanding that what currently exists no longer works like you want it to work. You understand something must change—and you must be the agent for that change.
- Plan. Once you have come to terms with the fact that you need to make a change, it’s time to prepare for the change. What do you need to do to affect the change you want to see? What resources do you need? Who can help you? When will you start—and when will you reach your destination? How will you measure your progress? This critical stage helps us visualize what we need to do, how we will do it, with whom we will do it, and when we will do it. You marshal your resources.
Video recommendation of the week:
- Execute. Great! You have awareness for the need to change. You have a plan. Now, you got to take action. A great plan won’t do you much good if it is not acted upon. A dream without legs is little more than a fantasy. When will you take action? How about today? Once you put your plan into action, be prepared for obstacles, setbacks, and detours. That is the nature of life. I call it the “glitch factor.” Be prepared. Be persistent. Be observant. And be ready to make needed course corrections. Embrace and learn from the journey.
- Enjoy. Your hard work and dedication have paid off. Even with the bumps and turns of the road, you have persevered and created the change you envisioned in steps one and two.
Guess what. Soon you will confront another situation (or even the same one) that requires tweaking. The cycle repeats. Different circumstance perhaps—the same steps, though, can guide you through.
So, your first step is to recognize you need to make an adjustment. Take time today. Start the cycle…enjoy the process. Create the life you want.
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
On August 5, I will offer my next webinar. The topic: It Takes More than Academics to Succeed in College. Take advantage of this complementary offering. Click here to register now for the webinar. Or go to my website for registration information.
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©2013. Steve Piscitelli