Resiliency: 5 Gifts of Change

Resiliency: 5 Gifts of Change

Laughman_Oct 2015_Article 2_ChangeWhatever it is we experience in life, the value of it is whatever we choose it to be.

Does it matter? Is it helpful? Does it cause concern? Are we happy about it? Sad? Angry? Afraid? These are all natural responses. The key is recognizing they are also choices.

Our attitude toward change shows up long before the choice is made and in almost all cases, to at least some degree is dictating the outcome.

In his book, Jumpstart Your Thinking, Dr. John C. Maxwell teaches that our attitude acts like the “advance person” of our true selves. In other words, it shows up before we do, long before the main event. Over time it becomes almost instinctive.

It would seem then that this is an important concept to focus on when we consider where we want to grow. Do we have an attitude about change that is pre-empting success?

How do we change our attitude? In the same writings, Dr. Maxwell offers this commentary about the role it plays: “It is the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present, and the prophet of our future.”  I found that statement to hold the key. If our attitude is the speaker of our present, to change our attitude it would seem to mean we must first change how we speak about it.

As I surveyed some of the changes in my life where I initially struggled, I found five specific gifts I received once I allowed myself to grow through vs. just go through whatever I was experiencing. Seeing the gifts allowed my internal conversation and attitude to change.

#1- New People

My life has been richly blessed from expanding my personal circles. In many cases, those people were introduced to my life in the course of change.

#2- New Places

As a writer, place has been somewhat of a conundrum for me. We like the comfort of our “creative space” and can even begin to rely on its trappings. That was certainly the case for me. But when the creative flow stalls, quite often it is a change of place that allows it to begin streaming again. Once I realized that going to new places was a core fuel for inspiration, my attitude toward them shifted.

#3- New Skills

Any time we encounter change there is almost always something to learn. That can be a daunting road block if we are afraid we may not be able to acquire that skill. The key is recognizing that everything we know at some point was unknown to us. Everything we can do today, at some point we did not know how to do. And with new skills comes new opportunities.

#4- New Ideas

Change is a wonderful stimulus. What we consider (or reject) changes based on new information. We find that we have greater agility for transferring knowledge and skill. We are able to cross-pollinate our understanding of how we work best.

#5- Possibilities

This is of course my favorite because it’s the culmination of everything else. It’s the pinnacle of success when it comes to real change. When we integrate new people, places, skills and ideas into our strategies, the possibilities exponentially grow.

We can change our relationship with change by changing our attitude toward it. We change our attitude by changing our perspective and how we view it, how we speak about it. What new people can I meet and serve? What new places can I experience? What new skills can I acquire and master? What new ideas can this generate? How does this expand the possibilities for my life and work?

In summary: What does this make possible? Once we embrace that question, we begin to master the power of true resiliency.

Live (change) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (change) well.

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

It’s easy to say that we are resilient. It’s much more challenging to live resiliently. It is one of the most important skills we need to develop. But all too often we wait until we need it to determine if we’ve got it. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way.

Like any skill, it has to be developed over time and begins with our mindset. How we perceive our world will determine how we interact with it.

That is the core essence of true resilience. We stop responding to our world and start interacting with it. We put the energy of what is happening around us to work. We harness that energy and create new opportunities. It is what I have come to think of as moving from powerless effort (responding) to effortless power (resilience).

Recently I have been part of some discussions around resilience and how we develop it. The initial questions focused on how we could determine if it is a skill we have honed or not. After all, it’s not something you can always measure or see until after it has been employed. From those conversations, we determined that there are some warning signs that may be indicators that we need to strengthen that muscle.

Here are the top three:

#1- A higher commitment to the plan than to the result.

It can be dangerous to become overly attached to the road map. After all, roads close and things change. But the end goal is still the end goal. Adjusting the sails is far better than ignoring that the course needs correction.

#2- A driving need to understand the cause of something in order to assign blame, even (or especially) if it’s to yourself.

Things happen. The cause is most likely irrelevant once it happens. The true forward course is not assigning responsibility for why it happened but rather taking responsibility for what to do from there. What does this make possible? Take responsibility for that and it shifts to opportunity thinking.

#3- Your goal list is continuously littered with casualties that don’t seem to ever cross the finish line.

When we find a trend line in something, it means there is a systemic issue causing a particular result. When the trend we see is unfinished work or unrealized goals, it usually means that we are not able to see our way through disruptions, delays or even simple distractions. By analyzing the points where we falter, we can see where we need to shore up our resiliency muscle and put intelligent creativity to work.

A commitment to seeing the possibilities around us naturally develops our personal resiliency. Our life lens is trained to see opportunities for growing and giving in every situation. In a world where we are faced every day with uncertainty, we can thrive knowing that what is uncertain leaves room for infinite creativity.

What if the glass half empty is also half full? What if it’s both and ready for more?

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.