Whatever 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.
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.