We all have trouble with change. We get comfortable with what we know and are used to. Change causes us to have to learn new things and we don’t always want to learn new things. Change forces us to leave our comfort zones and move into unknown territory. Through design or through time we get into routines and habits that provide us all a comfortable framework to structure our lives around. We like to get up the same time every day and go through our morning rituals, and they quickly become rituals, to get ready to go to work. When we arrive we like to see the same faces and be in the same environment every day. New faces and new procedures are different and different is change; we don’t like change.
We start our resistance to change the minute we’re born. Why do new born babies cry when they’re removed from the womb? They’re used to the womb and feel safe and comfortable there. The new world they’re born into is a different world than the womb they started in. We all start out crying and objecting to change. But from the day we’re born we learn that our new lives are different but better because of change. It just takes a while for us to accept that “change” can be better for us.
At one time many people were employed making buggy whips, but it’s been many years since we needed large quantities of buggy whips. What happened to those who made the buggy whips? They were unemployed for a period of time and then they found new opportunities. Many of them found new jobs in the automobile plants. Nature abhors a vacuum. The hole in the work force created by the loss of the buggy whip demand was replaced with a demand for automobiles and a workforce to build them.
Was the automobile better than the horse and buggy? Maybe yes, maybe no. It doesn’t matter, they’re different, different causes change. Life requires us to change with the events around us.
A hundred years ago change happened much slower than it does today. Technology moves forward; what was state of the art a year ago may be obsolete today. A cell phone was science fiction 25 years ago, but they’re common today. Bank tellers were everywhere because there were bank branches everywhere 25 years ago, but now due to ATM machines and online banking there are fewer branches and fewer tellers. Change makes life different for us.
How we do things changes with time. Payday used to involve someone going to the bank and collecting a large sum of cash. That cash had to be counted out and paid to everyone who was to be paid. A pay envelope included cash and a statement. Then it progressed to a check in the envelope. The check required a trip to the bank to make a deposit and to get some cash. Today most people get paid through direct deposit. No cash, no check, just money in the bank. The need for a pay stub also went away, go online and see the electronic statement of what you earned and what was paid. Change is progress, change is a step forward.
Change is different, change causes us to move out of our comfort zone and makes us feel uncomfortable. We get used to what used to be. We know how to deal with what we are used to. We like our comfort zone, and want to stay there.
One company I know is more than12 years old. Many have been part of that company for most of those twelve years and have been part of many changes. Situations change, technology changes, leadership changes; all of these things lead to new procedures, and new policies. Stagnation is old and boring. Change allows us to move forward and stay alert and accomplish the mission. Change for the sake of change does nothing. Change to stay ahead of the competition is positive and productive.
Without change we stay in one place dealing with yesterday’s situation and habits. Stagnation in life causes us to stand still or move backwards. When we don’t embrace change we hold on to yesterday’s technology and yesterday’s problems. Change allows us to adapt and overcome the challenges of today. Without change we stay with yesterday’s technology and yesterday’s situation. We must be as flexible and as nimble as the challenges that come our way.
Just as with the new born baby, we have to embrace the changes that come our way and we will be better for the change. If we don’t we’ll stay in the dark in the fetal position and not have the opportunity to grow and advance and excel at anything. Change is an opportunity to excel and to move forward.
Change is progress and strength. Change moves us out of our comfort zone but it makes us stronger and more effective.