The Gift of Change

 

Change and the Force of Nature

 
Change and the Forces of NatureIt seems that expressing my thoughts on transformation through change is facilitated somewhat by the fact that I am currently visiting relatives on the coast of Maine. The sights, sounds and smells of the Atlantic Ocean bring a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

It is hard to believe that within minutes the force of nature could change the peaceful landscape. I have experienced the fury and destruction caused by violent thunderstorms, high seas and even lived through a tornado that destroyed numerous cottages that were in its way.

Living on the ocean can be peaceful and yet very unpredictable, as far as the forces of nature go. We always need to be well prepared should nature decide to rear its nasty head and let us city folk feel its incredibly devastating power.

As I reflect more on what I have just expressed, I am fascinated with the idea that life itself is quite similar to the unpredictable forces of nature. From my vantage point, I would have to say that one of the things I love about life, besides “life” itself, is its unpredictability and all that this brings to our lives.
 

The Unpredictability of Change

 
One thing for sure is that none of us know what lies ahead. Unlike the weather, there is no technology to predict what is in store for us. And unless we decide to try to improve our lot in life by implementing a specific planned change (i.e. health/exercise program), we’re setting sail without our navigation systems turned on.

What I have come to learn over the years is the only security we truly have is the belief in our unique talents, our capabilities and ourselves. We all have the incredible resilience to make amazing comebacks, no matter the situation. Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually- no challenge cannot be overcome.

Most of us will have ample opportunity to demonstrate a certain amount of courage in our lives. It is at these times whereby we grow immensely as a person, no matter our age. Personal struggle is often seen as an opportunity to change for the better. I have adopted an attitude or mind-set that any change whether it is a loss of a job, a life-threatening illness, a promotion, a job transfer, etc… can be an opportunity for personal growth and development.

There are many books written about adapting to change that outline key steps to take when encountering a new situation. I would like to give you my own perspective on this subject, together with a number of ideas and techniques that I have personally found useful along my journey of adapting to life changing events.
 

A Gift of Change

 
I have sought out the services of specialists in change management, been mentored and coached by one of the best in the field and have developed, through trial-and-error, my own techniques. This is why I can say without doubt that change, no matter what the type, should be looked at as the most invaluable “gifts” you will ever receive.

The very next time you encounter any change in your life, take this gift, unwrap it slowly and look for the special benefits that lie within. May I suggest that you be very patient as it sometimes takes days, weeks and even months to realize what the gift actually is. Once you have defined your gift, I recommend that you nurture it for all it is worth and document the benefits to life that gradually unfold over time.

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to escape the need to adapt to change. Whether it happens unexpectedly or is planned, you cannot hide from it. It must be dealt with.

I learned very quickly I had a better chance to capitalize on the benefits of change if I was operating from a position of strength. The process of change itself is an opportunity for personal growth and development. I found that new situations were what I needed to operate out of my comfort zone and grow. Doing this resulted in increased levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. If I had a set back, I learned from my mistakes and kept adapting.

As I reinforced above, the more we believe in ourselves, our unique talents, our special abilities and our competencies- the better the chance we have of benefiting from any forth coming changes.
 

Choose to Change

 
Even if the change is one we choose to make, and know is a good change; the transition from the old way to the new way is never easy. This certainly applies to starting up an exercise program. The advantage though is self-initiated changes give us the time to work out a strategy to ensure we gain maximum benefit.

I am sure that for many people, thinking about implementing change in their life as simple as an exercise/health program, can be like standing on the edge of a pool wanting to jump in and go for a swim but waiting for someone to push them in. Fear of the unknown or in this case, the idea of cold water, frequently blocks people from making the change they know will be beneficial in the long run.

Research shows that most successful change happens when the person looking towards potential benefits arising from the planned change initiates it. Do not be the one caught saying, “If only someone had pushed me”, when it may be too late. Jump right in and choose to change.

Below are steps to help initiate change with respect to improving your overall health/fitness (they can be applied to any aspect of life):

1. Recognize and agree upon the need for change. Draft a personal vision of how you want to feel and/or look like, following the completion of all facets of your health and exercise program.

2. Identify key people and resources that you will need to achieve your change.

3. Assess your need to change and your state of personal readiness.

4. State as clearly as possible specific reasons as to why you want to change. Describe what you want to change.

5. Set clear priorities and develop objectives and measurements for success.

6. Brainstorm what is actually stopping you from implementing your exercise program and evaluate each one as to whether or not they are real or merely imagined.

7. Describe what you know you could do, either on your own or with the encouragement and support of others i.e. personal trainer, clubs, Internet programs, websites, etc…

8. Make a personal commitment to take action.

9. Create a plan to ensure that your change is embedded and maintained.

10. Implement the change plan, celebrate successes and modify if need be.

 

The only way to ensure growth; both personally and professionally is to initiate change at opportune times in our life. Yes, the type and timing of change is relevant to any potential successes that may result from our efforts but regardless of whether we choose or it is chosen for us, we must embrace it. The only real security we have in today’s fast and ever changing world is the belief in ourselves, the belief we can do anything and be anything, no matter what life throws at us.

Keep changing, improving and do not settle for mediocrity. Change is a gift to be unwrapped, nurtured and implemented into our lives. Opportunities come to those who accept and adopt to change. Those that sit around, wait and complain will be left behind.

To your success,

Coach Mike

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