One of the greatest challenges Baby Boomers face is managing change.
I once had a discussion with a saint at church who expressed her dismay regarding change, She told me everything in her life is changing: Health is slipping away from her and her husband, the church is changing, and the entire world around her is not the same. While speaking, she managed a feeble smile, in spite of her obvious pain.
Have you ever felt like that? Is your rapidly changing world driving you crazy? Does it seem the more tightly you try to hang on to the past the more it slips away?
Many Boomers can identify. The world is changing at a rapid pace. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus, 2500 years ago, reminded us that change happens so rapidly it is impossible to step into the same stream twice. But if that was true 2500 years ago, imagine the rate of change in our current culture.
In his 1982 book Critical Path, futurist and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller estimated that our total knowledge base is now doubling every one to two years. Every one to two years the total base of human knowledge doubles.
This means we are entering an era of unprecedented change. If you think things are rapidly changing, hang on to your hat, the rate of change is about to ramp up. Managing change is going to be a bigger than ever challenge.
Nothing stays the same. Even change changes.
If you think you can force everything to remain the same, you are deluding yourself and headed down the road of frustration. The best you can do is to manage how you respond to the change in your world.
Here’s 5 tips for managing change in your world:
1. When you go through change you often develop a deep sense of appreciation for the past.
Last week I drove through the subdivision I grew up in 50 years ago. It was so rundown and crummy looking I got a tear in my eye. But as I thought of the past, I started to remember the good times of my childhood. I began to appreciate more than ever the years I spent in that subdivision. Change can bring a fresh appreciation of the past.
2. Realize change is often an opportunity for improvement.
Many years ago I had my first management job. An important employee submitted his resignation. I freaked out. My boss pulled me aside and told me that it was an opportunity to hire an even better employee. When change is forced upon you, stop fighting the change and start looking for opportunities. You will save yourself a ton of frustration if you look for opportunities in the changes happening around you.
3. Change challenges you to look for what is better instead of what is comfortable.
It’s too easy to live in a comfortable rut. But even a comfortable rut is still a rut: a grave with both ends out. But change often forces you out of the rut. It makes you look for viable options. And when you look at options, a new world will open up. You will see new and exciting possibilities.
4. Embrace the truth that change is necessary.
I’m no quantum physicist but I’m pretty sure experts in that field would agree with this statement: without change everything would die. The laws of nature remind us of this truth. The cells in your body are constantly renewing. Without change our world would come to a screeching halt.
5. Change rescues you from boredom by adding needed variety to life.
This is another angle on the idea of being stuck in a rut. Routine may be comforting to some folk but it is boring. Imagine a baby bird who grows up in the nest but refuses to leave the nest. How boring to spend your entire life in a small nest! Change rescues you from boredom and brings variety.
You can choose to fight change. Many people make that choice but it’s a recipe for frustration, depression, and sadness. Instead, choose to make the best of the changes imposed upon you. Managing change by using these tips can set you free to make the rest of life the best of life.
What change are you currently struggling with?