March 2010 – This month, let’s examine the twin concepts of change and growth and apply them to an overriding fear expressed by many people today: Namely the fear of professional or career transition with its implicit connotation as a position of weakness. Depending on one’s perspective, however, transitioning career, whether by choice or imposed by others, can be a positive experience presenting new opportunities for growth.
Consider, what is transition if not change?“
Everything is in the constant state of flux.” Thus did Heraclitus, one of the early pre-Socratics, establish his philosophical immortality. For indeed life, as we experience it, is in flux – by way of change. The actual passage fragments as written by Heraclitus cryptically state:
- Fr.20: “Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.”
- Fr. 21: “You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others go ever flowing on.”
From here is derived the concept of transformational change notwithstanding the perception of permanence.
Perhaps in a perfect world filled with perfect beings, constancy might be not merely the world’s defining characteristic, but also the way things ought to be. For why change that which is perfect?
But for us, the imperfect beings that we are, living in an imperfect world, constancy – the absence of change – sounds the death knell of life. Not only do we experience life through the changes we perceive in reality, for in the absence of change we have no focal point against which to measure the nature of things; but also, change, being the method by which we grow, gives us hope for a better future and becomes a tool, nay the Tool, to actualize it. Rather than avoiding change we ought to embrace it.
The natural state of the Universe is transformational change while maintaining the perception of permanence and stability. Shifting your perspective from viewing transition as a position of weakness to viewing transition as positive, transformational change, sets the stage for growth.
The fear of transition can be best understood as a fear of the unknown: How will you survive in these uncertain times? How will you survive transition in your career? So many unknowns intrude on the present challenge. Consider and acknowledge the strengths and skill set which you developed and honed throughout your career. Yield to the dictates of life (i.e., change) as you arm yourself with the recognition that your strengths and skills allow you to confidently and successfully face head on the challenges of transition as you set the goals for the next phase of your career.
We’ve taken transition as our paradigm for describing how shifting perspectives and focusing on strengths and skill sets can assist in meeting challenges. These shifts in perspective underscore the fact that we choose our lives daily. Whereas we do not have the power to directly cause the events which occur in our lives, we do have the power to choose the way we respond to those events.
My challenge to you this month: Acknowledge your power of choice, utilize your ability to transform and craft your life to increase your productivity and achieve greater successes by shifting and broadening your perspectives. As an extra perk and a by-product of this process, you’ll realize an increase in your level of personal and professional satisfaction with an extra dose of happiness to boot. A perfect win-win scenario.
Consider the possibilities.
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net