Go with the flow of the opportunities.
It’s one of my go-to books. Each year I read ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Ken Blanchard which reminds me how to recognise change and expect it. Not to sit like a rabbit in the headlights and hold my head saying things aren’t fair.
Well, one of the only things you can rely on is that everything is shifting and changing all the time.
Relationships, market conditions, policies, who’s who, technology and why are we surprised?
When you consider what was important to you when you were 5, 15, 25, 35, 45 years old and so on – you can tell that for the most part, the key drivers for you have changed.
At 5 you probably wanted to have the newest popular toy, at 15 a boyfriend or girlfriend and good grades, at 25 more money to buy your own place, 35 a child or a partner (or a new partner) and so on. Your landscape changed, your desires changed or, as it says in the book, your cheese naturally moved.
When you take a look then at your workplace or industry these days, where companies have to be nimble and respond to market conditions to be able to stay in business, why would it be any different? One of the things I’ve learned is that there is no ‘job for life’ anymore and on some levels that’s a good thing.
Companies can’t offer the certainty of it and nor can we, or should we, rely on it. That, in itself, gives us walk-ability. The essence being keeping your eyes and ears open to what’s going on as well as your mind open to how it works for you. Not if, but how? If you don’t believe you want to make it work then that’s where your opportunities to move your cheese lie. They lie with you.
As it says in the book “Every company wants to survive in the future but also stay competitive. While in the past we may have wanted loyal employees, today we need flexible people who are not possessive about ‘the way we do things around here’”.
Here’s a simple set of incisive questions I ask myself and my clients when we see change (another) on the horizon:
- Where are the opportunities in here for you?
- What will you have to let go of to embrace the opportunities?
- What will be the threats?
- What’s the worst that can happen and how will you handle it?
- What would you tell me to do if we swapped places?
We all know intuitively it’s an inside job. Change. It’s an inside job. How you think about it, approach it, what you make it mean, how you talk about it, how you embrace it and how you allow it to stretch you so you grow with the flow of it.
When you come up against yourself resisting the flow of change either inside of you or external to you, remind yourself of how much change you’ve encountered, handled and benefitted from. Then remind yourself to choose how to approach it. Choose to approach change. Always. All ways.
There’s a Native American quote I love which is “It is always best to ride the horse the direction it’s going.” Indeed.