To mimic Gordon Gecko from the late 80s movie Wall Street, “Change is Good!”
That is a belief those of us hoping thrive in the 21st Century must embrace.
It’s crazy not to.
Change is inevitable.
Change is constant.
From the day we are born, we are changing. We’re always getting older. Each day our bodies evolve. Cells in our body are constantly growing and dying.
Every day the world changes. Some days the sun is shining, other days the clouds cover the sky and rain falls. Sometimes both of those happen multiple times in the same day.
I began thinking about this upon returning from our 2 1/2 week European vacation in early September.
While in a foreign country with a culture foreign to my own I was forced to change my lifestyle for 2 ½ weeks.
When it was all said and done the trip was a catalyst for three specific, personal changes.
The changes I made were conscious choices, and all, thus far have been for the better.
These changes were made at the age of 51.
If I can do it, so can you.
These were not big changes or anything that are life transforming, but they’ve been good.
The first was that I decided to drink a beer for the first time in more than 20-years.
I had never been a big fan of beer. Like most people, in college I drank a lot of it. After college I rarely drank any, so maybe its been close to 30 years since I had actually had a glass of beer.
But, when you are in Germany, the birthplace of beer, I think (beer experts, if it’s not the birthplace, forgive me, but it’s pretty close), its tough to spend 2 1/2 weeks in the region without indulging.
I was quite proud of myself, as I literally held out for 16 days. Our final night in Munich I decided to take the plunge. I had watched, in disbelief, my wife and one of my best friends down 2-3 litres of beer per night. So, on our final night I decided to grab my own liter of HofBrau Haus beer. Then, I had a Bavarian soft pretzel that was almost bigger than my head and finished the night with my second liter of beer in 20 years.
So, I guess I’m no longer anti-beer, and I’ve even had a few since coming home.
There are two other related changes:
- The first is water with “gas.”
Throughout central Europe the natives drink water with carbonation. After having a cup of it at a McDonalds in the Frankfurt hotel after we landed in Germany and drank about two sips, I repulsed all offers for “water with gas” for the first week. Then, one day during our second week decided go give it a try, once again. It wasn’t so bad, this time and I continued ordering it for the remainder of our trip. I have continued the practice since returning home, drinking Pellegrino sparkling water 80% of the time.
- The second is regard to ice cubes and chilled drinks.
I am here to report that there is not one ice cube in all of central Europe. Europeans like to their drinks barely chilled. They drink their hard and soft drinks only refrigerator cooled and don’t worry if they get warm before finishing. Very un-American.
But, I adapted. Since returning, I have cut my usage of ice by about 80%. I’m told, by my new European friends and a holistic doctor in my networking circle, that its better for our bodies not to drink freezing cold soft drinks.
Anyway, 3 big changes in my personal life that have now become a habit after just about 3 weeks.
These changes have been good for me.
Change can be good.
It’s just a matter of being open to the possibilities. Of just being open to what might be.
When it comes to change in the workplace realize that company leaders rarely make changes just to make changes. There should have been significant forethought prior to announcing the change.
And, with technology, change is happening every 90-days.
The train is rolling down the track. Stop digging your heals in causing your shoes and socks to burn up.
Instead grab the controls and find the way to embrace the changes and make ’em work for you and your teammates.
Doing so will make it easier (and happier) for everyone.
Ask yourself this question, “how can I embrace this change, enjoy it and contribute some ideas that will allow me and my teammates to integrate these changes even faster?”
That is a much different question than most people ask when faced with change in the workplace.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
’til next time, have a great weekend!