“One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.” – Tom Robbins
Many of us are told at an early age that change is a constant. It’s a series of life lessons meant to help us prepare for where we are ultimately meant to be…or so we are told. But if change is constant then is there really one place we are meant to be for more than that moment in time?
I personally enjoy change. I enjoy watching it, experiencing it and being a catalyst for it. Change, even when it is painful, has the ability to teach, challenge and inspire. As a parent, I have instilled in my sons the belief that change is part of their own personal evolution and should not be feared or avoided. For some, small changes like a commitment to physical fitness or learning a new language can impact the way one feels about themselves and the world around them.
There are also times when change comes in bigger, more dramatic ways. I met with a professional friend recently who has experienced some significant changes in his personal life over the past few years that left him feeling very unfulfilled both personally and professionally. After a period of serious contemplation, he made the decision to leave a successful career to pursue a long-held desire to own his own business in an exotic locale. Many question him for what he is leaving behind. His perception was more about what he was moving towards and to me, this is (as I told him) a time where he will find himself open to many things that he could have never imagined.
In the professional world we are sometimes too quick to establish a perception of a company or profession. Even worse, we are even more quick to place labels on each other as a way of neatly organizing and compartmentalizing who this person is, where their talents lie and how they fit into a role or organization. To remove these labels and re-establish ourselves in a different way, we must first shift our own perceptions of who we are and then slowly shift how others view us.
Unfortunately for some, that shift or shall I say “change” is either too difficult or too time consuming to process. I believe the best people and organizations to work with are the ones on the cusp of great change, whether by choice or necessity. That is where big ideas, great courage and bold initiative is incubated.