Five years ago I was invited by my friend Bob to a Catholic Church up in Northern Illinois to hear Author Matthew Kelly speak on the topic of Change.
Speaking to an audience of almost 800 people, Kelly asked, "How many people here think people like change?"
I looked around. Not one single hand went up.... Just what I expected. Right?
Wait: Except for one! It was his. Mathew Kelly's!
"I DO believe people like change! People want to lose those 10 pounds. We want to find a job we love. We want a better relationship. Of course we like change!"
"The problem most of us have.... It's TRANSITION. It's the movement from here to there. It's doing things different. It's stepping away from the patterns we've become comfortable with. It's changing our diet to lost those 10 pounds! It's putting our resume together!"
Wow! I think he's absolutely right!
But too many of us have botched change! So we're gun-shy! "Nope. I'll stay stuck thank you. At least it's what I know..."
I think this is what's made author and psychologist Henry Cloud's book Necessary Endings so important. The subtitle of the book: THE EMPLOYEES, BUSINESSES, AND RELATIONSHIPS THAT ALL OF US HAVE TO GIVE UP IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD
Dr. Cloud argues that while endings are a natural part of business and life, "we often experience them with a sense of hesitation, sadness, resignation, or regret." He argues that our personal and professional lives can only improve to the degree that we see endings as part of moving forward towards something better.
So WHY then, are necessary changes and/or endings not our way of life? Why do too many of us let the stuck, status quo or the "same ole same ole" live on as our way of life? (if we can call it "life")
Let me suggest 5 reasons.... See if any apply to you or your situation?
We allow the urgent and the business of life keep us from taking time to sit still - define our vision, our goals or our picture of a preferable future.
The only thing worth than no change... is poorly executed change... or change in the wrong direction!
As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!"
Simple next steps matter! Like: "What can I do first?" "What key information do I need?" Sometimes absolutely no one step is anything near rocket science!
This adds the power of accountability! Just even one other person who knows!
And, sadly, many of us don't have anyone close enough to us in our lives to share our dreams - or we just haven't created that kind of community for accountability.
Of course, there really are changes that are not wise... so let me add one more "killer" question I learned from Pastor Andy Stanley.
"What is the wise thing to do?" OR "Is this change wise?"
Simple, but really important.
In light of your past experiences, present circumstance, and future desires, "Is this change wise?" Or at least hold off until it is wise.
And if your answer "no," then disregard number 1-5.
HOWEVER, if you answer "yes," get going on 1-5 right away! The life you save and live into by making this change may be your own!!
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