This is a blog about all types of Life Changes, Transitions and Decisions and what helps in the First 30 Days.
Most people say change is hard, decisions are hard. This blog is going to have you think differently by providing some inspiration, ideas, wisdom and suggestions.
You may be in a new relationship, or looking for a job or starting a business, maybe you want to lose weight, or are getting out of debt, getting married or divorced…- whatever change it is, the blog is going to help get you started and understand what is important in the first 30 days.
December 06, 2006
Change: Men vs. Women
I was wondering about something
while I was in the airport today on my way to the Bay Area for some
Are men or women better at change?
Are we wired in someway differently? Is male DNA more resilient to change or is
Is there an age at which change
suddenly becomes painful and difficult?
As a child, I know I was subject to
countless changes, but I didn’t have the ability to feel the same kind of fear
of the future. Everyday was new, different, filled with what life provided. I
can’t remember questioning that.
So yesterday I was invited to speak
at the Fortune Innovation conference here in New York City-
Given that First 30 Days is a
company about change, and that this blog is about helping people through change,
it struck me, later in the day, the connection between Innovation and
I was asked what was the biggest
killer to innovation was. My belief is that fear of change is what destroys new
ideas, new possibilities, new horizons, new lives ultimately. Why the fear of
change? Because we just all love things to stay the same at some level, to be
safe, secure, predictable. We want to know results before we have made changes,
whether its in a corporation or in our lives- we want certainty, we don’t like
taking risks necessarily, whether its with money, or our own personal
First 30 Days is in the business of
innovating people’s lives first and foremost. I believe that when we get
comfortable with change, we cant even begin to imagine what we allow into our
The other thing that kills
innovation and change is assuming a sense of entitlement- that what is today
will always be, so if you are healthy, or financially successful or have a
business or product that does well, that you are in some fashion entitled to
that success, you don’t need to actively participate in it anymore. We need to
be vigilant of the work necessary to keep changing for the
I was also asked whether you always
needed passion to succeed at innovation. Interesting question. I think someone
needs to be passionate about finding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new
products that havent been invented before, as opposed to complacency- and this
is in parallel with someone wanting change in their own life. At some level, you
have to want it, if you are going to initiate it, boldly and passionately. It’s
the passion that will carry you through the roller coaster of change- it will
give you the tools to inspire people around you to either change as well or work
with you on an innovative project. It’s the passion for something that often
brings it into existence.
When you have been through big
changes, you develop a muscle, a change muscle if you like. Companies need to
develop a change muscle as well.
That muscle that can pull their
employees through any innovation they pursue.
So, I wonder, how strong is your
change muscle? Or the change muscle of your company? And when was the last time
it was used?
Change is Not Meant to Make Us Bitter, Only Better
Change is a funny thing- too often we think things like:
Change is hard
I hate change
Decisions are tough
We don’t look forward to change. We joke that we would prefer things not to change.
So I wondered- why is it we never think of or remember all the great changes we loved?
Meeting someone and falling in love, getting married, having a baby,
starting a new job we didn’t think we would get, making some well
earned money, losing weight, moving to a great new place, recovering
from an illness, doing something exceptional, deciding to change
careers, go back to school, pursuing a dream, simply becoming a happier
person, or meeting that person that became your best friend now….
There are hundreds of great life changes and decisions we have all been part of.
What are some of the best decisions you have made? What are some of
the hardest changes you actually got through and developed real inner
strength and spirit?
I met an older man in a restaurant the other day in New York- he
overheard me passionately encouraging a friend of mine who was
exploring making a change in his life, moving, changing careers etc… he
interrupted us and reminded me that change was against human nature,
people only want safety and security. He, together with so many of us,
want to keep our little world exactly the same. He had never thought of
all the great changes he had experienced so far in his life.
And yet, everyday, we are reminded that everything changes. Everything.
If we could only start welcoming changes, even those that make us
feel out of control, where we don’t know how things might end up, where
our world may be turned around, we might see that usually, there is the
seed of something new, something positive that is already growing
beneath the surface.
Change is not meant to make us bitter, only better (someone famous said this to me at some point)
Think of what would never happen if nothing ever changed from this
point on in your life…..? Now would you prefer to allow change in, or
would you prefer to sign up for the no-more change ever program?
So, I was thinking of my absolute
favorite quotes on change and transformation. Here is a very special one I wanted
to share. Its certainly not one that is very famous, nor has it been picked up
and spread around. And yet it is one that touches the core of what happens when
we go through change, fall upon tough times and have questions in our heads,
wonder what this life is all about, why something happened….
I love the line
about finding the indestructible within us.
I have always thought that when
everything around you is changing, finding that part of you that doesn’t change
is a very precious and life long gift.
"Those who, being
really on the way, fall upon hard times in the world will not, as a
consequence, turn to that friend who offers refuge and comfort and encourages
the old self to survive. Rather they will seek out someone who
will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so that they may
endure the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of it a
"raft that leads to the far shore.
Only to the extent that we expose
ourselves over and over again to annihilation can that which is
indestructible arise within us. In this lies the dignity of daring.""
the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude which allows us to acquire a
state of harmony and peace wherein nothing can ever trouble.
On the contrary,
practice should teach us to let ourselves be assaulted, perturbed, moved,
insulted, broken, and battered--that is to say, it should enable us to dare
to let go our futile hankering after harmony, surcease from pain, and a
comfortable life in order that we may discover, in doing battle with the
forces that oppose us, that which awaits us beyond the world of opposites.
The first necessity is that we should have the courage to face life, and to
encounter all that is most perilous in the world"
~ from The Way of
Transformation by Karlfried Durckheim
"None of us know what the next change is going to be, what
unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few
years to change all the tenor of our lives." ~ Kathleen Norris
So, I was thinking today how quickly we label something as a good change or a bad change. Like a marriage is a good thing, a divorce is a bad thing, being laid off is a bad thing as is a health challenge and getting a promotion is a good thing. Well, I think all of us have seen these turn into the opposite.
I know for me, divorce for my parents was a great thing and I can now say I have 2 parents that are immmensely happier. Being laid off can be a terrrific gift life gives us to stop, think, wonder about the possibilities- of school, more education, a radical change in career path that can put us closer to what we really want to be doing.
I know a woman who had breast cancer very early on, in her twenties. I originally thought, what a traumatic experience. Today, she believes it was the turning point of her life, to quit a job she hated and was probably making her sick, to live in a different city than New York, to start studying health. She is now happily married with a baby and has a radio show on health in the UK.
And the list goes on.
So when you or someone you know intially reacts to something with what society would consider a normal response, just stay in the gap for a short moment. Consider the possibility that perhaps this thing isn't all bad. Something good may be around the corner.
Just maybe if you get dumped, sure grieve, feel all the emotions and also feel the possibility that this is not all bad. If you get fired, same thing. If something doesn't work out, a business deal, whatever, just think a different thought: what is life going to send me next if this change has just happened?
I am sure you all have stories of a bad change becoming a great change over time? Would love to hear some.
Lets talk about happy changes- like an engagement or wedding, a new baby, starting your dream business, losing all that weight you have had for too long, moving to a new part of the country....why is it that happy changes can also bring up fear, trepidation, nervousness, even negative emotions and moods?
With so called "positive" changes, you are still faced with the loss of something- it can be the loss of freedom, the loss of rituals and routines, it can be the loss of financial or emotional stability, or the loss of one type of life you used to have. That is always stressful and its perfectly natural to grieve the loss and not feel all positive all the time.
The other thing about positive changes is that so many of us dont fully jump into positive changes because we immediately think they wont last somehow, or that this new change isnt permanent or certain. Its the reason some of us dont get into new relationships, dont start our businesses and dont lose the weight.
Know that even positive changes are going to bring up difficult emotions- simply being aware of that makes it less of an upheaval when they show up. You are normal, other people feel the same way.
Whats the most difficult "happy" change you have gone through?
Once you start thinking about change- its like a new pair of eyes you are going to have. When you bring something that is typically in your blind spot, out into your field of vision, then suddenly you see it and notice it everywhere. Its certainly what happens with change.
Change is one of those subjects that isnt talked about much- its like death and taxes, the 2 other certain things to happen in life. Change is even more basic, and it happens a lot more often- like everyday!
So if you are still reading this, be prepared to start seeing and hearing about changes everyday/ If you are being a friend to someone, more than likely they are going through a change - a break up, a divorce, a new baby, a sickness, a career issue, financial challenges, whatever the topic is, they are probably struggling with some type of change.
If you are reading this, you are now tuned into the frequency of change- its like a radio station. And life is tuned to change, all the time. So when you tune into the same frequency, you become more intune with life and where life is taking you. Life is change- although we speak different languages, all of us go through change, its this universal language....and now is the time to really learn about it. It will make the next change that comes round the corner just that bit easier.
Imagine yourself with a pair of antenna on your head...and your job is to tune in to everyone who is going through change- whether its a work colleague, a family member, a friend, someone you chat to over a drink...anyone...and then report back.