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Change Management - A Life Skill

| Choice Equals Change |

 

Change Management

Introduction

Change implies the quest for something different.  If you are not getting the results you want in your life, then you need to change it.  Management implies that for change to be successful, it needs to be managed.   Change begins with what is - the status quo - and ends with a better future.  This handbook is focused on change, better futures, and the management of change.  For all practical purposes, the term change could just as easily be substituted for the word goals.  Two terms are interchangeable in this handbook.  Both goals and change lead to new results.  The process of effecting change or achieving goals is exactly the same.  I choose to focus on the change aspect of goal achievement because of the less appreciated aspect of resistance to change.  Getting goals is easy whereas change is hard because change is naturally resisted by many powerful restraining forces.  Without a plan to overcome these restraining forces, change is doomed once psychological inertia and procrastination sets in.  

Change is a process, and it must be managed to ensure success.

C. W. Sooter

 

If you are not living the life you want, change is the only way to give yourself another chance of getting it right.   Getting goals and working to change your present conditions is a process of transforming you from where you are now to a life of your dreams.  Without change, your only option for the future is live as you are now or drift with the changes of the time.  By drifting were the sand of time take you, there is no way of predicting where you will end up.  The question you must ask yourself is whether you want time to control your fate or do you want to take control and manage your own changes.

 

 Change is the only bridge to second chances.

C. W. Sooter

 Change is inevitable, nothing escape the impacts of change.   Change is the only constant in life, even though it cannot always be predicted.   Change is the only thing in life that does not change.    Everything else in life is subject to change.   While change is constant, we don’t always notice it.   Even if we under the disillusionment or denial that things are haven’t changed, change is still occurring.  However, it is only a matter of time before we are forced to notice and acknowledge the change.   We can only hide from change for a while, because change will eventually force itself upon us.  Change affects our lives.  Change is a double-edged sword.  Change gives us life and change takes it away.  In-between, birth and death, our lives are constantly changing, bring both joy and sadness.   

 The past cannot be changed, but you can change the present by the way you think, and you can change the future by the way you think.  If you are not willing to change your thinking, you will pay the consequences.  The key to change is in your thinking.  “Start taking control of what you can control which are the words you use when you talk to yourself.”1 By

 changing your attitudes, belief, and thinking, you can change not only your live but also the lives of others.  To make a change, you must be able to envision what alternative lifestyle lies on the other side.  You have to have hope and faith in God and in your abilities to find something better.2  “In order to move forward, one has to let go.  Learn from your past; don't become a prisoner of it.  Become a better person.  Let go of a past you can't change.”3  

 We are the change we have been waiting for.

President Barrack Obama

 To some religions, change is a fundamental part of their belief.  For example, Buddhists believe in the law of continual change.  To change towards one’s natural being is to become more God-like and spiritually pure.  So, not only is change the way to a better life, it may also be the path to spiritual fulfillment. 

 Despite the potential for goodness and life enrichment, some people are conditioned to be fearful of change; because they tend to remember how painful past changes hurt them.  Undesirable change is remembered far longer than desirable change, just as failure is remembered longer than success.   People seem to remember negative events more than the positive.   Even if most of our changes are positive, we tend not to remember them as well as the negative.  We might even perceive the positive events as a change, just as something that we had before change took it away.   So, most people associate change with being worse off.   The facts are that change from the status quo can be positive as well as negative.  So, change is not necessarily something to be feared but instead, change is something that needs to be managed. 

 People, who want to change for the better, often don’t know how and are fearful of leaving their comfortable nest behind. Most people, when given a choice, would prefer not to change if it involved hard work or risk of loss.   Most people are both attracted and repulsed by the prospect of change. Change requires extra work and risks, which sometimes is enough to discourage people right from the start despite the allure of the extra rewards that change promises.   If change was easy and the rewards plentiful, more people would be change seekers rather than risk avoiders.  Change is not always easy nor does change always lead to the dreams we imagine.   Still, change will always be forced upon us whether we want it or not, and we will be offered choices involving change what we must either act upon or avoid.  How we respond to change is still up to us, even if we don’t have a choice as to the changes that are thrust upon us.

 If we decide we want to change, then we need to remember three things about change.  One, change is a process with steps from beginning to end.  Two, change must be managed so that you get the change you want and not the changes you don’t want.   Three, all change begins on the inside with our beliefs and self-concepts which then manifest itself into our external world. 

 The best way to learn how to change is by changing. The more you practice the art of change, the better you get at the execution of change.  The purpose of this handbook is to aid you in getting started and succeeding once you are in motion with change.   To be successful with change, you must learn how to manage change.   The outcome of change can always be improved if we but learn how to mange the change.  Good change can be made better, bad change can be made not as bad, and status quo can be improved all by applying the skills of change management.  

 People use goals as the means of defining and achieving the desirable future status they want to create for themselves.  Thus, every time you set a goal for yourself, you are in effect, a change maker, changing the conditions of your life for the better.    Goals give us the power to control our future.  By working collaboratively with the forces of change already in motion, we can alter and steer its future outcome.  If we apply ourselves, with our time, energy, and resources, we can make a difference in the shape and direction of change in ways that benefit others and ourselves.  This is what is meant by being a change agent…applying one’s powers to effect change for the better.   

 If you are going to be a change agent, then you might as well do it will all the effectiveness and efficient that is possible.  Leverage is defined as a force multiplier.  Leverage is the key to moving mountains.   Archimedes is reported to have said, “Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world.”   So, if you are going to begin actively managing your life, then you are signing up to become a change agent, whose efficacy is dependent on what forms of leverage you can find to multiply your own resources.  

 Some change is forced upon us, and some change we select for ourselves.  We cannot always know in advance the impact that change will have on us.  Not all desired change is good for us, and not all bad-change is bad.   Pending change must be evaluated before it is accepted lest is beguile us to false conclusions.  When bad change comes to us, take action to ameliorate its effect.   When good change comes to us, take action to make better.  When no change comes upon us, them make your own change.  Do not live with any situation that does not bring pleasure and happiness.  

 I will either find the changes I want or I will make them.

C. W. Sooter

 

 Do not mistake change for progress

Marti Smye

 One change tends to leads to another as in a chain that links the beginning to the end.    If the successions of changes are not to your liking and the culmination portends a bad ending, you still have options.   You still have choices, because all self-directed change is a choice.   Life is nothing more than a continual succession of changes from beginning to end.  So, the better you can manage change, the more favorable the outcomes ought to be.   The status quo is seldom good enough.  We always seem to want more and better. 

 Improvement is the never-ending question of mankind. If you are going to succeed with managing change, you must actively manage it.  Few spectacular outcomes occur by itself. The only way you can get what you don't have is to change what you already have.  

Take charge of change.

Marti Smye

 The easiest way to affect change is to change what you can directly and immediately.  The things you can’t change directly and immediately, you must accept and tolerate until the conditions are favorable for you to change them.  Remember, you can’t change others; you can only change yourself.  But by changing yourself, you change the most important variable of them all…you.  Be the change you want to see in others and the situation in which you find yourself.  Changing your inner self is the best way to change your outer conditions.

 Be the Change you seek.

Zach Hunter, Be the Change

 The best way to effect a change is to follow a process.   Change is what one does between the starting and ending point…from where one is to where one wants to go. Change is a process, not a place you come to.  

Change changes you.

Patricia Wiklund

 When it comes to change, the only person we can change is ourselves. We can't change what we can’t control, like the weather or other people's behavior.  We can change how we respond to the weather and other people.   

 To change anything about us requires a game plan and a process to manage change.  Seldom to people make radical change about anything, but when they do, they need to mobilize all their resources to do so, because change will be resisted not only by others but by your own subconscious. “The old ways die hard, they don't just fade away.”4  

 
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