For some of us, the word change may bring an unsettling feeling of dread. For others of us, it is an exhilarating word. For some, it may feel like a threat that has the potential to master us. For others, it is a challenge to be mastered. Whether we like it or not, change is always happening. It doesn’t happen in just one area. It happens in every area:
- In our bodies – We are getting older, fitter, fatter.
- In our friendships – People move away or die; values and interests change creating distance.
- In our relationships – What we nurture grows; what we neglect goes.
- In our jobs – technology, technique, turnover.
- In our community – Leadership, laws, and restructure occur often.
Whether dreaded or anticipated, caught off guard or planned, change is often hard. It takes time to adjust to new norms, and the process can sometimes strip away our perceived value and identity. So why would we ever embrace it? Because sometimes it is inevitable and we don’t get a vote, and other times we choose it as a necessary growing pain.
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same
is greater than the pain of change.” Tony Robbins
Whether change is a desired choice or necessary reality, measuring it by three components can help with processing and proceeding.
- The problem (or goal)
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” - Peter Drucker
Assessing and evaluating your marriage, business, relationships, personal goals, and spiritual status are crucial for healthy growth. But remember that there is a huge difference between being critical and critiquing. The first has to do with finding fault, and is harsh in nature. The second refers to evaluating and identifying positive and negative points.
- The solution (or process)
The best change is made proactively rather than reactively. For example, in marriage or leadership, if you have your finger on the pulse of the atmosphere, you will often see signs of wear and tear where repair is needed, or areas where minor tweaking can enhance performance. Proactive change can be less painful than waiting until a situation is out of control, thereby necessitating more dramatic measures. Change that is initiated by a desire for growth, opportunity, exposure, excitement, etc., is often easier to embrace. Because of that, it is prudent to make a pros/cons list to make sure you are not getting in over your head. Factor in the emotional, physical, material, and spiritual aspect to make sure the benefits outweigh the commitment and cost before embarking on your path.
If change is necessitated by circumstances out of your control, it is important to remember that while having the right mindset may not make change less painful, it will make the process more productive, thereby setting you up for unforeseen blessings. If there was no choice in the change, make a list of the positives and focus on them.
- The benefits (desired outcome)
Although change can be difficult, the benefits of needful change will often eventually outweigh the pain. Identifying and focusing on those benefits as they come will help keep you in the correct mindset for growth and opportunity.
Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever,
to Whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons.
He removes kings and sets up kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise,
and knowledge to those who have understanding (Dan 2:20-21).