The “change” fallacy

3 12 2009

I got a big kick out of an acquaintance’s Facebook post yesterday (he’s created a virtual Facebook fortune cookie where each day brings a new one line pearl of wisdom guaranteed to make your business succeed).  Yesterday’s was:  “To make a change, clients must believe they’re getting something greater than what they’re giving up.”

Now that’s a very logical statement…if it were true.  If we actually got to choose whether we changed or not.  If, by choosing NOT to change, we could STOP change.

The truth is, we can’t.

Remember that old adage:  the only constant is change.  Well, like most overused phrases, it’s overused because it happens to be true.

And, yet, we increasingly live in a world that denies change (even as the world, itself, is changing..constantly).  That pretends “change” is just one more thing to be spun or mastered by the infallible genius of human intellect.

Folks nip and tuck their way out of aging.  Hoping that you’ll look at the wonders surgery can do to a sagging neck…and not notice the natural beauty of aging hands.

As financial markets were hurtling America (and much of the world) over an economic cliff last year, the airwaves were filled with promises of change.  And, yet, one year later, what HAS changed?

Congress (hopefully) is about to pass health care reform that does increase access, but doesn’t do much to reduce cost.  Because politicians have refused to change the system where it is most fiscally ravenous:  the costs at the final two years of people’s lives.  The costs associated with senior care.

In our own lives, how many of us deep down inside know it’s time for a change…in career, in relationship, in scenery, in habits.  But we tell ourselves we’ll wait til it’s the “right time”.

Of course, what we really mean is that we don’t have the cajones to acknowledge the change that’s already happened…and all that’s needed is for us to acknowledge it, let it in.

Because that’s the fun little truth about change.  It’s always happening.  It’s happened with every second that you’ve read this blog.

And if you ignore it, you more and more find yourself in what a client of mine calls a “disorienting dilemma”.  You think you’ve dealt with it by ignoring it (just wait for the press releases trumpeting the “landmark” health care reform!).  You put a check mark next to an incomplete (or totally ignored) task and go on your merry way.

But here’s the funny thing about change.  It won’t be ignored. You can’t tuck it away in a box until the sun, the moon, and the stars align for that “perfect” moment to deal with it.

Nope, it’ll keep stalking you.

And we can muster up all the illusion we want to ignore it, eventually being consumed by a tsunami of the inevitable.

Or we can do the natural thing…and acknowledge the change.  Welcome it.  Dance with it.  And learn to ride its wave.




One response

7 12 2009

Remember that song: “I AM CHANGING” – what’s her name… oh shit – lived in France the end of her life … black activist-singer … on the tip of my tongue … i’ll hit “send” so it’ll come to me 🙂

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