Getting Used to Waters of Change
I think I am finally getting used to things in my new town. When I first got here, I can't tell you how many times I went the wrong way on a one-way street, or trying to figure out the quickest way to the main drag without going through 25 stoplights. I was constantly getting lost, as I have not been blessed with a good sense of direction. Anywhere I wanted to go at the beginning, I had to allow myself an extra 20 minutes, because I knew, invariably that I was going to get lost along the way. (And I did!)
Now, there is no problem- just after a few months of getting lost two or three times a week on the way to someone's house or the hospital, I can tell you just about where everything is now, and I can get there in a few minutes. Now, I don't have to give myself an extra twenty minutes to get to the grocery store, it has become almost instinctive, and I can more efficiently use my time during the day.
Change is a hard thing to deal with- every single one of us resists change to one extent or another, even though life is full of inevitable changes. People are born and die, we get new jobs and lose them, we get new bosses as the old ones retire or move on, and people come into town and move away. Change is just a part of life, and as much as we try to hold on to it through our day-to-day routines, nothing is forever in this life as much as we want it to.
When change does come though, it always takes a little period of adjustment to get used to the new way things work. This is true for individuals, organizations like churches or clubs, or even businesses. With that change always comes a little (or a lot) of difficulty, and during that time of adjustment, we might become frustrated with our lives, or our bosses or co-workers, or just the whole situation. We aren't as quick or efficient as we were before the change, and things get a little tougher.
This is true no matter what the change might be- even good changes like taking that new job or having a new baby, can have their difficult times getting used to.
But it get's better. I promise.
There is a great book I read a couple of years ago called "The Dip," by a guy named Seth Godin. In the book Mr. Godin talks about this period of adjustment that follows any change. At first he says, there is a period of excitement for something new, and then it gets tough as we attempt to get used to the new way things work. During this "dip," even good changes can be hard to adjust to, and "tough" changes don't even get a period of excitement!
What a lot of people and organizations do in the midst of the "Dip" is to get depressed or begin to despair because it isn't as easy as we might have hoped it to be, or they lose productivity and efficiency as everyone gets used to the change itself.
They figure that things are not going to go as planned, so what do they do? They panic, and they make another change. Resulting in, you guessed it, another dip and a further loss of efficiency. The cycle continues until finally, you have made so many changes that you hit the bottom, and your life, your business, or your organization find themselves on the skids.
The key to surviving a change is to simply get used to it, and try not to make too many at once. It is sort of like jumping into a pool of cold water. Sure at first it seems like it was a bad idea and is unbearable, but after a few minutes, you get used to the water, and you can have fun in your newfound aquatic adventures! Don't get out and freeze on the shore too!
If you are in the midst of a change, don't panic! Stop and get your bearings, and see that the "dip" won't last forever. Just keep doing what you are doing, and you will get used to the "new water," and won't turn down so many one-way streets.