Friday, June 22, 2012

How To Handle Sweeping Change

You're cruising along in life.  No worries.  Not a gray cloud in the proverbial sky.  It seems like you're on cruise control.  Then it happens.  Something comes along and shakes your foundation.  Something rattles your core.  You realize that cruise control isn't going to get you where you want to (or need to) be in your life.  It's time for sweeping change to come rolling in and knock you down.

How do you handle change?  How do you cope when the world gets turned upside down?  How do you take steps to turn your own world upside down when the way you were trying to live isn't working?

Today, I'm going to address some of these questions.  I am going to share what I have found to be true in my own experience.  I am not an expert.  I'm just an at-home dad with some time to think and write.

"A Change Is Gonna Come." - Sam Cooke

Change is inevitable.  Most changes are minor, and you can deal with them swiftly without the need for a total life adjustment.  But how do you handle a major change?  Or sweeping changes?  That's what I want to discuss today.  Here are the things that I recommend when facing major changes.  I have been dealing with some sweeping changes to this blog (and in life, recently) and I want to share what I have learned along the way while getting to know how you dealt with it in your own life.

"Don't Panic" - Coldplay

The first thing people want to do when change arrives is to hit the panic button.  Stop.  Seriously, just stop.  Take some time to evaluate what is really going on.  Don't automatically assume the worst.  This change may provide new opportunities that you may have never considered before.  This change may lead you down a new career path.  It may heal a relationship that has been severed.  It may lead you to your soul mate.  Yes, it might end up in bankruptcy, but it also might not.  Stay positive.  Don't panic.  You can't possibly think clearly and make intelligent decisions when you are in panic mode, so don't go there.  Resist the urge to hit the panic button.

"Roll With The Changes" - REO Speedwagon

What are the most important things in your life?  What is most important to you today?  Tomorrow?  In 10 years?  Can you see this new change leading you to a place where you can achieve the goals you have for yourself?  If you can't see that, you will never get there.  You must be able to see your future self and be working toward that goal.  Roll with what life sends your way.  If life throws you a curve ball, hit it to the opposite field.  If life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or a 12 lemon centerpiece if you're Jennifer Aniston).  Some changes cannot be avoided.  Rolling with it makes it less stressful while you're dealing with the change itself.

"You Are Not Alone" - Mavis Staples & Jeff Tweedy

Side note: I'm kind of glad that none of the Michael Jackson videos are shareable.  Otherwise, I would have never found this awesome video by the great Mavis Staples.  This woman has an instrument of God in her throat, and she is not afraid to use it.  Wow.  

Okay, the last way to deal with sweeping change is to get support!  You are not an island.  You have family, friends, peers, church leaders, doctors, and dozens of other people you can go to for support.  Find a way to share your situation with others, and don't be afraid to talk about what's going on.  Get some people you can trust to be your sounding board.  Don't just talk to people who will tell you what you want to hear.  Talk to people who will be completely honest with you, even honest enough to tell you the truth that you may not want to hear. 

So, how do you deal with change?  Is there anything I missed?  Help a brother out.


  1. Nice musical support for your theory. Had a reality check (outside of my immediate sphere influence but close enough to rattle) and it caused a refocus of what was previously close to indifference.

  2. Matt, I wrote the GREATEST comment but I CAN'T stand you comment system! UGH. I really wrote a whole thing...can't do it again.

    Please get Disqus or Livefrye or whatever it's called!

    1. Bruce, you haven't been the only one to have issues in the past. Granted, you have had the most, but that's because you comment the most. So, I will explore DISQUS. I HATE Livefyre.

  3. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Well, Bruce, I did it for you. You weren't the only one to ever have issues, but I figured that if I want you to keep commenting, I'd better bite the bullet and get DISQUS. I hate Livefyre, by the way. Don't know why, exactly, but I just do.



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