Change was in the air …
As a young man on a college campus during the late 1960’s, I often caught a whiff of the scent of revolution in the air. Change seemed to be happening wherever I looked, as old and established ways of thinking and doing gave way to new, exciting and different attitudes, values, and beliefs.
It seemed anything was possible and we believed that we could change institutions, rules, and social reality, if only we believed and acted on our beliefs. So we went about trying to foster deep societal change on a number of fronts, and in some cases we were somewhat successful, while in other ways, we failed miserably and painfully to make a dent.
Of course, I learned a few things, especially reflecting back from my current vantage point:
… Passion does not always equal success.
… Things do change, but not always for the better.
… Some things are remarkably change-resistance.
… Change is hard work, and maintaining a change is even harder.
… Idealism is a powerful thing, but so is inertia.
… Things looking different does not necessarily equate to things being different.
… As one ages, one’s perspective changes in sometimes surprising ways.
The current and very clever State Farm commercial entitled “Never” starts with a young man, who upon spotting an attractive young woman at a party, says to his buddy “I’m never getting married”. The next scene shows the man buying a wedding ring, then progresses to the couple on a plane, with a loud crying baby right behind them, as the man says “We’re never having kids” to his bride’s agreement. The next scene shows them having a baby and on it goes through buying a house, more kids, moving to the suburbs, driving a mini-van and so on.
It’s a fairly realistic display of a common human situation: As we grow, we believe we will not do what our biological and social natures push us to do.
Today, all this talk about change is once again on my mind, as I consider the possibilities and realities of helping others change. It strikes me that most of the things I learned as I grew into adulthood still apply.
Hope I can remember those lessons – I think it will make me a better coach.
How do you approach change?
How has your approach changed over the years?
What advice might you give your younger You about change?
Reminiscing and reflecting in the Heartland ….