Life in the twenty tens has seemingly propelled us into a rapidly changing world where the escalating pace of change is greater today than at any other time in our recorded history. Every aspect of our lives is changing including the way that we work, the way that we communicate, the way that we shop and eat and, for the majority, the entire way that we live our day-to-day lives.
Unlike in the past it is more the norm to change not only jobs, but often entire careers, several times. People now think nothing of relocating, not only within their own country but also internationally. And it is now common for more and more people to be married more than once and have more than one family. It's as if we are trying to fit several lifetimes into one.
"The great paradox that so many people live in is that they want things in their life to get better, while at the same time they are resistant to change."
Never before have so many people needed to deal with so many life changing decisions, in so many different life areas, on such a consistent and accelerating basis. And one of the great challenges of our times is the ability to cope with change.
As the saying goes, the only people who seem to like change are busy cashiers and wet babies.
We find change disorienting, creating within us an anxiety similar to culture shock, the unease visitors to an alien land feel because of the absence of the familiarity they took for granted back home. With an established routine, we don't have to think.
We do, however, feel better about the changes that we know or believe are going to make us better off in some way, but the changes that we are uncertain of, or we believe may be detrimental, are, for many people, their greatest fear. Generally, people fear the changes that they feel they cannot steer. The great paradox that so many people live in is that they want things in their life to get better, while at the same time they are resistant to change.
In reality, the only future thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that there will be continuing change in all of our lives. At times, the changes may be only minor while, at other times, they will be major, but all of us will experience some degree of change. It is inevitable. You cannot stop it. You cannot even slow it or delay it. What you can do however, with a little knowledge, skill and effort, is to learn how to direct it. Learning how to consciously direct the natural changes of life towards your heartfelt desires, is most definitely a very important modern life skill.
Change is a vital criterion for any form of evolution or growth, whether as individuals or as an entire community, society, country or world. Without change there can be no movement or growth, either personal or global.
Just as nature is in an ever-continuing cycle of change, so we, as part of nature, are constantly changing. Continuing change is not only a certainty of life but also necessary for our own growth, evolution and general wellbeing.
Change is like the wind that blows. It is neither good nor bad, friend or foe, it just is, and will continue to be. It would be nave to expect the wind to never blow again or for change to not occur.
A small minority of people in every age have discovered this great truth and have learned how to benefit from the winds of change. Great leaders, inventors, pioneers, innovators, and builders, in fact every great success, in any area of life, will have been achieved in some way through learning to adapt successfully to change and embrace the potential it can bring.
Change is happening faster than ever before and, in the process, it is creating numerous opportunities. We live in unique, special and exciting times and our ability to adapt to change will be our greatest life skill.
The above article is an extract from The Happy Handbook - A Compendium of Modern Life Skills by author and presenter Liggy Webb.
Liggy Webb is widely respected as a leading expert in the field of modern life skills and workplace wellness. She is the founding director of The Learning Architect a consortium of niche industry experts. Liggy has developed a range of techniques to support individuals and organisations to cope more effectively with modern living and the demands and challenges of life in the twenty tens and beyond.
Source: Trainingzone / Photocredit: Compass Inlay by Steve Snodgrass, released under a Creative Commons license.