“Comfort overtakes us all when we’re least prepared for it.
— Michael E. Gerber, The EMyth Revisited, p. 258.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese-American artist,
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This expression can be a good reason to keep on doing what has proven to work effectively. Makes sense, right? But, this good advice misapplied can also create problems. Consider someone using this cliché as an excuse to avoid necessary change. A threadbare tire that still holds its air comes to mind. Technically, it is still working. But disaster lurks. Consider also something that works, but is about to fail due to a change in external conditions. This happens in business all the time. Products, services, and business models are constantly being made obsolete by something new and better. In business, continuous change is required to survive.
“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch
Now, to my main point. Some people will do almost anything to avoid change. Certain kinds of change make people uncomfortable, even fearful. Instead of change being an opportunity for improvement or to experience something new, they gravitate toward the familiar, which they acknowledge could be inferior. Funny thing, this tendency seems to increase as we age.
“The devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” — Cliché
“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.” — E. Joseph Cossman
Change should not be something to automatically fear. After all, changing socks is a fantastic idea. Changing lanes is often necessary. Changing keys makes music interesting. Changing colors makes autumn beautiful. People enjoy watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Finally, this post is the result of many changes. (You should have seen the first 59 drafts.)
Change is more acceptable when seen as a remedy for suffering. Like most elections, the buzzword in the last presidential election cycle was “change.” Most of the candidates have used it or similar words such as reform. For example, Huckabee proposed to “reform” the tax system. Obama’s overall theme was “stand for change.” (This was later changed to “Unite for Change.”) In these and most other cases, the same game plan is in force. Step 1: Convince the people something is terribly wrong or headed in that direction. Step 2: Offer to come and save the day through “change.” (I think I hear the Lone Ranger theme song.) Before taking sides in these matters, some questions we must ask are, “Will the proposed changes really save the day?”, “Which person or group is most qualified to save the day?” and “Does the day even need to be saved?”
Here are some thoughts to help change our attitude toward change.
“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” — Professor Irwin Corey
“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer
“No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” — John Stuart Mill
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” — Carol Burnett
“The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” — Peter Drucker
“Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” — Peter Marshall, US Senate chaplain
“If the rate of change on the outside (of the firm) exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” — Jack Welch
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” — Jim Rohn
“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” — Harrison Ford
“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything – or nothing.” — Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964)
“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James (1842 – 1910)
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffet
“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon, Medical Doctor
© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com
America has settled into a cushy new trademark philosophy. American life is less an adventure than it is a quest for bliss, happiness, comfort and safety. Instead of chasing bold dreams, the contemporary American doggedly pursues low-risk, softer ideals. Instead of putting ourselves on the line for something that is exciting and bigger than ourselves, our most adventurous moments seem to be those we live vicariously through movie and television screens.
“Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.” — Charles Dickens
“The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.” — Unknown
Yet, I think boldness is still woven into our character even if it remains dormant most of the time. I say this because in every crisis situation there are heroes, those who rise above their comfort levels to save lives, protect property and defend the defenseless. There are huge reservoirs of courage and boldness inside most everyone, which burst forth as geysers whenever disaster strikes.
People will do the uncomfortable when circumstances demand it. But imagine what could be accomplished individually and collectively if more people routinely tapped into their boldness and courage. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy had this to say about boldness within the realm of capitalism …
“Boldness is a necessary part of courage but it must be a boldness based on an intelligent assessment of the potential risks and rewards. The wonderful nature of boldness is that, properly directed, it builds the habit of courage in the person who practices it.
“A 12-year study of successful entrepreneurs conducted by Babson College concluded that the only thing they had in common was the willingness to launch, to step out in faith. Once they had started, they learned the lessons they needed to succeed, many of them ending up successful in completely different businesses from where they started.”
Business is only one place where courage and boldness can be applied. I recently began imagining how boldness, properly applied, could help me become more successful in all areas of my life: family, faith, career, community service and recreation.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Lord Chesterfield
“Look with favour upon a bold beginning.” — Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC)
“He who finds Fortune on his side should go briskly ahead, for she is wont to favor the bold.” — Baltasar Gracian
“Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.” — Billie Jean King
“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” — Orison Swett Marden (1850 -1924)
“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” — William Shatner (Star Trek actor)
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” — Bible, Proverbs 28:1
© Copyright August 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com