The Change You Didn’t Ask For

People don’t avoid change as much as it is commonly believed. Change happens all the time. Each morning represents a different day. Life marches forward, and people are happy with the incremental improvements to salary, seniority at work, respect because of the length of tenure. No one wishes to get stuck in a Groundhog Day scenario. (Groundhog Day is a classic Bill Murray movie where he lives the same day over and over again. The main character remembers that he has been through this day before, but everyone else lives the day as if it is the first time.)

Think about this: 

  • Would you want to win one million dollars? 
  • Would you refuse a new car delivered to you with no strings attached? 
  • Would you be happy if you achieved a life goal? 
  • Would you be excited to hear about an increase on your tax bill? 

Most people will be happy with the first three changes, and resistant to the last. We are delighted to make a change when we see that it adds something to our lives. But a change that results in a loss is rarely a change we seek out. 

Your Choice

You have two choices when faced with a change you didn’t ask for: 

  1. You can refuse to accept the change. 
  2. You can use the change as a catalyst for improvement. 

Because loss is the change, we didn’t ask for, finding the point of improvement is relatively easy. If you lose money because of a tax increase, you can use it as a driver to set larger earning targets. If a relationship breaks down, you can use it as motivation to grow in your ability to connect with other people. 

No one likes the change they didn’t ask for. These changes will inevitably happen to you. When a change you didn’t ask for occurs, find a way to use the change as a springboard that propels you to the next level.