When society makes an adjustment, when circumstances shift… are you agile enough to adapt to change happening around you, or do you hold fast to the previous reality hoping it will return if you wish really, really, really hard and fight the new way tooth and nail with every negative fiber in your being?
SO many people I’ve known over the years fight even the smallest of changes to their world:
- Software updates that move a file option or change a keyboard shortcut
- Construction work being done on their normal route to the office
- Manufacturers discontinuing a model of some product they liked
All of these are causes to complain and commiserate with co-workers about the way they learned to do it and how they’ve been doing it that way for their entire career, and why can’t we just do it the old way, whine-whine-whine, blah-blah-blah…
With all the effort they put into hating on the new reality, you’d think it would just be easier to adapt to change than fighting it so belligerently that their bosses might start thinking it would be less hassle to just hire new people to work within the new system.
In the end, workers are likely going to accept the changes and work within the new system, but “accepting” change always feels like the person lost and can cause bad feeling to erode their attitude.
When you adapt to change it feels more positive than merely accepting change.
Checkout the video of the cat in this article.
The video follows progress of a cat going through a hole in a wall that continues to be reduced in size.
That first sequence is super easy — he jumps right through the hole.
But then the hole gets smaller.
His old way of doing things has changed, but he makes an adjustment and squeezes through.
This process happens a few more times with an ever-reducing set of holes in the wall. Each reduction forces the cat to try a little harder to adapt to the situation and he achieves his goal.
Until the final change is made.
At this point the cat cannot get through the hole as it currently exists. He even launches himself into the entry point in an effort to get through, but ultimately fails.
I wonder if he went back to his cat co-workers and complained about the new company policy on holes-in-the-wall.
I would have loved to see if the kitty returned to the too-small hole later and made an effort to adapt to change by chewing around the hole barrier to widen it enough for his furry butt to squeeze through one more time.
I’d like to think that’s what he did and that he was successful.
I also think that’s what you need to do when you’re faced with a change in process that is so severe that you think you cannot possibly achieve your goal.
Take a break.
Gather your thoughts and resources.
Return to the change that is challenging you and make some changes of your own.