here is a quote that goes something like this: The only things that are certain in life are death, taxes and change. All our lives, we are faced with these three. There are some people who are trying as much as possible to avoid them. The paradox of our brain is that it always wants to shield us from the unknown, and yet it is that unknown that can usher us into a life of promise and fulfillment.
It is true that some people have successfully learnt how to avoid taxes. However, at the end of the day, there will be no escape of taxes in any way, for as long as we are engaged in purchasing anything, we are being taxed. Of course with science and development, some have learnt how to avoid death, albeit for a season until it finally catches up. If I could avoid death fro a season so I can fulfill my purpose and excavate my potential, that would be great. But how about change? Can we successfully even in a single day evade or avoid change?
Why We Want To Avoid Change
I think the question that we really need to answer is this: Why in the world would we want to avoid change in the first place? Well, there are different types of change. There is change that will be desired by someone who is in an uncomfortable situation. All they want is the end of that season of pain. We all want that kind of change. Where the rubber meets the road though is when all is well, cozy and serene. Pray tell me, why would we want to change that? The answer is simple: So that we can be better. The bad news is that we will only be better through the route of discomfort.
Three Major Change Categories
There are three major change categories in life. The categories come about as a result of the way we interact with change. It matters which category you are in. Averagely, our way of doing life will cause us to be grouped in any one of those categories. What category do you think you belong to? Let us find out here.
Category 1: Drifters
There are many of these in life. My loose definition of a drifter is someone who exists in life, living a life of default. In other words, life was handed to them and they take it as it is. They do not question the status quo. Although there is a silent disquiet in their souls (like it is in every human being), they have learnt to live with it. Although there is a silent dissatisfaction in life of what they are doing and what they are getting, they have taken it in as if it is fate.
Identifying A Drifter
- Drifters do not ask questions
- Drifters do not convert their wishes to goals
- Drifters limit their thinking
- Drifters feel the overwhelm of life or get comfortable with status quo
- Drifters are OK in operating with a scarcity mentality.
Category 2: Responders
When change happens, it awakens some people. Those who respond to change mostly have been jostled. Their lives have been invaded by something new. For the most part, they will want to deal with the change and revert back to normal as quickly as possible. There are so very many of these, if not the entire human race. There are those though who would embrace the change and from something totally new out of it. A new lifestyle perhaps. They find a “New Normal”.
Identifying a Responder
- Responders react to change
- Responders wait for change to come to them
- Responders are overprotective of their status quo
- Responders are more concerned about their well-being than that of others
- Responders look at change as a seasonal thing that should move on immediately it comes
Category 3: Visionaries
Perhaps the beauty of these is that they embrace change. They go to it long before a “responder” could ever perceive something his in the offing. Visionaries are exceptional in the way they perceive life. To them, change is the vehicle through which they achieve their targets. It is a necessary must for them, not something that they have to “deal” with. It is something that they implement, think about, anticipate and craft a way of getting it done at all times. Visionaries embrace change unlike Responders and Drifters.
Identifying A Visionary
- Visionaries love change
- Visionaries perceive change
- Visionaries use their instinct to begin the change process
- Visionaries make change, running to it instead of waiting for it to come
- Visionaries study the changes around them for the purpose of learning and using it to their advantage
Drifter, Responder or Visionary?
I know that at times we might find ourselves in any one of those categories. However, averagely we all belong to one group. Some people are Drifters, others are Responders but only a few are Visionaries. If you drift on in life, just allowing natural change to take place, you will end up being normal and average. If you respond to change forced on you, you can become resilient but that’s just once in a blue moon. But if you force yourself to change consistently, going through the discomfort of change, you will become exceptional.
We all can quote Nokia’s CEO over and over again. His message is a sobering conclusion that when it mattered the most, Nokia were either Drifters or mere Responders and they lost dearly. “We did not do anything wrong”, that’s what a Drifter would say. Failing to sniff change when it is not even in the horizon can be a very detrimental thing. It is not just for Nokia. Sniffing change as a visionary is supposed to be something that the following people do daily:
- Leaders in Government
- Business Leaders
- Spiritual Leaders
Let us reflect thoroughly on what category of change we belong to. We shall continue with this subject in the next article.