Bend Don’t Break

So here we are at a special Thursday edition of NYC Lucky 62. And it’s predictable that at some point today each of us is going to think a thought or take an action that’s typically reserved for our Wednesday’s. And hopefully we won’t walk too far down that path. We’ll realize and smile, and then wake up tomorrow and it’ll be Friday, and that’ll be cool.

We’ve been handed this little change this week. And it got me thinking about change in general. Life is change. It’s organic, and mostly in constant flux. Change happens in our days and our weeks. It happens gradually across our years. And it happens dramatically in our moments. Lately some tragic events have brought the kind of change we hope we never have to face.

But one never knows how life or business, or even the day is going to go. So what do we do? We can’t ignore it and pretend like change isn’t happening. And yet, we can’t get overwhelmed from the thought that everything is changing all at once, and there’s nowhere to find stability or even safety.

I’m sorry for being so morbid this early in the morning but there’s a point I’d like to make so bear with me. It’s a statistical fact that in most serious auto accidents involving the consumption of alcohol, the drinking party tends to emerge with less harm than the sober one. And though many may think that’s unfair, and have some unpleasant feelings about it, there’s a reason for this. The people that have alcohol in their blood tend to stay loose throughout the event and the intense change of energy passes through their bodies. In contrast, the more clear-minded people are more acutely aware. They experience greater fear and anticipation, and tighten up. When we stay loose we flex and bend. When we freeze and tighten there’s the potential to break.

Jeff Simon happened to send me a quote this week with a more positive way to frame how to interact with change. It’s by Alan W. Watts… “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

But how does this impact our businesses? Consider that when we wake up in the morning, we have very little idea about how it will go that day. Clients will cancel orders, bail on appointments, hire the competition, forget why they went with us in the first place. Mix-ups will happen, deadlines will change, orders will be doubled or halved, and given how many people on the client side and owner side there are – not to mention technology, transportation, mechanics, and at least five other categories, things are bound to unfold in ways we would not have chosen.

And there is only one question that you should ask yourself when they do… “Who do I want to be about this?”

And it may seem like you will have a variety of options. But I want you to consider that there are essentially two. You can be victim or leader. Powerless or powerful. You can point the finger and pass the buck, or take responsibility and ownership, and control what you can. The circumstance may seem like it’s all very significant – even scary and confronting at times – and that it’s all about us. But basically, life and business are either happening to us or we are the architect of them. Period.

So don’t tighten up. Relax, take a breath, set your feet, and choose your next move.

“Who do you want to be about it?”

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