Strange dream last night: I’m working with a group in an ad agency (one of my many careers was as a Graphic Artist), and we have this defined space for our “stuff” including wall décor and paintings above our areas—sort of our own individual territories within the building that we were located. This was a nice layout—better than any I had actually experienced when working.
The scene shifts to suddenly adding new people, and a truckload of “their stuff” comes in forcing the rest of us (maybe 3 or 4 others) into smaller, more compact spaces on the other side of the building—allowing the NEW folks to have the best layouts with great outside views that we all used to have.
As this scene morphs, I’m watching a new woman of tremendous natural, artistic talent paint a 3’ x 4’ mural instantly, with such precision and confidence that I am mystified at her skill and eye-hand control. I am so awestruck at her abilities that I tell her how amazing her work is, while she looks at me like “Who are you?”
I then wake up and wonder what on earth was that about?
As I’m just lying there staring at the ceiling, it starts to dawn on me that it was all about the ability to embrace change and to recognize that it wasn’t about me individually at all. It wasn’t about my losses or possible injustices due to new mergers or new management, or even being in competition with new talent and creative ideas that weren’t “mine,” or to stew in the natural resentments and jealousy that those situations often fester.
It was all about the ability to embrace change instantly and just “go with it” recognizing that sometimes things happen for the betterment of everyone even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. From a management view, perhaps new bodies and new juices were needed to kick-start a new direction or to create the climate necessary for a fresh perspective on the company’s purpose.
Clearly, the decision to add new people was above my decision-making grade in the dream and the only thing I could do in the situation was either accept the change quickly in that environment or resent it, fight it, and make myself miserable over it. Or I might have simply left to do my own thing, with all the tremendous change required in that process.
But one way or another it was about the ability to embrace change; and we do so not only to survive, but to thrive. Change is who we are from infancy onwards. None of us are the same height and weight as when we were born. Nor do we have the same reasoning ability and vocabulary.
Change happened or we would all still be noisy little bundles of flesh with dirty diapers—totally dependent on others for our sustenance, welfare and safety. We changed by growing into adult beings who could likewise create those little packages.
So change is not unfamiliar to us, but it isn’t always recognized as being such an integral aspect of the human experience, when it actually is.
Look at the electronics revolution over the last two decades: As a Graphic Artist I started with a Mac 512k that took a start-up floppy and a program floppy to operate it. Now, Apple burps out a new system every 6 months and folks line up for days to spend hundreds of dollars (yet again) on the latest and supposedly greatest.
Change may not always seem for the better, but it is change none the less. It just is, and it will continue to be change tomorrow and the day after that.
So try not to fight all that change. Learn to embrace it, allowing it to work for your advantage by showing you a new way of being and doing, and a new perspective on life than you ever thought was possible, if you can simply let yourself change.
Stop all the grimacing and tightening yourself into knots at the very thought of it. Change happens. Let it. Look for the added value of change in your life—embrace the fresh start opportunity to see life again as you once did for the very first time—an adventure to explore where you might be stumbling forward in unsteady steps, but you’re feeling full of excitement and wonder at the mysteries lurking just beyond your chubby fingertips.
Reach out for change. It’s happening whether you accept it or not.