A Lesson on Change From David Bowie
Change. While thinking a lot about organizational and individual changes that I want to make in the new year, I got Bowie’s song stuck in my head. Ch-ch-ch-changes. I looked up the lyrics and realized that they make sense—the boundless wisdom of Rock n’ Roll. Just for fun, I’ve broken the song down to help you survive and thrive through change (resilience.)
Just gonna have to be a different man
The Definition of Change
Change is being a different person than the one you were. You don’t need to define it on an organizational level, because it always comes down to the individual. Humans are creatures of habit. The easiest way to change yourself is to tweak your routine. Think about how many bestselling books are about how people took on a new habit or routine and it changed their life. Need proof? I’ve picked only a few out from the 2015 Amazon bestseller list:
Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes
The 52 Lists Project, Moorea Seal
Better than Before, Gretchen Rubin
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
A million dead end streets
The Point of Change
Change either happens to you or you make it happen. When you fail a million times over, it’s madness* to not see that you must do it another way. My friend has a GPS in his truck that needs an update every year, but he refuses because it costs too much money. I can’t tell you how many times he’s ended up frustrated on a dead end street, screaming at the GPS and late for a meeting.
Turn and face the strange**
Resilience (Part 1)
Change is any new routine that is foreign, or strange to you. Resilience is being capable of facing the strange. It’s the opposite of resistance, which is pushing back against the change and staying the course. How do you face a new routine when someone or something you love isn’t in it? I didn’t say change is always easy, or positive. It’s never the former and only sometimes the latter. Resilience is facing the strange and turning it into something positive, somehow, even if it’s just learning and growing, or moving forward in spite of the challenges.
So I turned myself to face me
Resilience (Part 2)
Okay, so you’ve faced the change. Now what? It’s time for some navel gazing. Look at yourself and make some notes. I’ll post another blog next week about tools for resilience, which you might want to glance at. The biggest takeaway from that is that everyone needs help and support to get clarity and centeredness, whether it’s a friend, partner, mentor or coach. Feedback is like a mirror that gives you a clearer look at yourself.
As I said, I’ve been thinking about change a lot, so keep checking back as I will be posting on this topic, as well as resilience, all month.
* The definition of madness: doing the same thing over and over an expecting to see a different result.
**I always thought it Bowie sang “Turn and face the strain” because change is stressful.