"Change or die!" The words jump out at me from a book I'm reading on Scrum. "If you're not growing, you're dying." These words jump out at me from a podcast I'm listening to about minimalism. This is not a new concept to me. I can remember back to my 6th grade teacher talking to us about Tony Robbins and his keys to success. Since that time in school almost 18 years ago, I have never forgotten this principle.
It's a simple enough concept, but simple normally isn't easy. Change is scary, but through change we are able to grow as people. In a way, I guess that's how I've subconsciously viewed change, but I've just never really made the connection until recently. Every time we need to change, it's an opportunity to grow in many facets of our lives.
There are many personal examples that come to mind, but there's one in particular I can think of that has made a difference in my work life (I guess it sort of spills into my personal life too).
I used to work as sort of sys admin at St. Norbert College. I learned a lot from the job, and I still use many of the skills and senses I had developed over my tenure there. When I was fresh out on f college I lacked professionalism, and I was awful at keeping to deadlines (more like trouble remembering). This was brought up in multiple conversations I was able to have with our CIO at the time. I needed to change, and I did. I took some time management courses on Lynda.com.
Most of the principles from that training are still in my toolkit and processes today. The interesting thing though is in the 2 jobs I've had since leaving SNC I've adapted those principles to the job at hand. The results at SNC were amazing. I started to earn the trust of a lot more people outside of the department, and it felt great to have professors trusting me with their teaching environments and helping expand useful tech for their class. This was a huge moment of growth for me personally and professionally. I knew I could never go back to being that unprofessional college grad.
Why is this concept of change important? Change is the only real thing we can count on. Ironically, it's probably the only actual constant we have in our lives. When we get to comfortable, we become complacent. When we become complacent, we stop growing. When we stop growing, we become obsolete. Being able to adapt will help keep you from getting too comfortable. The world will keep on changing and provide you with endless opportunities to practice adapting. A river is constantly flowing and changing, so really you never step in the same river twice. With that, I'll leave you with this quote:
"You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend."
- Bruce Lee
Until next time, don't be afraid to change. It just might improve your life; even just a little.