We have a fascinating relationship with change.
We very often resist change and sometimes, usually out of fear, we’ll fight hard against it, even when we know that what change brings about might be better for us in the long run.
Yet we also place a high value on change.
We honour great change agents like Gandhi or, Mandela or those whose inventions change the world, like Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
We celebrate great life changes like marriage, births, graduations and new jobs.
And we support a whole industry of professional change managers dedicated to showing us how to improve our organisations and business practices.
On an individual level, of course, change is at the very heart of personal and professional development.
Without change, we cannot grow, we cannot learn and we cannot improve the quality of our lives or the lives of those around us.
Nevertheless, we need to treat personal change circumspectly and, in the headlong rush to change that we can sometimes engage in, we don’t always do so.
That is not to say that when change is needed, we shouldn’t act. We just have to be careful that the actions we take are the best ones we could take in the circumstances.
In particular, we need to be sure that we are changing the right things.
We need to realise, for example, that if we are unhappy at work, it doesn’t necessarily mean we need a new job. Perhaps what we need is a new way of approaching our current job.
Likewise if we feel like we are being undervalued, perhaps we don’t need new opportunities to show what we can do. Maybe we just need to make better use of the opportunities we already have.
It is the great paradox of change (and certainly something that I have personally struggled to embrace) that sometimes the most effective changes occur through acceptance of what already is.
Wisdom lies both in recognising this truth and, when appropriate, in dedicating oneself to the hard work of incrementally and mindfully allowing acceptance to take place.