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Change.....
Change….. (Photo credit: B Gilmour.)

Change is a lot of work. I’ve update my life and restarted more times than I want to think about. Packing, moving, unpacking. I went through a 5 year period in which we moved 5 times. Crazy. I’m the girl who has lived 40 plus years only 30 miles from her home town.

This week my office was doing some reconstruction around my cubicle. It’s funny to me since I’m the only one left in the area and I’m expecting to hear at any moment, “you have to move.” They’ve asked if I want to move and no, not really. I like my quiet corner of the world. It’s dark and I’m not bothered much. I sometimes feel like the old guy from the Disney animation, Up (2009)

I ponder buying a new car or moving to a new place like I’m looking at a spreadsheet of credits and debits. Is the thrill and novelty of changing worth the effort it takes to change? Even in just trying to set up a new habit, the benefits have to outweigh the effort. Some are worth it. For example, working out, or more specifically, running has been worth it. I enjoy it and miss the effort when I can’t hit the pavement. Even beyond the euphoria of the run, the sweat makes me feel I’ve accomplished something.

Most of my changes are for progress. It’s not the novelty that makes me put in the mileage or sign my money away. I will sweat and endure the pain if it’s important to me. Maybe we’re all that way.

I just watched a family member move to another city and state. It’s difficult to watch someone go. It’s difficult to see the emotions on their face. There’s the uncertainty mixed with the excitement. New experiences and new people. A bigger city means more opportunities for the activities you like, but there’s also the trouble of finding a place to live and new friends. It takes time for the new place to feel like home. Finding a favorite store or a favorite running trail.

If you’re feeling like the earth has moved out from under you, don’t worry. Just breathe. And remember why you’re doing it. Over time you’ll find your balance again.

Do You Want Feedback?

good dayI’ve taken a second look at complaints. Once I thought I was in error or somehow rejected if someone disagreed or complained. But there are many situations in life that need disagreement, complaining or feedback.

Exercise requires it. You do a new workout or do the same workout with more intensity, you expect your body to give you feedback. Sore calf muscles are wonderful. You know you’re strengthening your arms if they hurt. Here is an interesting article on barefoot running, http://xeroshoes.com/barefoot-running/surfaces/

Recently we had a project at work. Not unusual in itself, but this one required a significant amount of work that needed multiple people to sort and find information. Usually, I do these myself because I’m not sure how to divide the spreadsheet and explain how to locate the information we needed. There was no simple A. B. C. directives. So I assigned the project as best I could and asked for feedback if they were having any issues. Are we finding what we needed? Is there a better or faster way? I expected, wanted, and requested feedback. If no one gave me feedback then how would I know if we were doing it correctly?

Most of the time we as people or as workers hide from feedback. It scares us. Like being called into the principal’s office. A friend of mine always reminds me that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. It’s a freeing thought, and I don’t mean it abusively. It’s too easy to get stuck and not make any decisions for fear of making a mistake. No one likes the yelling or the correction. It’s an automatic thing to hide from yelling.

Feeling like a victim or thinking everyone’s out to get you is backward thinking. Think of a pinball machine. Designers use a series of launchers, bumpers, and flippers to play a game. Life is a series of walls, springboards, and hurdles sometimes. When I run into a wall, maybe I need to reevaluate. It doesn’t matter if Tom, Dick, and Harry did it that way, it’s not working for me.

A true victim is someone who was acted upon by an unusual circumstance, not due to their own negligence or negative feedback. I often hear people at work complain that no one is listening to them or that management doesn’t notice their abilities. Speak up. They will listen and act upon anything that will actually help them. If they don’t notice your abilities, maybe what you are doing isn’t helpful in selling their product. If I’m needing water to drink, having a truck load of peanut butter is not very helpful, even as much as I think peanut butter is delicious. And you may have a lot of it.

Use the walls or negative feedback as guidance. Your outlook on life will change. You’ll notice that you’ll be able to make decisions easier. You’ll learn a “Let’s try this and see if it works” attitude. Take a chance. Go forward. If it doesn’t work for you, move on and try something different.

Another great writing by Seth Godin, Your call is very important to us.