Buffeted by the successive waves of the external environment, we find ourselves in constant transitions. The transitions we undergo are the result of the change in the environment. That change takes the form of a new work, new social relationships, a new family or a new location. The reason the rate of change is accelerated is the speed of technological revolutions. So, at the deepest level, technology affects how we earn our living, how we have fun, how we educate ourselves, and how we relate to one another. The spiral starts with the new technology that triggers change that accelerates transitions in our life. Transition is basically a psychological process that each one needs to go through in order to come to terms with the new reality. Technology and change take place externally and stir confusion that demands us to accept and manage the new transition.
The problem comes when we deny the inevitable. Change is the inevitable, but our internal mechanism is resistant to it. This resistance can be manifested in our attachment to the emotional baggage of many things. One thing is our previous success and habitual living that breed complacency. Failure follows complacency. Even success holds the seeds of its own destruction for the more successful you are, the more competitors snatch a chunk of your business and by time nothing will be left.
To doubt the sustainability of your success is a surefire recipe for managing change. Your internal unsettling with the areas that needs to be improved in your life and in business prevent external changes from being in charge of your destiny. When faced with a sweeping change in the outside world, respond with an equal change inside of you. Challenge yourself and be attentive to the things that need to be improved in the methodology of your life and business. Reflect on the implications of not changing within to counter the external changes. Be receptive of any changes through acceptance. Acceptance here is not a choice, it’s imperative for denying reality will make you angry and anger is a downward spiral that leads to depression.
To be paranoid is to be in a constant state of disbelieving and worry. It seems to be a horrible word, but the legendary former president of the world’s chipmaker, Intel, proves the sanity of being a paranoid. In his revolutionary business book, Only the Paranoid survive, Andrew Grove charts a course for those who aspire to master change rather than being mastered by it. Grove awakens us to how new technologies upset the old order and change the rules of the game. He shows us how a company can lose control of its destiny if its leader is not visionary enough and capable enough to traverse “Valley of Death.”
Grove likens the times of transitions we get into to the valley of death. He is talking about unknown territory that seems to be hostile if only we denied its existence. He confirms that such times in our life are unavoidable and we need to make it through judiciously. He advices us, upon facing this valley, to form a mental image of what your life, or your company, should look like when it gets to the other side of this “valley of death.” Vision needs to be communicated to the parties involved, be they company staff or family members. Repeating and communicating the vision creates involvement that leads to commitment.
Change has accelerated the pace of transitions in life. The period of transitions are characterized by confusion and chaos. But that is the beginning; the outcome is dependent on our single-minded determination to chart a new direction for our life. There is no choice available for you either extinct or survive.