Monday, September 11, 2017
Change Before You Have To
This one really caught my attention.
Change is scary. Change is hard. Most of us hate to change.
We are truly creatures of habit, habits which can make or break us.
Habit is even the subject of one of my favorite poems:
Who Am I?
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly.
I am easily managed - you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people; and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human being.
You may run me for a profit or turn me for ruin - it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I AM HABIT.
I like the t-shirt quote because it strongly suggests that Change is inevitable, which I believe. We cannot resist Change, at best we only delay it for a time. Often we may be reluctant to change until the pain of change is less than the pain of not changing.Because of this I think it is far better to be proactive and initiate Change on our own terms before ending up in a situation where it is thrust upon us.
Accepting change and initiating it on our own also helps us remain comfortable with the concept that the world is in flux, and to be less surprised when even unexpected changes occur. Complacency is truly the enemy or progress. For relationships, too, complacency is often the beginning of the end, leading to situations where one partner or another (sometimes even both) feel taken for granted or underappreciated - often a prelude to breakup.
In business, it is the same. In a very tearful interview post their acquisition by Microsoft, Nokia CEO stated "We didn't do anything wrong, but somehow we lost."
In retrospect, the world was changing and they chose to wait. Kodak, among others, is a great example. The death of 35mm film business did not catch them by surprise, but complacency and an unwillingness to embrace change led to the firm's rapid decline.
As a long-term veteran of the markets, I can also attest that whenever you are FORCED to take action, forced either to buy or sell, the price will never be as good for you as when you can choose your timing. This applies not just to stocks and other financial instruments, but to cars, homes and any other assets as well.
In Martial Arts, not unexpectedly, it is the same. Success can be summarized by denying choice of action to your opponent and keeping it for yourself.
Change is the only constant.