“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I performed CPR today, but I didn’t save a life.
My “victim” was a training dummy brought in by the first aid trainer my company hired to train the emergency response team, of which I am a member. It was a fine looking dummy and lacked only a few things … like extremities.
There’s nothing extreme about emergency preparedness training. It’s one of those skills we all agree we should have. Nonetheless, it always manages to get put off. Perhaps because preparing for disaster forces us to think about disaster. That’s uncomfortable.
Sometimes change can be uncomfortable. A major change like a job loss or illness is certainly awful. Also, small changes can be uncomfortable such as breaking a bad habit or getting pulled off one project to work on another.
Change can also be very positive. Unfortunately, the more resistant we are to change, the less likely we are to let positive changes into our lives, and the benefits that come with it.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We can prepare for change just like we can prepare for an emergency.
To do that, start by watching how you react to, listen to, think about, and talk about new ideas. Notice how you react to the news. Let new possibilities rattle around in your brain before acting on them. Consider breaking a small bad habit, then actually break it.
If your spouse has a new idea, try not to reject it out of hand. Rather, use positive language to encourage more new ideas even if one idea is lame. When your boss describes his new initiative, don’t immediately say how hard it will be and follow the complainer crowd to the water cooler. Talk out the pros and cons.
Taking concrete action and making a genuine effort to prepare for change will make it easier to handle change in the future.
The next big change in your life doesn’t have to be a disaster.
As part of volunteering to be on my office’s emergency response team, I took a first aid course today. I hope never to use it, but I feel a little more prepared for the change that comes with a emergency.