Defining change can be challenging for some; understanding change can be mystifying for most. Simply defined, change is doing something different. Trying an unusual recipe, traveling to a foreign country, or meeting a new friend are differences and representative of change. These changes are oftentimes beyond the comfort and security of an orderly life; it is natural, even expected, to be apprehensive about the experience at its beginning, then exhilarated at its conclusion.
Change is mystifying because there is not a systematic, prescribed format to study what to change, when to change, and how to change. Moreover, the impact and consequences of change cannot often be predicted with a high degree of confidence, which can lead to rising instability and insecurity. That said, a broader understanding of change can be realized, and a greater awareness of its challenges and complexities gained, by learning the eight key concepts of change. They are:
• First, the impetus to change is determined by asking one, simple question: can a better life be achieved by traveling the same road, or by choosing a different path. Rarely is the “better” life achieved by following the “same” path.
• Second, change is part of life. The insatiable quest to think, be, act, and behave differently than our parents, siblings, school mates, friends, and neighbors pervades and consumes our culture.
• Third, change can be learned. Reading voraciously, studying the perils of complacency and the thrills of adventure, knowing where to go, and striving for greatness provide the knowledge and skills to triumph through change.
• Fourth, avoiding or hindering change seldom results in a more steady and stable present, but rather a more unpredictable and unstable future.
• Fifth, change viewed as beneficial is always welcome and supported; change viewed as harmful is always unwelcome and resisted.
• Sixth, change favors those who can adapt to the changing circumstances of a different future.
• Seventh, those with natural curiosity – the explorers and inventors who think differently – rule the world. Imagination and originality are the defining characteristics of healthy organizations and wealthy employees.
• Finally, never be a victim of change. Accept responsibility for your life, control the trajectory of its course, and determine your own destiny. Change may be inevitable, but failure is not.
We live in an increasingly volatile and precarious time where we must renew our country, transform our culture, innovate our organizations, retrain our employees, and better ourselves. We must change a world where violence is favored rather than peace, deflecting blame rather than assuming responsibility, leveling criticism rather than unstinting praise, and instilling fear rather than offering hope. Finally, our financial systems must be restored, the environment must be repaired, diseases must be eradicated, famine must be ended, and political structures must be rebuilt. It is a world dangerously close to the precipice.
Though we do dream of something better, and those dreams of a better world may be worthwhile, they are worthless unless we do something about them. Fortunately, our history has not yet been written and our destiny has not yet been determined. We remain limited only by the boldness of our ideas and the guts to make them come true.
Too often, we believe the major problems of our age are caused by others; we have learned that the major problems start and end with each and every one of us. Changing others, and changing the world, begins by changing ourselves. My eternal hope is that by reading this book you will work to become a more decent and honorable person: one who takes responsibility for their actions, works to rebuild not destroy the Earth and its inhabitants, and seeks to be more appreciative of your good fortune and more giving to those less fortunate. If you can take that opportunity, you will make a difference in the lives of your fellow man and forever change the world in which you live.
Another Brief Statement from Book
Change can magically transform a person from where they are to where they should be, and reshape a future without hope to one without limits. The most constructive and profound change occurs when you have the right dreams at the right time and for the right reasons; when you have the determination to make the painful sacrifices and tough decisions emblematic of great people; when you are given the chance to do so; when you are absolutely confident in your direction and outcome; and you truly believe you can make a difference.