More often than not, stress accompanies change. The best way to deal with change is to anticipate and be ready for it. Much like if you know you’re departing a warm building to enter the frigid outdoors, you will don on a warm jacket and gloves so the temperature change doesn’t shock you. And if you know you’re about to hit a bump on the road, you brace yourself so you don’t get thrown from your seat. It’s only when you get caught off guard that you get into trouble. So, always be on the alert for change. If complacent, you will likely miss key signs of it coming your way.
“Change descends on every one equally,” said Azim Premji, CEO of Wipro Corporation of India. “It is just that some realize it faster.”
While sudden changes often get attention because they are most dramatic, the gradual changes are ignored until it is too late. The following example of the boiled frog illustrates it best:
If you place a frog in a pot of water and suddenly increase the temperature, the frog will notice and quickly jump out if it can. But if the temperature is increased very slowly, one degree at a time, the frog does not realize it and boils to death.
Thus, you must develop your own early-warning system for change. If change is anticipated and you stay alert at first sign, you can position yourself to take advantage of it.
To effectively deal with change, you must keep up with various shifts. However, you can’t adjust to what you don’t know. So extensively read industry literature within the field in which you pursue prosperity. Look for trends and develop strategies for riding these trends to success.
Don’t also overlook the possibility of influencing change. My coauthor of “Life Balance the Sufi Way”, Dr. Nido Qubein, sums it up neatly:
Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? A thermometer only reflects the temperature of its environment, adjusting to the situation. But a thermostat initiates action to change the temperature in its environment.