The "gradual change" in attitude about "change."


Photo Courtesy: Teddy on Flickr

If you recollect your childhood memories, you loved change. In fact you were looking forward to it.

When you could not turn, you worked hard on turning around.

When you could not move, you worked hard to crawl.

When you could not walk, you didn’t give up until you were able to walk.

Then you wanted to run.

Then you wanted to ride a bike.

After that you wanted to go to school, college, work, get married (may be not in the same order) etc.

You were looking forward to these changes eagerly.

Then, one day (or may be gradually) you started hating change. You didn’t like it anymore. You just wished things stayed the same way.

There are many explanations for why this happens and here are a few of them:

1. The After Effects
: Not all the change that you anticipated turned out to be great – meaning every change did not result in a happy ending. So there was some doubt about change.

2. Delayed Feedback: The changes during the growth phase (crawl-to-walk, walk-to-run etc.) provided immediate feedback on the progress. The changes in the later stages were not as simple as before. Many times the feedback about how you were doing with change came to you after weeks or months or sometimes it took years.

3. No guarantees
: The effort that was involved with change could not be negotiated but the results were not guaranteed.
Example: You wanted to become a manager. You started learning the skills required to become a manager. You could not negotiate on that effort but putting in that effort would not guarantee you that you will become a manager.

4. External dependency
: In the earlier scenario of crawl-to-walk, walk-to-run there was no external dependency. If you put in the effort, chances are you would get the result. However, most other changes later in life had external dependencies. Using the same example as above, if you wanted to become a manager, what starts becoming important is the relative effort. You can put in the effort but if your peers are putting in twice the effort, your effort falls short of what is required for you to become a manager.

5. Ability to Get By: You also notice that you can “get by” for a long time without paying the price for making the change. You notice that people around you are “getting by” and some of them are doing reasonably well (in the short-term) by not paying the price. So why should you?

Have a great week ahead!