Anticipating Change

Many of us don’t get too excited about change unless we know there will be no pain and everything to gain. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”. Sometimes change can cause great pain and so we decide there will be no more changes for me.

We come into this world and we change with each passing day. It’s expected of us to change. We are encouraged by our parents, teachers and those who love us, to learn new things every day.

As a child, we anticipate and welcome change. If you’ve forgotten, just ask a four-year-old how old she is. I remember when my grandson was four years old. He was full of excitement about the changes he is making and the plans for his future were limitless. He had a clear understanding that he will need to grow in order to do all the things he wanted to do. If you asked him how old he is, he would tell you he is four and a half and very soon he will be five. He goes on to say that when he is five he will go to school and when he is six he’s gonna ride a real motor cross bike. His mind knows no boundaries!

As a child, change was necessary. As adults change is still necessary, however, we begin to think differently about change. We resist it, argue against it, and wish we could go back to the time when changing was exciting. But no matter how hard we resist it, change is inevitable. And necessary.

To live is to grow and to grow is to change.
Everything that is living is growing and no matter how old we are we should continue to explore, dream and learn. Learning is growing.

After nearly six decades on earth, I don’t get as anxious about change as I once did. I get comfortable with it very quickly. I like to change and grow. It’s exciting to learn something new. When it comes to change, I want to relax, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

When we were building our company, Auntie Anne’s, we grow rapidly in numbers and have experienced a lot of change over our fifteen years. Some of the changes were very difficult, some painful, some exciting and yet, all the changes enhanced my personal growth. I often say, “if we want to grow professionally, we must grow personally”. One without the other is lopsided and unhealthy.

We need to learn to anticipate change, which means we actually expect it, instead of fear it’s arrival. It’s a lot like an experience on an airplane. We buy our tickets, get comfortably seated, sit back and enjoy the ride. (At least most of the time.) We may unbuckle, find a comfortable position and possibly take a nap.

In order for us to get to where we want to go, we know we will have to land. We know our nap or our comfortable position is short lived. The pilot will announce the landing and the flight attendants will prepare the cabin. The anticipated change is that we will buckle up, put our seats in an upright position, our tray tables up and locked, all because there is a change ahead. As frequent fliers, we always anticipate the change for landing. It may be bumpy, windy or downright scary, but without the change, we would not be able to get to our destination.

It’s the same with life and growing as individuals. We will not be able to get to our destination without constant changes. Some of the changes may be uncomfortable, scary and even bumpy, but if we can learn to anticipate change we will have a safe landing and our destination will be exciting!

What changes can you begin to anticipate in your life?

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