“…turn and face the strain.”

Some days when I sit down to tap out the daily email I know exactly what I am going to say. Others I have no idea until I am at the keyboard. My favorite days are when I feel an idea moving through me. It is usually surprising. Sunday afternoons are my time of weekly calibration. (See P.S.). That is when I line out what I intend to write about each day, but I remain flexible to what moves me in the moment because I suspect that what moves me may move you as well.
It was an interesting chain of thought that led me to today’s topic – “CHANGE”.
Somehow it was inspired by my sweet sister Suzie. If you want to know how I feel about her see my Legacy Affirmation Message to her HERE. I barely held it together to get through filming my message to her. Hard to even now when I think about that moment as I was sitting in my car about to head into a doctor’s appointment for some of the best news I have ever received. (Another story for another day).
I have shared an excerpt from Energy Bus about leading from the heart. It was on the same day that my sweet sister had hip replacement surgery. Knowing she is in tremendous pain and unable to take narcotics as I write this is, pardon the pun, a tough pill to swallow. Suzie leads her life from the heart. She has endured physical maladies I wouldn’t wish on anyone. As she remains the steady rock for those she loves the main constant in her life has been change.
I wonder what change you are coping with in your life. What is true for Suzie is true for you and I. Change is occurring all the time. It is happening on macro levels and micro levels.
“…individual cells have a finite life span, and when they die off they are replaced with new cells. As The New York Public Library’s Science Desk Reference (Stonesong Press, 1995) notes, “There are between 50 and 75 trillion cells in the body…. Each type of cell has its own life span, and when a human dies it may take hours or days before all the cells in the body die…
Red blood cells live for about four months, while white blood cells live on average more than a year. Skin cells live about two or three weeks. Colon cells have it rough: They die off after about four days. Sperm cells have a life span of only about three days, while brain cells typically last an entire lifetime (neurons in the cerebral cortex, for example, are not replaced when they die).”
Our brain cells may not replace themselves, but that doesn’t mean our mindset has to remain the same. Managing change appropriately can be one of the most healthy and intelligent skill sets we take on board. For years, intelligence was primarily measured by IQ, but advances in the study of life success revealed that one’s IQ had no correlation to an ability to cope with the variables of life. Plenty of change takes place under our individual radar but sometimes change gets personal and it hurts and if our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) hasn’t matured, it’s even more difficult. EQ essentially boils down to one word, “flexibility”. I remember the first time I heard, Mom Lois, the Eighty-something-year-old wife of a camp director say,
“Do you know what the ‘F’ word in camp is? …FLEXIBILITY.”
Flexibility is our skill and speed in processing change. At first blush, it sounds like rolling with the punches, but I would like to suggest that it can be more than that if we prepare ourselves to grow continually in character. We do that by approaching change with a higher level of thought. When you take the 7 Levels course this will make more sense to you.
As an instrument of change, both in the giving and receiving end, I can share two thoughts that I have found valuable. The first seems a bit trite, especially if you are resisting change but here goes,
“We don’t know what we like, we like what we know.”
I’m guessing you have heard that before. To me, it speaks to awareness. We tend to view change we don’t initiate, and even some we do, through a black and white lens. It is either “GOOD” or it is “BAD”. Trust me, some change starts out on the “VERY BAD” end of the spectrum, but I like another saying Mom Lois once said,
“The Lord takes a longer look.”
He sees farther down the road than we do and what begins in unpleasantness often ends much more positively. If you have ever been fired from a job and bounced back you are smelling what I am cooking. Which leads me to the second learning that has helped me as an agent of change who has worked through the process of change many times over. Here it is. The process of change is no different than the stages of grief. Do you know them?
Stages of Grief
• Shock
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression (anger turned inward)
• Acceptance
In my lifetime, the world has moved out of the Industrial Age and into the Information Age. I tend to agree with those who say the Information Age is over. History will find a title for the new age (lower case intended). But I have a seed to plant. Why don’t we take the lead and make this the Transformation Age? Let’s leave the lower levels of life behind and quit waiting for someone else to define our life for us. Let’s be, as the good book says,
“Transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
What if we refused to ever allow ourselves to be in the role of hapless victim ever again and grabbed ahold of the idea that the circumstances and events of our lives are gifts for the growth of our soul – the development of our character. What if we finally got it – it is not about us. Everyone around us wins when we grow. Whether change is something we initiate or absorb, we decide if it becomes transformational.
Let’s increase our TQ – Transformational Intelligence.
Anyone with me? I know some who are. If no one else is, I am still going up where the worthwhile things are waiting.Warmly,

Rick Burris

PS The Weekly Calibration comes in the Productivity Jet Pack of the Leaders Backpack course.

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