Courage to Change

There are very few things that are as profound as the act of change. In our personal and business lives, we, for the most part are creatures of habit.

Routine make us feel secure and brings order to our lives. Staying within our own daily grind gives us a sense of security. It’s only when change is thrust upon us that we wake up and see the possibilities that are right in front of our eyes.

Finding the courage

“It’s an act of courage to let go,” Mr. Simon said. “I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that’s gone, if you have to make up yourself, who are you?”

Paul Simon after his final concert

Is it courage or just letting go? Either way you look at it, it’s about losing your fear and following a different path than the one you are on. In the advertising/marketing world, this could be about new channels of connection or a commitment to do something different without the fear of failure. In your personal life, it could be about a change in lifestyle from family provider to empty nester. Do you really need a large home in the suburbs when a small loft in an urban setting can provide a new circle of friends, community, and lifestyle that was unimaginable just a few months ago?

I’m reminded of the circle of life – with all its passages from birth, to teenager, to young adult, through middle age, then confronted by old age and ultimately death. It’s a pattern that affects each of us both personally and professionally.

Advertising firms start small, full of energy and ideas. Middle age sets in with long-term clients and employee obligations. Old age becomes apparent when the owners hold on too tightly and are disrupted by new technologies and an ever-changing employee pool. When confronted by these new realities, the owners can either embrace change and learn new languages and technologies or prepare their funeral pyres.

Change makes us confront reality and feel alive. New situations and challenges boost our energy levels, sharpen our senses, and most of all change our perceptions. Life is for living – get off the treadmill and experience what’s just over the horizon.

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