Once you accept the reality that no matter who you are or what you do, you will need to make adjustments throughout your life, the focus becomes what adjustments to make and when to make them.
Said another way, you’re not asking, “Do I need to change anything?”. You’re asking, “How do I need to change and how do I recognize when to do it?”
Now I’ll introduce you to my personal favorite structure anyone can use, and the one I personally use, in order to wisely recognize the need and time to change in big or small ways.
There are three ways we all need to make adjustments throughout our lives. Nearly anything you might experience is understandable through this three-part lens. I’ll cover the first one today and the other two over the next two days.
The first type of change to be ready to make is responsive adjustments. This one is triggered by your circumstances, your environment, and the people in it. It originates with dynamics beyond your control, especially those beyond your influence. What it means is as events around you evolve, including other people, you must be responsive in how you adjust yourself to those changing circumstances.
This kind of change can be frustrating for people because it’s typically sparked by an unexpected, undesired, or misunderstood change in circumstances. Things like delayed flights, a moody family member, new compliance regulations, getting older, or the evolution of culture in society.
Simply stated, it’s anything beyond your ability to control that places you under some form of responsibility to deal with. The way you’ve previously handled it might have worked well, but all things evolve.
What you can’t afford to be is unresponsive to that reality. It doesn’t matter whether you like it. It doesn’t matter what you thought was supposed to happen. It doesn’t matter what you planned on doing.
If you don’t control it and you’re not able to influence it back into alignment with your expectations, the disciplined action is to responsively adjust yourself to the circumstances you can’t change. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to do this every week and there always will be!
Everything is training for something. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.