Ever felt like you should keep doing something even when it feels wrong? Or that people will think you’re flaky or undependable if you decide to do something else? This is about why changing your mind is not only natural, but smart.
The desire for change is everywhere. We say ‘yes’ to an invitation one week, and the day-before realize we really don’t want to go. We decide on a particular university degree and mid-way through the truth hits: this isn’t for us. We get promoted and are thrilled, only to have the maximized job and related pressures highlight the realization that we weren’t unhappy because we wanted more–we were unhappy because we wanted less.
We feel stuck and part of us believes we can’t change our mind. We stay put. We get stressed. Happiness goes down. Sadness goes up.
And yet changing tracks is not only normal and natural, it’s smart.
Harvard Business School prof Clayton Christensen calls it “disruptive innovation”—the products and services invented by smaller companies that can respond to the world’s needs more quickly, with easier to use solutions.
This means the older, more established, previously unsinkable companies with set ways of doing things are being left in the dust. Smaller businesses able to respond more quickly and make faster movements are thriving.
Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, explains the changes in the economy, in careers and in business today this way: The left-brain skills and abilities—dealing with tasks that are logical, linear, sequential, and analytical—used to be the ones that matter most. These skills and abilities are accessed and used a heckuva lot in careers and professions like being a doctor, an accountant, an engineer, or a lawyer.
And it’s these kinds of professions that many of us were taught we needed to pursue in order to succeed. Pink teaches that the skill-set most often accessed in these types of gigs are still necessary, but no longer sufficient.
These days, what’s happening in the economy, in careers and in business today is this: Right hemisphere skills and abilities: being artistic, empathic, more about synthesis rather than analysis, more about the big picture, more about context rather than text—these abilities are now the ones that matter most.
“We’re progressing” says Pink “to a society of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers.”
And creative, empathetic meaning makers–I have a hunch that’s you–are simply more tuned in to not just their own changing tides, but the changing tides of the world around them. And your ability to sense that a change is necessary is not only good for your health and happiness, but likely also for your bank account.
Our world is constantly changing.
A seed becomes a flower that pushes it’s way up through the dirt to bloom beneath the sun.
Ocean water evaporates to become clouds and then rain.
Winter turns to Spring and Summer turns to Fall.
And beneath the changing seasons a tree grows tall, blossoms and green leaves emerge. Eventually they change colour, turning auburn, burnt orange, and brilliant yellow. They fall. Winter arrives and the tree pulls it’s resources inward.
Through it all, it stays rooted. Constantly growing upward. Constantly growing stronger. Changing all the while.
Give yourself permission to change. Your mind. Your outfit. Your destiny.