Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Adapting to Change Keeps You in the Smart Zone

Have you seen my house lately? I've been dealing with a lot of change - including not being able to find my favorite shoes! Click here to watch a short video of what's going on at my house.

Lot's of changes aren't planned in life - and luckily my home remodeling is a planned change. Learning how to adapt to planned changes in your life will equip you with skills to better handle unexpected changes like a job loss, divorce or major illness. As stressful as it can be having my house is disarray for a few weeks I know that my coping skills will be improved from it which will help me stay in the Smart Zone.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan,

    Pertinent & valuable lesson on the topic of change! I could not agree more that learning to adapt to planned changes in our lives will equip us with skills to better handle unexpected changes in our lives. However, I strongly believe that UNEXPECTED change can serve to be an even more effective tutor because it thrusts us into the unknown whether we are ready or not. It is during times of UNEXPECTED change when we truly learn what we are made of. My intention is not to discount your lesson. My real life experience in dealing with unexpected change arrived in the form of a house fire in Chicago in January at 3:00 a.m. As you stated, we "better figure out how to handle change" as IT WILL COME. Our practiced fire plan saved our lives. We lived in a hotel for 18 months with rows and rows of boxes stacked 3 feet high. You hit the nail on the head when you stated that we are emotionally, behaviorally & intellectually challenged during these events. So, for me to view a 2 week planned house project kind of made me giggle. I mean no offense. We toiled for over 12 months (every week-end) sorting through, cleaning & conducting an entire home inventory in shin-deep burned rubble & soot amongst the remains of over 45 years of burned unrecognizable possessions, of which only approximately 5% were salvageable.

    My main point is that nothing prepares anyone for this type of unexpected change, one "writes the book" as you go along. We learned everything we could about insurance, building materials, contractors, building codes, etc. We had to assume personal responsibility to ensure that our house re-building project was completed correctly, legally & safely. We learned to deal with contractors who stole building materials from us and also committed bank fraud. We decided to record every conversation with anyone who worked for us & my husband quit his job to catch the thieves in action. Life goes on & I still had to go to work every day (I was given 7 days to get back to work after I lost everything I ever owned & was expected to PERFORM WELL upon my return). Now, there’s a great topic for you, “how to perform your job well after you have become a fire victim, go through a divorce or have to foreclose on your home.” Many people are walking around having gone through these unexpected life-changing events right now, but they don’t appear any different to anyone else. You are absolutely correct; CHANGE will land on everyone's doorstep in the form of the potential sudden death of a loved one, terminal illness, job loss, divorce, etc. There is no training or "How to" book relevant to “You've made it out of your house fire alive, now what?" These hellish unexpected events occur every day & the best preparation in surviving is taking charge of what you can, playing it really SMART and insisting that all parties (contractors, insurance agents, building inspectors, etc.) EARN your trust first before anyone doles it out. No one can be trusted when profits are up in the air for grabs. Self-education, perseverance, HARD WORK and a mind-set that won't give up until the job is done right are CRITICAL to surviving unexpected chaos that could prolong for multiple months. Also,having a good sense of humor (yup, it's true) can turn a miserable day around in a heart beat. Lastly, holding strong to the reality that “this, too, shall pass” is critical in moving forward and that most of us are much stronger than we give ourselves credit.

    (P.S. I sent this anonymous for legal & personal privacy, but would be happy to share my identity with you, if you desire, just leave a message here). Keep up the GREAT work & remember, your remodeling, too, shall pass :)
    Best to you & yours~