Time: The Forgotten Factor in Change

MP900309353Change may be welcomed or dreaded, but it seldom seems safe and almost always invokes stress. This post will address one of my six points for change that is important to remember when the negative impulse to change strikes: Have a plan, be intentional.

The worst thing to do is make a snap judgment about change based on emotions, whether those emotions are positive or negative.

Spoiler alert: This series on change will begin and end with the TIME factor of change. Because the last thing I want anyone to do is make a bad situation worse with a rush decision.

I drove a well-respected elder minister to Nashville after he preached a homecoming service at church. I was in a bind- I was dreading my Monday-morning-return to a job that was more and more unpleasant by the week. Having the opportunity to glean some wisdom from this great man, I asked him what I should do. He told me to keep doing what I was doing until I found something else to do.

The practical implications of losing my income aside, this advice was more sage than even the preacher might have realized. I did ultimately leave this job, but I did so with intentionality:

  • I chose when to leave
  • I chose where I was going
  • I chose why I was changing- to do something better, not to leave something that was bad.

And intentionality was made possible by TIME. Pain is a part of the price to play in life. With time, I may have decided that I was willing to take on the negative issues with that job in exchange for the positive difference I was making or the potential for growth that was available. With my current perspective, I know that if I had left that job based completely on the negative emotions I had at the time, I would have made a huge mistake. Since I took time to make the move, I can see that things were not as bad as I thought they were in my old job, but I still made the right decision because of the benefits of my new job. And I have no regrets.

Time is the forgotten factor in change, because emotion may scream, “Get me outta here!” But time grants you perspective, allowing you to decide if you should find a new gear and pull harder, or if you want to stop pulling and go somewhere else.

What’s driving you to change? Outside negative influences? Do you have what it takes to persevere? Or do you need more time to decide? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

See also:
Change Part 2
Organizational Change
The Most Powerful Social Change Ever

link to featured photo
Copyright 2013 Glen Gaugh

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