Sometimes we bump into inspiration, like I did with the book stand at the San Jose, California, airport last month.
Sometimes we literally trip over it, as was the case with the spray-painted message (above photo) I saw last week on a sidewalk in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Either way, it seems the universe is trying to tell us something, and we need to listen.
Back to that airport book stand. On it, a small, hardcover book was calling to me with its highly provocative cover: Unfu*k Yourself. The Scottish author, Gary John Bishop, tells us up front, “If you’re easily offended, stop reading now and regift this to someone in your life who you think might benefit from it.”
But, if you’re willing to lean in, Bishop will reward you with a series of personal assertions that can help you, as he says, “Get out of your head and into your life.”
That’s where the sidewalk message ties in: Start where you stand. Bishop suggests that we need to start right now – this very second, to feed a different message to our brain.
“The world revolves around change,” states Bishop. “It’s never the same from one day to another…” He continues, “Our minds would love to predict and plan for everything that’s going to happen. But it’s simply not possible.”
We can’t predict – or control change, in either our personal life or work life. And isn’t that what makes change so challenging? We’re human. We have emotions. And we have triggers.
So how do we take the human element into account when planning to activate change in our places of work?
I’m reminded, by our recent work with teams in San Jose and Atlanta, and similar work happening this week in London and Boston, that we need to validate the thoughts and emotions associated with change.
We need to create a space for authenticity and vulnerability so that people are seen and heard.
Yes, we need thoughtful, strategic change plans and the systems and processes to support the desired future state, but we also need to build in time for the human stuff.
As Bishop reminds us, it’s the stuff in our heads that can stand in the way of meaningful and lasting change in our personal lives. I would add, the same applies to change at work.
Now – get out of your head! Start where you stand.
Thanks for being involved today.