Shopping for a Boat

Andrea Chilcoteby Andrea Chilcote

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? At least close to 400, the length of this post.

Andrea ChilcoteToday I saw a cartoon drawing on LinkedIn that stopped me in my tracks. In one box, labeled “your plan,” there was a bicyclist starting up a moderate incline, with a checkered flag at the top. A box below it was labeled “reality.” Along the road there was a pile of boulders, a washed out hole with a precarious bridge covering it, a deep body of water requiring a boat, and the requisite stormy skies. The checkered flag was missing.

Not being a pessimist, at first it was tempting to scoff. But the depiction got me thinking about an idea I’ve been kicking around lately with anyone who will listen. We need a new way of looking at change – in organizations and in our lives.

For many years, change gurus have been helping people manage through it by defining change as “transition.” The idea is that that change is a process not an event, and that there is a common psychological path we follow as we move though ending the old, shifting into neutral, then eventually embracing new beginnings.

My insight is that it seems that today there are no real new beginnings, at least not in the traditional sense. Rarely do things “stabilize” as we settle in. In the organizations I work with, change is usually a prelude to more change. It’s certainly true in families – births, deaths, unions and divorces are just events that precipitate more disruption in the status quo.

So maybe we need a shift in our thinking. Maybe the second cartoon drawing need not represent a series of inevitable negative events, but rather a “reality” that honestly depicts the truth of a complex and dynamic world. We can choose to view changes as obstacles, or we can choose to put one foot in front of the other and even enjoy the experience. Build a bridge, buy a boat. It’s my opinion that those who learn to do this with open hearts and minds vs. fear and resentment are the ones who possess the resilience essential for life as we know it.

Maybe the change gurus will come up with a new model for coping. Meanwhile, I’m shopping for a boat.

“…the measure of success is how we cope with the disappointment…”

—Evelyn Greenslade, character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie


The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a blogger. Enjoy it!

4 thoughts on “Shopping for a Boat

  1. So I feel a Jimmy Buffett song coming on…the song is called Boats to Build (he sings it with Alan Jackson on the album “License to Chill”). The opening lyric is “It’s time for a change” and the chorus is “I’m gonna build me a boat with these two hands, She’ll be a fair curve from a noble plan, Let the chips fall where they will cause I’ve got boats to build. The song is about working with the sails, the wind, and the waves to find the distant shores your heading towards.

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  2. Learning to foxtrot then realizing that you needed to learn line dancing…keeps one continuously discovering things about one’s self that would never have been noticed before,,, New tools in our hands allow our body selves to show us things about our talents that we never knew before—dizzily bedazzling

    Like

  3. This my fav of urs. You nailed something insightful, intriguing, potent!

    Might call with message!

    Waitin to have a person change SIM card so that charger will work on phone… Thing for our group maybe Sunday at PST 12 ..?

    I will still need to draw, wrie etc. one digit..it’s going to be like that for awhile….

    Namaste,

    Karla

    >

    Like

  4. This my fav of urs.

    Waitin to have a person change SIM card so that charger will work on phone… Thing for our group maybe Sunday at PST 12 ..?

    I will still need to draw, wrie etc. one digit..it’s going to be like that for awhile….

    Namaste,

    Karla

    >

    Like

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