“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”
“It seems to be that the secret to change is to focus on the opportunities on a new path, not the comfort of a worn trail.”
Remember that kids’ game, musical chairs? And how once the music stops you have to scramble to get a seat –and sometimes you get shut out? Well, it strikes me that coping with change is a lot like playing a game of musical chairs — everyone wants that safe, comfortable seat, but there aren’t enough to go around.
Change is tough — and as writers, we have to handle our fair share of it: Upheavals in the book industry, self-publishing, constant shifts in social media, a wave we thought we were catching that suddenly passes us by, only to be followed by another.
What to do? What to do? Recently, I came across a few helpful pointers from Barry Farber, the author of 12 books and a motivational coach, on weathering change:
Do an attitude check: Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, and an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” How true! When we’re open enough to equate change with opportunity rather than with difficulty, we’re more likely to benefit and learn from it.
Be curious: As Barry puts it, “If we are not learning every day we are not just standing still in life, we are moving backwards. Learning new information motivates us and gives us a foundation of knowledge that can be applied to the changes we face.”
Break it down: “By the mile, it’s a trial, by the yard, it’s hard, but by the inch, it’s a cinch.” When you’re trying to master something new in response to change, take small steps in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Breaking a challenge down into bit-sized, achievable goals is a powerful motivator.
Stay loose: Be flexible and open-minded: look for ways to take advantage of the changes that come your way. Be an opportunist, not a gloom-and-doomist. And write on!