Why Changing It Up Is A Must

DSCF4077

Change is hard, especially if you’re a creature of habit. No one can argue that life can be much more comfortable when we keep our environments familiar, stable, and within our control. But sometimes, change is necessary–even if it requires us to get uncomfortable. Changing up our routines, patterns, and ways of living can be for our good.

The past few months in my life have introduced a series of changes that have caused me to reflect on the value of change. In the midst of these recent changes, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons:

1. God is in control. Though we may think we’re in control of decision-making, God always has the final word. It may take some time to see God’s hand working in the midst of a difficult change, but if your perspective and heart are both in the right place, you’ll eventually see that God was walking with you all along the way.

2. There’s always room for improvement. The older we get, the easier it is to get cozy in a familiar setting or environment, especially a career. But when opportunities appear to put a new skill or talent to use in a different way, be open to giving it a shot. You might quickly realize it was the best decision you ever made. You might struggle in the early stages yet eventually discover that perseverance pays off. You might even find it wasn’t the best move, but in the end you can at least say you tried. Ultimately, give yourself some room to grow and make yourself better.

3. Wisdom comes from experience. Want wisdom? Get out there and live! The wisest people are those who experience new things and new places. Travel when you can. Interact with new people. Explore new environments. You’ll not only better appreciate your own upbringing and culture, but you’ll have a better perspective of how others think, feel, and react to life’s circumstances. Ultimately, don’t live your life in a box.

The late great actress Lucille Ball was credited with the quote, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” And while there could be arguments for or against this saying, there’s wisdom in these words when it comes to change. Allow yourself to get uncomfortable enough to experience something that could change your life for the better. Change may hurt a little, but with a positive perspective, you’ll become wiser and better as you let go and allow God to lead you on the journey.

Do you have a story or testimony of how changing something up in your life made you better? I’d love to hear it. Comment below.

Advertisements

Change–Face It and Embrace It

change

A lot can happen in a year.

For me, 2012 was a year that brought a lot of change–change I wasn’t quite prepared for. But in the midst of the many unexpected changes along the way, I’ve experienced some of my life’s greatest blessings. And God has made me better–for Him and others.

Facing Change
I’ve always been the type of person who thrives on change. I like trying new things, new ways, at new times, and at new places. New experiences always make me appreciate old ones. New environments always give birth to a fresh creative spirit. New relationships always prove to better define past ones.

But as good as change can be, it’s never comfortable. Change requires surrender, and surrender demands a shift in pride. All in all, these are small sacrifices when it comes to the fruits of change.

My 2012 was uncomfortable. I surrendered several comforts along the way. My pride was then shifted. And now in 2013, I’m able to look back and see the fruits.

Embracing Change
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from facing change, it’s that you must also embrace it. It’s in the moments when you open your heart and mind to the changes that lie ahead that you begin to see God do a work inside you that’s beyond your realm of understanding. And the rewards are plentiful.

In 2012, I decided to embrace the changes before me. I surrendered my small realm of thinking and allowed God to do what only He can–make me better. I decided to trust His plan instead of the ones I had crafted on my own. And I discovered a life so much more abundant than I’ve ever known.

I survived several changes within my job and work structure. The fruit was found in embracing a new position in which I truly love and am able to creatively and passionately use my skills and talents for His glory. I allowed myself to invest in the pursuit of new relationships. The fruit was revealed when God opened my eyes to the most beautiful relationship in my life for the past twelve years–and in less than three months, I’m marrying my best friend. God has the most unique and beautiful way of orchestrating His plans. Let’s not hold Him back!

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, we learn that “for everything, there’s a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (ESV). So often, we coast through seasons of life without acknowledging God’s perfect plans. We attempt to craft our own plans–and we fail. So we try again. And again. And eventually, we finally open our eyes to God’s perfect plan and begin to experience the abundance of His love. Don’t postpone joy.

In work, relationships, or life experiences, how do you deal with change?

Are there situations of change that God may be asking you to face…and embrace?

No matter the change that lies ahead, remember to look for God in the midst of it. Allow Him to change your heart and transform your life. And then–a year later–bask in the fruits of His plan and provision. A change can do you good.

Need a Boost in Team Morale?

Image

Morale. It’s so important to a team’s success. Chances are, we’ve all experienced a lack of morale at some point along the way. Even if a team is composed of weak or unskilled players, strong morale can be the one important factor that keeps them focused and in the game. Similarly, a team of MVPs can fall to defeat when morale is low.

So what causes low morale?

In the cases when I’ve most often observed low morale, there’s usually a consistency in either a lack of passion from leadership, a mistrust of leaders in place, or patterns of constant change or instability. Team members need passionate leaders and coaches who are present and accessible (within reason). The most trusted leaders are those who cast strong vision, empower the players’ talents/skills, encourage and affirm team progress, and invest in the players. And obviously, a team in constant transition of players, policies, and practice techniques will almost always struggle with low morale, based on the sheer fact that healthy teams need time to bond, train, and grow together for chemistry and balance.

More importantly, how can one work to ensure a steadfast state of high morale?

Whether or not any of the above factors are in play within your organization, the power of maintaining a strong team morale is essentially in your own hands. Consider these 3 tips for boosting morale.

  1. When you start to see a drop in morale, maybe it’s time for you to step up your game and lead from within. Can your teammates see your passion? Remember that it often takes just a small spark to ignite a giant flame. Also, be on the lookout for ways to fan the flame of other teammates’ passions.
  2. Don’t trust your current leadership? Maybe it’s time to get to know your leader better. Ask him or her to lunch (if possible). Read his or her blog. Send them handwritten notes of encouragement. Often, what leads to a lack of trust is a lack of understanding. Get to know your leaders.
  3. While change is inevitable, consider its benefit. Sure, we hate to see players leave the team. But sometimes a strong player’s exit can open the door to strengthening your own weaknesses. What new talents and skills can you bring to the team that was previously being repressed? And, with time, we often find that new players sometimes bring that missing ingredient for your team’s success. Give change a chance.

Are you currently seeing a dip in morale within your team’s environment? If so, what are some other causes or trends you’ve observed in contributing to the lack of morale?

How do you contribute to maintaining high team morale? What advice would you give to others dealing with this within their organizations?