THE BLOG

Change, She is a' Comin'

01/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I have been a big fan of the work and person of Barbara Winter and her Winning Ways newsletter for many years. I even had the joy of dining with her on one of her many visits to New York City. Barbara is a leading expert on fulfilling work.

If you are an entrepreneur or a wannabe entrepreneur or a I-might-want-to-be-an-entrepreneur-when-I-grow-up entrepreneur, Barbara's wise work is for you!

Go to joyfullyjobless.com to learn about all her marvelous classes, tools and ideas for a joyfully jobless journey!

What appears below is from her e-newsletter. Her wisdom about different kinds of change grabbed my attention big time -- it's about how to be at peace with change. And, for the record, change, as promised by President-Elect Obama is on its way big time!

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Zora Neale Hurston:

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."

Care For Some Change?
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Doug is a transplanted Iowan who has kept his Midwest sensibilities and friendliness. He's also my favorite clerk at the post office which I visit every day, but it had been weeks since I'd managed to connect. This morning, however, I won the postal line lottery and had a chance to catch up. I asked him how he'd been and he sighed and said, "This has been our most difficult year ever." Then he added with a smile, "I know 2009 is going to be much better."

Plenty of people will be looking back at 2008 and coming to the same conclusion as Doug. It has been a year full of challenges and change. I happen to believe that many people are going to look back at 2008 and realize it was the year they began laying the foundation for living an amazing and creative life.

Why don't we all know that as it's happening? Changing times are often chaotic times causing many to feel confused and powerless. Those who resist surrender any hope of serenity, while those who understand and embrace change are seeing abundant opportunities. Since change is a constant, whether we approve or not, which position makes the most sense?

If you'd like to change the world or change your life or even change one tiny aspect of it, then you need to understand that change comes in two different packages and it's important to tell them apart.

There's Imposed Change which is the kind we can do nothing about. Taxes get raised, fashion designers insist we stop wearing willow green, or road construction slows down our travel plans. Imposed Change is most difficult to handle if you don't allow yourself to have options or insist on being inflexible or are committed to preserving the status quo.

On the other hand, there's Instigated Change. That's the kind that we think of as improving our lives because we have chosen it. Instigated Change happens after we pass through the preliminary steps that get us ready to take action. It's not necessarily any easier to adjust to Instigated Change than it is to Imposed Change, but it's ultimately more satisfying when we do adjust.

"I was always waiting around for someone to fix the world," confessed singer John Denver. "And then I realized that if the world was going to work, it was up to me." The day that you take responsibility for instigating positive change is the jumping off point for self-liberation. It's the day when a shift for the better happens and you discover that Embraced Change comes bearing gifts.

Imposed Change -- we all know about that kind and our own acceptance of or resistance to it.
Instigated Change -- still, at its core, change! How we handle it is up to us.
Ah, but . . .
Embraced Change! -- I consider this sort of change an email to the Universe.

I've decided.
I'm changing.
That's it!

That's when the Universal Conspiracy for Good kicks in. You take one step and the Universe takes five to meet you where and how you want to be met. In my experience, the Universe always, always, always delivers much more and better than my original request.

To peaceful, productive change in 2009!