This past weekend I was in Manitoba ministering
We are talking about go through or growing through changes in our life. Being willing to make a change or a series of changes is important. So is when we make the change.
- Changing for the sake of change gives a person whiplash
- Changing before you have to can lead to a big win, but it is difficult to do
- Changing when you have to gives you a win
- Changing after you have to leads to a loss
- Refusing to change is death to your potential
B> The loss of a trade-off is usually felt long before the gain
Often we want a change, but we don’t want to wait for the result. And often we become acutely aware of what we have lost or given up in the trade because we feel that immediately, while we often don’t reap the benefit of the trade until days, weeks, months, years, or even decades later.
These in-between periods of transition can be a real challenge. We want the outcome, but we have to face the end of something we like and face the uncertainty between that ending and the hoped-for new beginning, The change feels like a loss. Some people deal with the uncertainty fairly well; others don’t. Some recover from the psychological stress of change fairly quickly and process through it successfully; others don’t. How well you do will depend partly on personality and partly on attitude. You can’t change your personality, but you can choose to have a positive attitude and focus on the upcoming benefits of the trade-off.
C> Most trade-offs can be made at any time
There are many trade-offs in life that can be made at any time. For example, we can give up bad habits to acquire good ones anytime we have the willpower to make the decision. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep, trading inactivity for exercise, and developing better eating habits to improve our health are all matters of choice, not opportunity. Obviously, the sooner we make such decisions the better but most of the time they are not time driven.
After they made a bad trade-off, people often panic, feeling that they have blown it and can never recover. But seldom is that true. Most of the time, we can make choices that will help us to come back. I know that has been true for me. I have made more than my share of poor trade-offs, but I have made many U-turns and recovered.
My mentor taught me this little poem…
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, my friend. Anyone can start from now And make a brand new ending.
So when it comes to choices, never say never. Never is a long, undependable thing and life is too full of rich possibilities to have that kind of restriction placed upon it.
D> A few trade-offs come only once
The cycle of change gives us windows of opportunity in which to make decisions. Sometimes that cycle only goes around once. Miss it and the opportunity is gone. Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO of Intel, observed, “There is at least one point in the history of any company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next performance level. Miss that moment, and you start to decline.” The same is true in life and in ministry.
So, we need to have a good sense of self-awareness. We need to know who we are and where we are heading. As well, we need to be aware of and sensitive to the people and circumstances surrounding us. Then we can recognize these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and make the necessary changes to grab hold of and embrace them.