Troubled Transitions

Gary, Davis, Christianity, Change, Trouble, Transitions          Far too frequently we hear the cry that our society needs more change agents. The implication is that the way things are presently just isn’t good enough. Pick a field— politics, business, transportation, medicine, religion (especially Christianity), finances, yadayadayada. Everything needs some form of change.

            The problem with change is that it invariably dumps us into a transitional time where even more things become unclear, unsteady, and iffy. O joy. Just what we need— more instability. Well, actually, we do.

Transitions in any segment of life move us out of the predictability, safety and definitions within one life-phase into an arena of uncertainty, a transition.

Transitions aren’t necessarily marked by growth. Though most people would hope they grow within a transition, many people, and businesses flounder, unable to set a new direction, given the changing global circumstances or personal situation. But without the cloudiness of a transition, things would stay too-much-same.

When you think about it, the cycle of phases and transitions, phases and transitions, is constant throughout your own life, or the life of a company, or country. The shifts are marked by what Malcom Gladwell has declared as tipping points— literally, those events or experiences that push us right over the edge and force us to consider something else in the future…, or tomorrow, or next week.

So when you consider becoming a change agent also consider how it will affect you, personally, your business, your family, and the greater good. Do you want to create the circumstances that lead you and those with you into a transition?

Transitions are uncertain times. Just make sure you are ready for the fog that lies ahead. But, by all means, keep moving forward. Besides think of all the fun constant predictability takes out of the adventure we call life?!?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

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Getting Lost

Lost, Thoreau, Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, risk, reflectionMost of us, at some time or another, will get lost. It may be as simple as getting lost on back roads or forgetting where your glasses are; or, more seriously, getting lost in life; that is, losing your sense of direction, purpose, and/or identity. In short, you no longer know where you are, who you are, or where you are heading.

A dead stop.

In the midst of that empty confusion certain questions start to arise—

How did I get here? What could I have done differently? How do I start to dig out of this mess? More importantly— How do I find myself again? Who am I now? What do I do next?

Anxiety starts to immobilize your spirit; you cannot take any action for fear of further failure. But you have to do something. Anything! Here are some of the things I’ve done when I’ve gotten lost.

1. I start taking small steps. What are the little things you can definitely accomplish that will bring some semblance of stability or order to your life? Do that. Then do another one.

2. Keep in mind that when you are lost everything is a risk. Things you used to do as a simple matter have now morphed into insurmountable monsters. Nonetheless, you must face those monsters to overcome them. I had to. And I corralled a cadre of friends to stand by me as I faced them.

3. Don’t ask God to do for you what you must do yourself. He is definitely in charge. But we are not mindless robots. He expects us to act responsibly with the time He has given us.

4. God can’t direct a parked car. Start moving. If it’s in the wrong direction, He’ll redirect you.

5. Establish NEW points of reference for your journey. The former points of reference are gone; you’ve already passed them. If you want to find your way again, you’ll need to discover a whole new set of reference points to guide you. I find I need to cut back on my activities to give my mind, and heart, time to process the mental & emotional shift. What will most likely be the next sign along your path that you are getting back on track?

With all the variables we have to juggle these days it’s easy to get lost along the way. You have to work hard to get back on track. So get to it. Drive! You will not stay lost for long. [Proverbs 16:3.]

Honor God, honor people…, make a path,

Gary

Bring it!

Dr, Gary, Davis, attitude, failure, stubborn, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, Really?  You want some a dis?  You want a piece of me?!? Bring it! Ah, the joys of the competitive brag! Nothing like it to spar some grand fisticuffs or a friendly challenge (or, not so friendly).

            Bring it! is also an expression used in business between definitely not-so-friendly rivals. People believe this kind of attitude will up the scales of productivity and competitive edge. Probably. Maybe. Or not.

            The point is that, for some of us, Bringing It is a way of live, an attitude of life. We like a good challenge. We rise to the occasion when someone says “We just can’t do that. It won’t work.” There is something built into our DNA that responds “Thank you.” And then we get about the business of making things work.

            But some of us have this attitude of— But what if I’m wrong? What if they’re right about me? What if I fail? Really?!? You’ll never know unless you try. As I said in my blog titled MY FAILURESIt’s taken most of my life, but I’ve finally perfected failure to an art-form. And I have learned from my failures. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that FAILURE is simply an indication that I have not yet figured out what I am designed to DO best. So…, go for it…, again.

            The challenges we face in life span the diversity of graduating kindergarten to getting your first real job, from getting married to changing your first, ever, diaper, from discovering your passion to founding your first company. But these tests all have the same things in common— courage, risk, fear, determination, know how (except for the diaper thing) and commitment. Whether you believe in yourself or not, you will come to a point in life where you will make decisions that change everything. You will.

            If you shy away from these momentous moments you will admit defeat and settle for whatever comes your way. Do you really want to do that?

            Sometimes we all find ourselves in what is known as survival mode, survival mentality. Just get through this— the wedding, child-birth, the termination, a loss of income, the fear of being unknown. But to remain there is life-sucking suicide. You will still breathe the air and take up space; but that is about all. You will take what comes your way and remain there until you die. WOW! What a way to live!

            Might I instead suggest you look failure in the face, kick your courage into top gear, rise above your fear, and with a defiant voice cry out loud —

Bring it!

  Gary

insanity

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, insane, core, values, change, It’s often said that the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  Although attributed to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the definition is so widely used that even the great genius himself may have usurped it elsewhere.

            Nonetheless, we all do it. We all continue in the same procedures, the same management practices, the same life-style choices, the same patterns of daily life, and wonder why things always seem the same; monotonous, flat, zestless, perfunctory. Ergo, insanity. And I am just as guilty as anyone else.

            So, how do we confront this irksome, repetitive monotony? Surely there are training courses and books and articles in abundance that can help us change our ways. But is it simpler than behavioral re-patterning? Is it more basic, something intrinsically connected to the human condition? This writer believes it to be so.

            Our desire for sameness is a reflection of our need for safety, stability, security. Change, though also needed and usually necessary, threatens our inherent security levels and launches us into uncertainty, hinting of future instability and a relinquishing of our personal and/or corporate safety.

            Change, whether it be continuous change (improvements on past ideas or inventions, like automobiles), or discontinuous change (major paradigm shifts, like smart-phones), is a natural challenge to our way of life. We need to adapt to the “new,” which implies letting go of the old. The earth is no longer flat; nor is the British Empire an empire; nor is the atom the smallest particle. Shifts in discovery and invention challenge the way we perceive our world: they change our patterns of life on an individual and global scale.

            When change is disruptive of our way of life, be it for better or worse, but especially for the worst, we must adapt and challenge what comes our way. The formations of nation-states across early China and medieval Europe were bloody affairs, uprooting peoples and destroying cities and lands. The same can be said for the formation of the United States. On a personal scale the arrival of a new baby is disruptive of a way of life; so also does moving your family to a new location bring uncertainty into the formerly predictable way of living. Insanity.

            This ever-changing, uncertain world makes it all the more imperative that each of us formulate a set of core beliefs and principles that are both true to reality and aligned with truth. To not have these core values in your life is to foster further instability and insecurity.

            It has taken me years to construct my core values; and they still require tweaking every year of so. What about you? Are you aware of your core values? At rock bottom, what holds you together?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary