“Times they are a-changin’” – Bob Dylan
In 1961, when I was a 10-year-old kid, Sunday nights were filled with wonder. My family would gather in the living room and turn on Walt Disney Presents on our brand new, state-of-the-art, 16 inch, RCA black and white television set. Most nights I would hop up and adjust the rabbit ear antenna until the picture was just right. If I couldn’t get it my little sister would run to the kitchen and come back with the aluminum foil to wrap the ears. After the show Dad would get up, walk all the way across the room, and press a button to turn off the TV. Those were the good old days, but wow TIMES HAVE CHANGED
In 1969, there was a TV commercial that said, “What can you get for a dollar at McDonald’s?” The answer: 2 hamburgers, fries, a coke – and change. TIMES HAVE CHANGED.
In 1971, I can remember stopping at a gas station to ‘fill’er up’ and being appalled when I couldn’t get three gallons of gas for a dollar. TIMES HAVE CHANGED.
And times will continue to do so. After all, as many have said before, the one thing that will be a constant in our lives is change.
So how can we prepare ourselves for this ever-changing, brave new unknown world ahead of us? Here are four tips:
- Be a life-long learner. But also be a life-long changer. Don’t get stuck in the mud until the change is forced on you. Be proactive. Do you know the sign that reads “we’ve always done it that way”? Chop it up. Burn it. Destroy it – NOW. Continually be open to change – and do it.
- Be curious. Celebrate the idea that there is no one way to accomplish almost any task. Don’t settle for good enough. Keep searching. Keep looking. Keep striving for that better way. You will find it.
- Be creative. Be original. As Pablo Picasso once said, “To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.” (That explains a lot, I think.) Back in my college days, I was cast as Professor Henry Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady. My goal was to be just like Rex Harrison (the original), and sorry to say, I did just that. I was just like Harrison. There was nothing original about my performance. Lesson learned.
- Be courageous. Be fearless. As Nelson Mandela said, “May your choices reflect your hopes – not your fears.” Look inside and determine what you want to accomplish in your life, or in the weeks ahead. Design a course of action and then take that step, or leap as the case may be.
I encourage you to challenge yourself to change. Challenge yourself every day until it becomes a habit, your default response to the unknown.