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Things That Challenge You Will Change You


Miek WinstanleyCredit to Michael Winstanley, PIA of Wisconsin Board Member

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus has been quoted as saying, “change is the only constant in life.”  I think we can all agree that the past year has been challenging to say the least.  We have had to make many changes in our daily lives. We have had to become more creative in the way we conduct our businesses, connect with our customers, celebrate milestones and holidays, and interact with our families and friends.  Often, I hear people say; I cannot wait until things get back to normal. The challenges of the last year have forced a new normal on all of us.

In many ways, we have gone through a metamorphosis.  Some of us have embraced our new reality, weathered the difficult times, and have thrived in the new economy and culture. Others have become anxious about the changes they have endured and uncertain about the future.

Although our lives will never be the same, we are resilient people and we have adjusted and found ways to let go of the past and focus our energies on the future.  Many of us have discovered a more flexible business model, developed creative ways to reach our customers, learned to use technology to our advantage to expand our client base, renew family ties, and embrace the many changes that have opened opportunities to grow and learn.

During the past year, I have often been reminded of one of my favorite books, “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. It is an insightful account of what happens when we become too comfortable with success in our lives.  There are four characters;  two mice named Sniff and Scurry, and two little people named Hem and Haw. They are constantly searching in a maze to find their cheese so they can be happy. The cheese represents the things we want. The story talks about how we go about getting the things we want and the challenges we face to be successful, both in our businesses and lives. Eventually, one of them figures out how to find the cheese and writes his experiences on the wall of the maze to share with the others.

Many parallels can be drawn between the story and the rapid changes we have faced as a society and as individuals over the last year.  What I have learned is that there is always a way to succeed in the face of adversity and change.  It takes courage, conviction, and a willingness to let go of our fears.  We just need to remember that although change is a solo mission, we are traveling together.  Embrace the change, find your aha moment, and live life to the fullest.

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