Back to the future
Devils Lake Central High School Yearbook.
I posted this picture from my high school yearbook for #tbt, or #throwbackthursday, one of the more popular hashtags on Instagram. Nostalgia is at the heart of #tbt.That bittersweet longing for the past isn't something I indulge in often. My fellow Aquarians and I like to spend more time in the future.
My past future has become my present. "[Claudine] plans to pursue a career in writing 'even in advertising' hoping that one day her works will be published." Ta-da!
I will continue to strive to live up to my English teacher, Mrs. Bott's description, "You really don't now what to expect from her, and it's always different from what anyone else does."
Heck, it's gotten me this far.
Working In Progress
I’m not the first to say it, but it’s the one true constant in each of our lives – change. But what varies from person-to-person is how we deal with change. This can run the gamut from resisting to embracing change. Change resisted can be a source of stress and anxiety, but when welcomed, a catalyst for transformation and growth.
Change in the workplace is no exception.
So if change is inevitable, then we’d sure be smart to have a plan in place when it comes, right? Experts say that finding a way to roll with change is the only way to go. When we resist change, we fight a futile battle, so why not surrender? Price Pritchett, renowned for his groundbreaking work in assisting organizations with change management asserts, “Change always comes bearing gifts.” So instead of focusing on what may be lost or different, it’s more beneficial to look at the gifts, or opportunities, the change presents.
Just as all of our lives go through constant change, companies also go through periods of change – sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes planned, sometimes not. But how a company and its employees handle those changes is a true testament to the strength of the undercurrent that propels it forward.
Here at Fusion we’ve worked hard to manifest a strong and steady office culture and that is part of the reason, through some recent changes, that we’ve risen to the challenge of change. We see change as an opportunity, and heck, we’re seizing it!
Forbes wrote a great little piece about learning to love change in the workplace, offering the following four steps to embracing change:
1. Recognize When You’re Resisting
A great first step for most people is simply to recognize when change is happening and how you’re reacting. If you’re resistant, figure out what’s beneath the resistance. Is it fear? Why are you pushing back when everything around you is moving forward?
2. Look for the Opportunity
Remember that change = chaos + opportunity. It’s a two-part equation. What potential exists within the change? Shine a spotlight there.
3. Make It Less Dramatic
An overnight, sudden change is much harder to handle than a gradual shift. When you see change on the horizon, be proactive. Do what you can to ease the transition, minimize the chaos and enhance the opportunity.
4. Release Emotional Attachments
Let go of the feelings you have associated with the old way of doing things. Comfort can be more emotional than rational. Remember that you’re endlessly adaptable and that growth almost always comes with discomfort. Learn to simply go with the flow and see where the wave takes you.
Eat, Play, Love
A few of us have been desiring a ping pong table in the lounge for a while now. Turns out we had the solution right under our noses – for the last hundred years or so.
Our custom made four foot by nine foot dining table repurposes a century old door and it seems perfect to me that we’ve now turned the table on the turned table. Where we normally break bread has now become a place to also break a sweat.
I can’t believe we didn’t think of this sooner!
Relax and Reflect
First and foremost, Happy New Year! Whether you celebrate it January 1st, 14th or 31st, may 2014 be filled with love, laughter, growth and great food!
This year instead of setting resolutions I’ve decided to go a different route and try self-reflection. Sometimes looking back on the past can cause smiles and laughter and other times it will make you shake your head and cringe. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of both!
As 2013 has come to a close I’ve found myself reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly from the past year. After re-exposing my brain to all of these memories I found myself thinking, “Now what?” How was I supposed to make sense of 365 days? It felt like they just flew by! I guess the trick is to reflect more than once a year…
As our lives become routinized we lose sight on the small feats in our everyday lives. By looking back I’ve begun to realize that practicing self-reflection can be a benefit in more ways than one. And the more you practice it, the better! Whether it’s evaluating growth, acknowledging triumphs/defeats, or discovering deeper meanings to the various messages we encounter everyday, it’s important to recognize how our daily lives impact our self identity.
Cognitive neuroscientist, Bruce Hood explains (below) how we create a self-illusion by moving quickly from one action to the next without realizing our own reactions.
“Each morning, we wake up and experience a rich explosion of consciousness — the bright morning sunlight, the smell of roast coffee and, for some of us, the warmth of the person lying next to us in bed. As the slumber recedes into the night, we awake to become who we are. The morning haze of dreams and oblivion disperses and lifts as recognition and recall bubble up the content of our memories into our consciousness. For the briefest of moments we are not sure who we are and then suddenly ‘I,’ the one that is awake, awakens. We gather our thoughts so that the ‘I’ who is conscious becomes the ‘me’ — the person with a past. The memories of the previous day return. The plans for the immediate future reformulate. The realization that we have things to get on with remind us that it is a workday. We become a person whom we recognize.
The call of nature tells us it is time to visit the bathroom and en route we glance at the mirror. We take a moment to reflect. We look a little older, but we are still the same person who has looked in that same mirror every day since we moved in. We see our self in that mirror. This is who we are.
The daily experience of the self is so familiar, and yet the brain science shows that this sense of the self is an illusion. Psychologist Susan Blackmore makes the point that the word ‘illusion’ does not mean that it does not exist — rather, an illusion is not what it seems. We all certainly experience some form of self, but what we experience is a powerful depiction generated by our brains for our own benefit.”
-The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity.
As the 12 months of 2013 have come and gone, take the time to reflect. Monthly, weekly, daily or whenever you can...keep those thoughts fresh! Expand your awareness, consider improvements, embrace new perspectives and applaud your achievements!
Cheers to 2014!
Hood, Bruce M. The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.