Embrace the Change - Focus on the future and not the past

Embrace the Change - Focus on the future and not the past

Posted on March 30, 2020 by

Embrace the change – focus on the future and not the past

We must embrace the change – focus on the future and not the past!

Can you believe how much life has changed in just the past two weeks or even just this week, or even the past few days?
Think about it: If someone had told you this all would be happening three months ago, would you have believed them? I think a lot of the anxiety people are feeling right now isn’t just about the pandemic or even the jobs many people have lost.

Things are changing rapidly

It’s the fact that things are changing rapidly, and we have no control over those changes. The change itself is what’s freaking out many people. The thing about change is that it always offers you a choice. You can try to hide from it or resist it or you can decide to step up and embrace it. You may not like the change, but you can still CHOOSE to use it as a launching pad into something bigger and better. And it turns out, that’s what about one-third of people do.


Experts back in the 1970s used to think that change caused stress, heart attacks, strokes—basically that change would kill you! But Dr. Maddi at the University at Chicago thought that change didn’t have to be the enemy. He set up a twelve-year study using hundreds of employees at the telephone company that used to be known as Ma Bell.


If you remember the old rotary dial phones, well, that was Ma Bell was. Dr. Maddi chose Ma Bell because it was obvious that the company would eventually be broken up. So, Dr. Maddi and his team asked hundreds of Ma Bell employees questions and monitored them in everything you could think of. And then, about six years into the study, Ma Bell was broken up and about 50% of those employees were laid off. Pretty scary, right? The research team then kept following both employees who lost their jobs and those who didn’t.

Here’s what they found


About two-thirds of those people were devastated by the change. They ended up getting divorced or having heart attacks. Their reactions ranged anywhere from suicide to cancer to compulsive gambling. And here’s the crazy thing: It didn’t make any difference if they still were employed or not.

Of the remaining people, two-thirds of the people who kept their jobs still fell apart with the change. But the other third actually thrived after the company was broken up. If they stayed at the company, they became high-ranking leaders. If they were laid off, they became really successful at their new companies. And here’s the deal: The people in this third that adapted so well to the change were just ordinary people. They were just like you and me. They weren’t smarter or better educated. They didn’t have fewer problems in their lives than others. They were just like everybody else.


See, the people who suffered under the change kept looking to the past. They tried to “bounce back” while hoping that the good ole’ days would come back again. But let’s look at the third that thrived.

Focus on the future


In contrast, the one third that thrived stepped forward. Rather than focusing on “Why do bad things happen to good people?” the people who thrived with the change asked, “What good can come from the bad things that happened?” So ask yourself: Are you focused on “Why is this happening to me?” Are you trying to figure out how to get the good ole’ days back and yearning for the past? Or are you focused on “Okay? So now what do I do?”.


I really want you to be in that one third. I want you to not only survive but thrive in these times. Please let me know how I can help you. See, the people who suffered under the change kept looking to the past. They tried to “bounce back” while hoping that the good ole days would come back again. But let’s look at the third that thrived. In contrast, the one third that thrived stepped forward.

Rather than focusing on “Why do bad things happen to good people?” the people who thrived with the change asked, “What good can come from the bad things that happened?”


So ask yourself: Are you focused on “Why is this happening to me?” Are you trying to figure out how to get the good ole days back and yearning for the past? Or are you focused on “Okay, so now what do I do?” I really want you to be in that one third. I want you to not only survive but thrive in these times. Please let me know how I can help you.

Embrace the Change – Focus on the future and not the past

Here are some of my favorite quotes about change: Randy Pausch, the guy who did The Last Lecture, said: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.” Author John Maxwell wrote, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” And Maya Angelou tells us, “If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

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