Change: How You Respond Can Mean the Difference Between Success & Failure

respond to changeThis morning, my boys and I discovered that how you adapt to change can mean the difference between success and failure in your life and business.

We were enjoying a breakfast at Tim Horton’s during our weekly Man to Man Time (where I mentor them in life skills and entrepreneurship) and each of us were reading a section of the USA Today as we always do, to find a story that we can share with the others, that somehow applies to life skills, success, entrepreneurship, money, or spiritual values.

I got the “Life” (entertainment) section this time, which doesn’t always have a story that applies to what we want to talk about – at least, not always at first glance.

Today’s “Life” section headline was on the movie Gangster Squad which was finally being released after a four-month delay due to the The Dark Knight Rises movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July, which left 12 dead and 57 injured.

Gangster Squad is about mobsters and gangsters from the 1940’s, and one scene portrays a shootout that happened in the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. That shootout scene happened to be featured in the previews for Gangster Squad, which I saw when I took my boys to watch The Dark Knight Rises at midnight on it’s opening day, the same day of the shooting.

At first, I didn’t see any life application in this story, but then it dawned on me that Aurora, Colorado theater shooting dealt the Gangster Squad makers a huge change in circumstances that would doom the movie if the producers had stuck to their original plan of an early September release, and if they kept that theater shootout scene in the film and in the previews.

They wisely decided to pull the previews, delay the film, remove that shootout scene and re-work it, and release the film in January (it comes out this week).

How We Respond to Change Can Make or Break Us

So I shared this story with my boys, and we talked about how our lives and work will be affected by many changing circumstances which will require us to adapt and change our response.

These new circumstances can make or break us. They can mean the difference between success and failure.

But how do we know how to respond, and which course of action to take in light of new circumstances?

Sometimes the choice is easy. Other times, not so much.

How to Choose Which Path to Take

When it comes to making choices between different courses of action, one thing I like to do is to play each possible situation out, as fully as possible, in my mind and on paper.

I try to fully wrap my mind and all my senses into each scenario and play them out in the theater of the mind.  I visualize how it looks, smells, feels, etc. And I list out all the possible consequences that could happen from each option.

After going through that exercise, some options clearly are no good at all.  Others may be good possibilities and some may give us the best results. At that point, you can choose among the options that will give you the best chance at success, with results you can live with at the least cost you’ll have to pay.

Change is hard, especially when it comes with a cost and totally messes with our expectations. But we can navigate through the change, adapt our plans once we’ve picked the best response, and move on toward success.

How do you manage changing circumstances and expectations in your life?

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  1. Change can be a real threat to our lives, but learning how to manage and accept it is key. One of the most certain things in life is that we will always have to face change. Thanks for the insightful post!

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