How do we cope with change? There’s a myth that we resist change, but Peter de Jaeger busted that in a talk I heard where he pointed out that we make changes all the time. We get married, take a different job, have kids, all of which are changes. The difference is that these are changes we choose! However, in this era of increasing change, we’re likely going to face more and more changes we didn’t expect. Can we improve our ability for coping with change? Yes, says April Rinne in her book Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change.
And here’s a caveat: I am part of a group she put together to talk about Flux while writing the book. I’m in the acknowledgements.
April, faced with a heavy unchosen change in her teens, carried that with her. It’s driven her interest in change and how we can learn to cope. Given that we’re in an era of increasing change, she recognized that we would benefit from having some approaches to improve our reslience. She looked at a wide variety of inputs, and has distilled her learnings into 8 mental frameworks that assist.
The underlying focus is on a flux mindset, that is, a stance that change is coming and to be accepting, not resisting. The eight different ways of looking at the world are deliberately provocative, but also apt:
- Run Slower
- See What’s Invisible
- Get Lost
- Start with Trust
- Know Your ‘Enough’
- Create Your Portfolio Career
- Be All the More Human
- Let Go of the Future
Each gets a chapter, with illustrations of the challenge, and practical ways to enact. You may find, like I did, that some are familiar, others are more challenging. Each comes from either or both of ancient wisdom and practical experience. The ones that were new I find to be all the more interesting. And useful!
That’s the real key. It’s very much aligned with what we know about how our brains work (a big issue with me, as this audience has probably learned ;). Some areas I feel like I’ve a handle on (e.g. run slower), and others are things are more challenging (e.g. see what’s invisible). There are bound to be areas of work for you. The upside of that work, however, is likely to be a better ability to ‘be’.
This is a book that you’ll want your loved ones to read, because what it provides aligns with a view of the world as it could and should be. It’s a guide for coping with change that addresses not only individuals, but organizations and society as a whole. Highly recommended.