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Simon says, “Your success depends on your ability to deal with change and with the unexpected.”

Your experience with that thousand foot cliff is likely sufficient to remind you being prepared to deal with the unexpected is critical to your success. Your ability to deal with change is, perhaps, even more important, since the unexpected is simply one example of change. In little and big ways, things are changing all the time and handling the change is certainly not optional. You deal with it whether you want to or not; and how well you deal with it is at the essence of whether you succeed or fail. Recall that bear you either get or it gets you? Much of the time, that bear’s name is Change.

It is probably not going to surprise you to now learn Simon also has a few little rules for dealing with change. First,

•You have to be aware of change before you can deal with change.

This surely sounds like another one of those no-brainers. If you do not know about something, you cannot deal with it; but be careful not to look at the obvious and jump to the wrong conclusion. Change is continuous and much easier to miss than you might think. Most change is not noticed, at least not while it is happening. You notice something has changed but not it is changing.

If you only become aware of change after things have changed, you are always reacting, adjusting, and trying to catch up. You cannot be proactive from a reactive position. Knowing this means you give high priority to being aware of change while things are changing. This starts by assuming change is always a here-and-now, dynamic condition. Sometimes the pace is faster and sometimes it is slower, but it never stops. If you do not know that, you have not been paying nearly enough attention.

To move from a reactive position to a proactive position, here is Simon’s next little rule.

•It takes change to deal with change.

Just as change is continuous, you must continuously change to proactively deal with it.

•If you are just the same as you have always been or are slow to change, you are already behind and falling further back.

•If you cannot see what is different about today as compared to yesterday, events are passing you by.

•If you are frustrated and confused by what is going on around you much of the time, you are likely using yesterday’s map to figure out where you are today.

•If you think things are changing too fast, you are probably moving too slow.

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