Transitions. We all go through them. Everyone we lead goes through them. Usually we are going through several at any given time. Some of these transitions are planned and prepared for, while others are imposed on us. We go through some transitions because they represent our greatest desires and help us move in the direction we have been pursuing. We go through others out of necessity or simply in order to survive.
My wife and I recently celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. We were sitting in a restaurant that happened to have butcher paper as a table cloth. (Really! It was a very nice restaurant worthy of the occasion.) As we anticipated yet another transition in our lives, we began to recount the numerous transitions we had experienced during our 36 years together, and we wrote them on the table. We wrote of the birth of our three children, becoming in-laws, and grandparents, all our moves (too many), different jobs, unique places where we have lived, visited or vacationed, the variety of houses and automobiles (again – too many) we have enjoyed, and the unique experiences in which we have been blessed to participate. At the end of the dinner the butcher paper table cloth was full of little notes and lists. We recounted a life of transitions and realized how blessed we have been. And yes, we did take the paper with us for as a reminder of this special night.
Not all of those transitions have been easy. In fact, I would say that most of them, even the ones we have chosen, have been hard. We have learned a lot about our selves through them. The one thing that came out of the discussion is how important it has been for us to maintain our core values and our commitment to one another. Otherwise we would never have survived some of those most challenging transitions, and would be very different people than we are today.
We are fortunate that these core values have been in place from early on in our lives. They have been the anchor holding us steady through the joys and heartaches of life. In addition to those values we have had a clear vision for where we want to be when we get there. “There” represents some time in the distant future when we are wrapping up on life. That clear vision has helped us know what to say yes to and what to decline. It has enabled us to make choices that we believe will help us achieve our vision.
Change can be Tough.
Multiple Changes at the same time can be Tougher.
Core Values are the Anchor.
A Clear Vision serves as a Compass to Keep you on Track.