Why Change Feels so Damn Challenging
Friends are fascinating. We see in them who we are – and sometimes we see who we don’t want to be. It’s natural to want to help people who are struggling but very often what’s most screwed up is their mindset. For whatever reason each person must experience their own journey just like a butterfly must release itself from it’s cocoon or a baby chick must break free of the egg on it’s own.
This post is about three people I know and care about. All have fallen on tough times economically. All have been pushed into massive mid-life change and are doing their best to deal with the adjustments. Each has handled it differently.
Isabel is a new acquaintance. She’s 51 and Italian-American. She lost her job recently. No jobs seem to be in sight, so she’s trying her hand at starting a business with little enthusiasm. Isabel’s lived with blinders on. Trying to please a demanding husband and a fearful, traditional mom while raising a family and working nine to five as a secretary is all she’s known. She wants to return to a safe job even though people say that no longer exists. Everything outside that narrow view is foreign and scary.
Isabel complained about having to sell her gold to pay the mortgage. I said, “You’re blessed you had gold to sell.”
She’s clueless about all the possibilities life could have for her and doesn’t want to look. She likes her blinders and is being dragged kicking and screaming into change.
Hank’s a brilliant guy I’ve known him almost five years. He’s 54. A died in the wool entrepreneur, he’s struggled the last couple years to figure out his next move. Honestly, he doesn’t feel passionate about anything anymore. He’s fond of looking back and reminiscing how the world used to be and how it totally sucks now. He doesn’t like the Internet, and, believes a backlash of people will soon want to go back to doing business “the old fashioned way.” Where a handshake was a contract and “political correctness” wasn’t invented.
Recently Hank said, “People used to be more polite.”
I replied, “Sure, if you were white and male.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right about that,” he muttered.
Sam is African American and 49. He and wife Lisa have been married almost 20 years. An electrician for 15 years, Sam suffered a shoulder injury last year resulting in surgery that’s sidelined him permanently from his profession. Not one to waste time, Sam’s excited about being an entrepreneur for the first time. He’s working his butt off as an insurance agent. He started doing an Internet radio show last month. Next week he’s starting a networking breakfast group to support other minority business owners.
Staying relevant and on top of the changes taking place in our city and our world is important to Sam. Due to their pinched economic situation they rent out their house and live in a rented condo. He never complains.
All three are dealing with challenging times financially. Which one do you think is living closer to an excellent adventure?