How strong is your change muscle?

This was written on 12/1/22 (it took till now to post), I am not sure why we assign starts of months, years, and birthdays feel like they have some extra special significance. Yet here I am pondering change once again. Back in the pre-internet 80s and 90’s I used to have two large bulletin boards above my desk that were giant collages. Whatever pictures, postcards, comics, and sayings friends would send along got pinned up. Lots of stories, I loved it. My dear friend Virginia Savage who has a Ph.D. in performance psychology and is her version of well-practiced Yogi and Buddhist sent a 3X5 handwritten card with the saying

trap written. This thought has guided me now for decades even though those bulletin boards have in part been replaced by the internet.

I used to envy my friends that were super stable. One house, one business, etc. for decades. In the early 2000’s I had an epiphany at a Social Venture Network conference men’s circle in Maine that stopped me from seeking that what the universe was never going to give. Accept my life is about change (strangely just recently a friend just before her death shared how this is shown in a big way in my astrological birth chart). I decided at that moment to hop into the flow and stop resisting.

Now my acceptance well is deep and real and yet it is not absolute. I too can get anxious about change. The fear of the unknown, yeah boy!

Some observations and practices have helped along the path. First just because everything seems awesome doesn’t mean that it can change in a second, a minute a day, etc. Think car accident, think a troubling diagnosis, think pandemic, think war, these are all completely out of your control and yet can completely upend your plans. One of my favorite thoughts that is always good for a momentary belly laugh is “Man plans, God laughs”.

This coming from someone who in part advocates strategic planning for a living.

Two days ago, I was on a walk with a casual friend a non-practicing attorney who I know through a spiritual discussion group here. She was describing how everyone she knows seems to be feeling and to put a picture to the feeling described a trapeze artist who had let go of one bar and was flying towards the next although the outcome remains unknown. I felt such exhilaration. That was a graphic we used on the home page of an earlier version of the Coherence Collaborative website. I thought it captured perfectly how people seem to be feeling these days and in our case in particular business leaders.


Other observations about change include no matter how bad it is it is almost never as bad as I imagine so why don’t I just stop imagining the future and automatically things get better? And yes, easier said than done.

For all my fears I don’t believe I have been brought here to fail. Learning patience in the face of a mountain of self-doubt is no easy task, yet experience has shown me it brings huge rewards. If the trapeze artists just wait for that next bar all will be right in the world. A sudden change in direction could be disastrous.

When I am anxious, I find it rarely about the present moment. This is a HUGE and important lesson. Just be in the present moment and rarely is it that bad. Now my experience is these take a lifetime of practice. Well, if it is true and I am certain it is that change is the only constant it is clear we will get plenty of practice.


Do you find yourself flying? Are you frightened? Are you enjoying the moment for what it is, a momentary rush like no other? Sometimes in the deeps of our own fear, we miss the amazing things the universe presents to us.  We will never truly know if she is enjoying the ride. 

Green Bieszczady mountains in Poland
Green Bieszczady mountains in Poland




During the pandemic, I have turned to walk as a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy and spend tie in nature. Being an environmentalist it might not be a surprise I am a tree hugger. Almost daily in fact. In addition to being a wonderful stress release, it gets me in touch with my deeper self. I find the deeper I can go into myself the more profound the solutions I come up with are. I read something profoundly wild about trees. They endure! I have been pondering this for a few years now, I am not sure what it means in the grand scheme, yet I do know it is deeply relevant and important.

As leaders, we often feel the urge for being proactive. Yet sometimes what if just being IS the solution? For me, patience wins the day more often than my hyper self wants to admit. How often do our advice-givers tell us be proactive? Now let me be very clear I totally believe in acting, the question becomes what is “right action” and does it come from the wisdom deep inside of us?

The world is a mess! (In one survey 98% of CEOs see the need for  a business model change.) There is no question we will see many more people willing (or forced) to ride the innovation trapeze to a better place for all of us. Innovation requires change. The stronger our change muscle is the more likely we will succeed. Stop judging people by their failures, judge them by their repeated willingness to try. Resilience matters. Can you say opportunity?

A few take away. Change is constant accept and embrace it. Be patient, be present, and always go as deep inside as you are able, here is where you will find the answers to the ever-present changes in your life. When in doubt hug a tree and endure. As for me, I am trying to lose weight, so I have more confidence in the ever-present trapeze in my life.  I will keep you posted so we all can fly on with confidence.



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