Keep The Change

If you work in the service industry you would like to hear that.

If it is a fact arising from how society works, you might not like it so much. You might remember Alvin Toffler’s  book “Future Shock” from 1970. It was about adapting to changes that happen too quickly. There are more books on the subject since.

Change is real.

Change happens to all of us and not always in the same way. Not many enjoy significant changes.

I do however recall a scene from the Mary Tyler Moore Show, when her neighbour’s father comes to visit. Rhoda is worried. Her father has told her he has had some business reversals. She is worried, and after he takes her to a fine restaurant, she asks him about how he can afford this. His reply, “I’ve had a business reversal. Before this, things weren’t very good.”

Not all change is bad. Some at least will be good. It is what you do about it that matters.

Some insight

This short article appeared from Seth Godin yesterday. You should follow his daily blog if you do not.

Read the last sentence twice.

Urgent cultural change


Culture doesn’t change (much). Elements of human culture have been around for 100,000 years, and it persists. In fact, its persistence is a key attribute of why it works.

People like us do things like this.

In the last ten years, the culture has changed dramatically. We’re buffeted by shifts that are faster and more widespread than anyone can recall.

The combination of media, illness, technology and climate have made each week different from the one that came before.

Even early adopters and news junkies are becoming fatigued in the face of so much, so often.

And this persistent shifting in the foundations of our culture is sharpening the rhetoric and resolve of folks who would rather things stay as they imagined they were.

Our conversations and arguments about how we react to changes in the culture do little to change the forces that are shaping our future, though. Change persists whether we asked for it or not. Wishing and insisting won’t get us back to a world that’s static.

Our response to change is often all we have control over. And the way we respond is how we create the next cycle of culture and possibility.

Points to think about

  1. Change is a fact and it doesn’t care if you like it or not.
  2. No matter how things change most of culture will remain untouched. Reread the first paragraph in the Godin article. You should identify what can change and what cannot. What doesn’t work won’t last. A nuisance nonetheless.
  3. There are and always have been opportunities and problems. They may be different than the ones we trained for, though. Be alert and curious.
  4. It’s on you to adapt. If you can only carry one skill into the future, choose the ability to adapt. That one is always useful.
  5. Everything is contextual. The values one generation  relied on don’t apply in the same way anymore. People are much more linked to each other now. That has both value and cost. Information is everywhere, but meaning is scarce. We don’t have long experience with vast information and connectivity.
  6. Experience in many aspects of life and society can become a liability. Remember experience only has meaning in the context where you discovered it. If the context becomes different you can go far astray. Universally valuable experience is not so easy to find.
  7. People who are promoting change for reasons that suit them will lie to you. At the very least they will present true but incomplete  information and allow you to make the mistake.

An approach

  1. Learn how to recognize persuasion. Read a book or two. Robert Cialdini and Scott Adams have both published material on the subject.
  2. Learn how to recognize fallacious arguments.  The methods can be found on Wikipedia. List of fallacies. The list is both exhaustive and exhausting.
  3. Demand evidence and the reasoning attached to it. Demand to know, “What else is there to know?” With those demands, you will eliminate 99.9% of all that purports to be news. Have them “show their work”
  4. If you want to watch news and almost anything on social media, use it as an opportunity to hone your argument skills. Pick apart the presentation. Like this. 
  5. Examine yourself. We all have hidden biases and preferences and we tend to agree with anything that supports them. It’s called confirmation bias. Sometimes evidence and reasoning conflicts with belief and it is very hard to change your mind. There are other cognitive biases we should be aware of too.

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” John Kenneth Galbraith

The takeaway.

Things aren’t going back to our imagined idea of normal. Learn to deal with what is, not what was.

The book, “Who Moved My Cheese” might help.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email 


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