Why some changes are harder than others.

We all live in a fast paced world where the demands of family, work, faith, networking and sometimes progress are increasing at an exponential rate.

We run around and we try to shift the focus from one thing to the next as efficiently as possible. We try to learn as quickly as we can about all the different disciplines that we find ourselves in.

If this sounds like you, I am willing to wager that there are times when things simply do not progress at the rate that you would like them to. There are obstacles and constraints that require attention and energy to overcome. We are told by the guru’s to keep on pushing forward and that the solution will come.

They are right you know!!!



But here is the downside – You are a human and not a machine. You need time to rest, recover and recuperate. It is essential that you have the right mental attitude to accomplish some things…

So herein lays the dilemma. How do we balance the human factor with the drive and desire to progress rapidly?

I would like to propose the following mental picture to explain how difficult the balance thing really becomes. Imagine that you need to maintain, upgrade or change an aircraft engine in flight, without scaring the passengers or damaging the cargo.

Aircraft Maintenance

Aircraft Maintenance

First of all we have to recognise that maintenance is required to achieve a few things:

  • Replace / repair damaged or worn parts.
  • Measure / evaluate other parts to determine the rate of wear or current condition.
  • Introduce improvements. (May include some research, development and testing)
  • Adapt systems to newer standards. (Introduce lessons learnt)
  • Increase performance. (Introduce new systems or concepts)

Our lives unfortunately happens non-stop. We cannot “stop living” in a specific area to do maintenance (land the plane).

Now we just looked at the engines, but what about the wings, and the passenger seats and the “skin” (appearance)? All of these have to be maintained as well.

Now for the reveal:

Aircraft needs to be maintained by specialist groups; just as we have different aspects in our lives, there needs to be concentrated energy expended to achieve specific results on specific areas. Now if we have to overhaul a major system like the electronics that affects numerous areas, there needs to be coordination between the different teams. The same is true of your life.

Changing job, divorce, death of a loved-one introduces shocks to the system where we have to re-evaluate significant portions of our lives. Depending on your personality type and exposure (experience) you may prefer organic growth where you introduce changes in a measured and predictable fashion, while others will prefer the introduction of shock to allow proper alignment of all the various facets.

Scared Passenger

Scared Passenger

Sometimes you have to evaluate the change’s effects on all the different systems before embarking on change. When a shock is introduced, understand that it may scratch some paint, scare some passengers and upset the pilot. But in the end, understanding and forgiving yourself for being human, goes a long way in dealing with the transition.

Please share some of your thoughts and comments with us…

More practical models and mental pictures to assist you to deal with life are available in The Management Imperative.


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