Years ago I attended a workshop on change. The facilitator asked each participant to introduce themselves with some tidbit about their morning start-up routine. Some reported they began with making a pot of coffee, others talked about showering. I recall saying that I reach for my glasses.
Through a day of exercises, we were challenged to think about the impact of varying our routines. What differences would show up in how we felt or what we observed if we changed the ways we moved through our day?
I was amused with some of the impact I experienced in the days following the workshop. One day I took a new way to work and parked in a new section of the parking lot. I found myself paying close attention to the road signs rather than my typical automatic-pilot driving. I recall noticing some wooded park land for the first time and making a mental note to come back there for a picnic. When I arrived at my office, I felt more alert than usual. After all I had needed to keep on my toes to avoid getting lost! I felt accomplished and surprised at the same time. I noticed how big a deal it was for me to change such a simple thing. I wondered what else was I missing by approaching things in a routine way?
Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, believes that people who have lived in many different places are more agile than those who have stayed in one town their whole lives. Having the experience of adjusting to something new convinces Yamada that a person will be able to thrive in the changing environment of global health.
So, what is your relationship to change? Are you agile when confronted with new challenges or new points of view? What changes can you make in your life to increase your experience with needing to adapt? Try the experiment of altering one simple practice you have in your life. See what it opens up for you and then please tell us all about it.