Back to school, Back to reality

It is now time for our young to return to school. For many, you are now sending your children off to Kindergarten, to high school, or to college… for the first time. Do you stop and think about that, every few days, and fret about your “babies” growing up. Dan Weedin is currently blogging about his experience with just this issue.

You should be in our house when my wife and I get started. We are sending our second, and last one, off to kindergarten. Our little baby is growing up. And when she grows, we are forced to face the reality of change.

If you are like most people, you don’t like change. You gripe about it, you resist it, then you give in but not without a fight. My career for the last 17 years has been computers. Little ones, big ones, many connected ones. And you might think, “Since you work in the technology industry, you must surely be accepting of changes. Technology changes all the time.”

I would certainly agree that technology changes. If you google “computer lifespan”, you will find that most say that a computer has a lifespan of 2-5 years. I would recommend three. If you buy a computer today, you will be unlikely to find that same model for sale in six months. “Cool gadgets” today, become “out” in 18 months. So yes, I do see more than my fair share of change.

However, so does everyone. As computer chips invade every item in our lives. Watches, clocks, radios, phones, toaster ovens. How about your cell phone. It now becomes easier and cheaper to buy a new phone, than to buy a replacement battery when it will no longer hold a charge.

But do I, because of my close relationship to technology, accept change any more willingly than you? I am ashamed to say no. It is said that we fear change because fear means loss. And upon self-examination I found myself getting very anxious and upset when dealing when change. You should have seen me. I thought I found a great way to deal with technology management and the changes involved with it. I had plans! Six-year plans, then three years plans. But just as my plan would come to fruition, something would change. “How can I see the gains of my plan if I can’t sit back and let it work its way toward my goals !?!”

Have you seen the movie “Rocky Balboa”? I was watching that movie one evening, and I got to the part where Rocky gives a monologue to his son. In the midst of that scene, Rocky says “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

If you had seen me then, you would probably have seen the proverbial light bulb above my head. It finally struck me that life’s “hits” are change. And no matter which of your plans, life decides to change, you have to make it through and keep progressing. Change is eternal. No one has the luxury of doing without change. But the winners don’t let change stop them.

So as you send off your children; to kindergarten, to college, or into the world… show them how you can be a winner for them, to lead and guide them on their way to be winners.

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