Most everyone I know says they would like to be better at something tomorrow than they are today.
That “something” varies widely depending on the person. Some of that desired improvement may be work related, for other people it’s more personal. But regardless of what that “something” happens to be here is an absolute fact: Improvement, any improvement is not possible without change.
People who want improvement but refuse to accept change are hoping for something more but are unlikely to ever see it. People who embrace change, or even better, drive change, have a chance to see consistent improvement, assuming of course that the change is the right change.
Here’s my problem, I love change, I know of many many people and many more things that would benefit from change….I’m just not one of them. 😉
I struggle to embrace change that has a direct impact on me! I do not think I’m alone in that challenge because change is hard. We tend to, at least subconsciously, associate change with loss. We are giving up the familiar and moving to something unknown or something we are not sure of.
I remember as a young salesperson calling on a customer who had equipment that was frequently breaking down. I was selling equipment that was far more reliable and yet the customer was reluctant to make a change. As I asked questions to uncover the reason for his reluctance he finally told me that while his equipment was always breaking down he knew how to fix it. He wasn’t sure he could fix mine if it did ever break down. The devil he knew was better than the angel he didn’t.
For him change meant giving up the knowledge he had acquired through the years on his product, flawed as it was. Psychologically the benefit of no longer having to fix his equipment couldn’t outweigh his feeling of loss.
We all face those psychological limitations when it comes to self-improvement. It’s tough to accept change so very often we tell ourselves that we are “good enough.” We rationalize why change isn’t really needed in our lives. We need help to overcome those limitations because way too often it’s simply too hard to change ourselves.
In this season of commencement addresses let me tell you what I wish someone had told me years ago at my own graduation. I think this single piece of advice could do more to change the trajectory of the lives of this year’s graduating classes than perhaps any other piece of advice.
Here it is: get a mentor.
Find someone who you trust enough to listen to, a person who cares enough about you to be honest with you. Find a person who will invest real time with you and commit to invest your time with them as well.
No matter how well you did in school, no matter how smart you believe yourself to be, no matter what path you’ve chosen for your life, you WILL have a greater chance at success if you are open to accepting change in your life. A mentor can help you do that. Bigly!
One more thing, no matter where you might be in your career, no matter how much success you’ve already experienced, you will be better off with a mentor than without. Everyone does better with a mentor, everyone.