Change is the Way of Life

| 08 Jun 2020

Confucius said it best: "Only the very wisest and the very stupidest never change!" Steve Zipkoff, CEO of Zipkoff Solutions and an Instructor at SMU Cox Graduate School of Business, shares the six lessons to accept change as the way of life.

In today’s environment, nothing is truer. The Coronavirus pandemic has created fear, anxiety, frustration, anticipation, and in some cases, panic.

The world as we once knew it has experienced a major change. What once was… isn’t!  People around the world have experienced changes that never occurred to them five or six months ago.

So now that we are about to experience a “new normal”, how are we to cope with those changes? Social distancing is recommended. Wearing masks is suggested. Stay-at-home orders are being put in place, even as they may start easing In other words, change in our behaviour is becoming standard.

How are we to adapt to these new norms? One thing is clear, change is becoming the new way of life.

Change is difficult to define. However, one thing is certain, change implies either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another. In the case of the Coronavirus pandemic, an almost a 180-degree behavioural modification.

Now that the world is anticipating a global alteration, how can you adapt to change in a positive manner? I understand that cases continue to rise and that worldwide deaths have approached incredible numbers. That being said, change must be looked at as a positive, thus adapting to change will require simple lessons to experience that change.


Change lesson number one: Create a compelling purpose for change.

The pandemic has already taken care of this first lesson. There is no more compelling a case for change than the surfacing of a global pandemic.

If you want change to move forward, you must identify why the change is important. Again, the pandemic has already provided a compelling case for change. By doing what is recommended by healthcare professionals, the possibility of catching the virus drops substantially.

Social distancing, wearing a mask, staying at home when possible, working remotely, washing your hands often and quarantining yourself if symptoms arise are the changes you need to make in order to protect yourself, your family and the nearby population.


Change lesson number two: When people anticipate change, they usually anticipate the worst.

DON’T. Under the circumstances, this might be a very difficult lesson to implement. But you must.

As I search for positives, I look at all the people who have survived this pandemic and how individuals and corporations have banded together to help the currently less fortunate. Food banks are supplying massive numbers of meals. Celebrities are doing online concerts. Athletes are contributing massive amounts of funds for charities, etc. Everyday citizens are delivering meals to the elderly and making sure they are being looked after and tended to when necessary.

These are all helpful undertakings that have contributed to the positive aspects of change.


Change lesson number three: Change is life’s way of keeping you “on your toes”.

Again, I am certain there could have been other methods to experience change less dramatically but regardless of the severity of the change, the pandemic can be a positive learning experience.

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We now know the worldwide healthcare systems need major revamping and alterations to ensure that once the Coronavirus subsides, and hopefully a vaccine is created, our healthcare systems and supplies are reevaluated and that PPE’s are stockpiled and ready to go if another pandemic arises.

Businesses cannot operate the same as before, so the pandemic is in a way, albeit a miserable way, preparing us for future health situations and business opportunities.


Change lesson number four. Humour will get you through most change issues.

Although it might not be the right time to provide comic relief, it is still very important to be able to laugh a little or a lot. This will help your mental attitude and get you through many trying times.

An elderly couple just came home from the doctor’s office after their physicals. The results were very positive but because of their age, she suggested they begin to write things down when they needed something.

That night while watching TV the wife asked her husband to get her a bowl of ice cream. She said, “Honey, I would like a bowl of vanilla ice cream.”

He said, ”No problem.”

She said, “Write it down.”

He said, “Not necessary.”

She asked for chocolate syrup, nuts and whipped cream. Each time she asked him to write it down, and each time he said it wasn’t necessary. He went to the kitchen to prepare her ice cream.

Twenty minutes later, he came in with her bacon and eggs! She said, “I told you to write it down…Where’s my toast.”

As Larry the Cable Guy would say: ”Come on, that’s funny!”


Change lesson number five: Change happens to everyone. So why be shocked when it happened to you.

Every person experiences some sort of change. Today it’s the pandemic, but it could be a change in jobs, a change in marital status, a change in family size, a change in your residence, a change in the city or country to live in, etc.

Change will always be here, so accept it for what it is, hopefully, a step forward in your life.

Again, in today’s environment change might be difficult to accept, but regardless of your situation, change will always be here and how you accept it will determine your mental attitude. Keep it positive.


Change lesson number six: Change is inevitable, so embrace it.

As mentioned throughout this article, change will always be a major part of everyone’s life. It cannot be avoided. It will always occur. It can take the form of different situations, but it will always be present in your life. You can either embrace change or try and repel it. Believe me, repelling change will not work, and in almost all cases, it will be counterproductive.

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In today’s environment, the pandemic has created a change that is catastrophic. It is extremely difficult to accept because so many innocent people are dying all over the world. But I believe it will eventually subside. Hopefully, a vaccine will be developed and the world will return to some sort of normalcy.

However, since we are not yet at that stage in our lives, we must remember that change will be a never-ending occurrence.

How we react to it will determine our own mental well-being. Let’s make sure change doesn’t negatively impact our lives. Stay safe and healthy.


Mr Steve Zipkoff, is the CEO of Zipkoff Solutions, a management education company established in 1992. An Instructor at SMU Cox Graduate School of Business, he has earned the Teaching Excellence Award 38 times for his course on “Delivering Customer Delight”.


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