I came across two very powerful phrases while at a business retreat last week: Change is doing things differently. Transformation is being differently.
The “change” statement refers to activity or behavior and is something that can generally be outwardly measured. The “transformation” statement refers to an internal shift and may not be visible to the naked eye, yet it is palpable – not only to the individual is being different, but to those around them.
Have you ever seen someone after weeks or months of being separated, and notice they are somehow different when next you meet? In trying to pinpoint he change, we tend to work from the outside in. We begin by taking note of possible changes in surface elements, such as appearance. We slowly work our way inside – to the essence or the aura, or the way the individual carries herself. While changes to our shell, our appearance are most evident, change in our attitude and demeanor are equally noticeable.
There are three key types of change:
- Developmental Change
- Transitional Change
- Transformational Change
Developmental changes are those you make to improve procedures or activities that will complement your current lifestyle. Think of your exercise program. If you want to improve your upper body muscle tone, you add weight conditioning to your workout. Simple examples: If you think about diet, if you want change the percentage of your diet that is made up of an additional 25% raw foods, add a salad at two meals daily. Development changes generally cause little stress and distress. In professional settings: Learning new skills that will improve your performance or prepare you for promotion are good examples of developmental change.
Transitional changes are those you make to replace existing approaches or activities with new ones. A replacement example: use olive oil rather than butter in cooking. Eat celery and carrots rather than potato chips. You’ll retain the enjoyment of something crunchy, but it will be a healthy change. Instead of sitting down and eating ice cream each evening right after dinner, take a twenty-minute walk and reward yourself with a cup of tea. You’ll be changing you diet and your lifestyle. In professional settings: If your company has become part of another organization, learning a new software system or learning how a new supervisor wants reports and information communicated are examples of transitional change.
Transformational changes are those you make to completely reshape your life. It is this level of change in which we create sustainable momentum toward getting the life we want. When you’ve achieved transformational change, you have grown, you have stretched, and you will not be reverting to your former way of looking at or approaching life. It is at this level that people often develop the ability to take the long view on life and business, on action and consequence.
Many people arrive at the threshold of transformational change after attempts to transform their lives through changes in surroundings, friends and activities, with little significant result. They discover that a quick fix will not fundamentally change your life. They discover that transformational change is a journey, not an activity.
Awakening to your transformational journey is refreshing. It’s like opening the windows and doors to let the fresh air circulate through your house after a long winter.
I am in the midst of some self-reflection and examination. I’ve spent the past year and a half “reinventing” my professional focus. I can tell you what I’m doing differently, but that is all information about what has changed on two levels: My business activities and my lifestyle activities (travel, workout, diet). It’s time for me to pinpoint fundamental changes in my way of being to determine whether I’ve just been on a whirlwind trip or if I am on a journey – a path toward transformational change.
If you are asking yourself similar questions, I have three books I’d like to recommend. The first two were published a number of years ago. The books are: The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz), Women Who Run with the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes) [2 of my sisters just returned from a 5-day retreat with Clarissa and simply raved about her insight and authenticity), and my own book Building A Powerful Vision Board: A Path To Achieving Your Goals and What You Want In Life [This book leads you through a process of clarification, creation and action to advance on your path to fulfilling your personal/professional goals].
I’m enjoying my journey and making plans to focus on the transformation and not just the action elements of my life in 2013.
As always, I welcome your comments, and make it a great week.
Copyright 2012, Destiny Rising, LLC.