By Chaplain (Capt.) Meade Adams
2nd Bomb Wing Chapel
One of the biggest skills in life is successfully navigating transition. As the above quote states, life is indeed one big transition. How do we handle change? Some people seem to be more adept at it than others. Some people relish it. I know several people that can’t stand to be in the same place or same job for too long. They thrive on change and transition. Others however, are more reluctant to change. Studies have shown that most of us are in this second category. Most people are resistant to change and transition. There are entire workshops, books and material about how to help people deal with change in their jobs, organizations and personal lives. There are few organizations that precipitate more change and transition in employee’s personal lives like the military. We generally move every 3-4 years, we deploy, we move shops and career fields, we are constantly dealing with fluxes in leadership, coworkers and personnel and changes in policy and technology. I was once told a story from a GS employee about the time when offices were transitioning from paper and hard copy to computers. Some employees handed in their resignations or opted for retirement rather than deal with the change of switching to working primarily from computers!
The point is that change is everywhere. So how do we deal with it? First, we must accept it. Denying the reality of change is a losing battle. Life changes. All the time! There is no denying it and there is no exception to it. So we might as well accept it. When we accept that life will change once we get married, some of that transition will not be as difficult. When we accept that life will change again once we have children that may help us in dealing with it. A lot of unhappy people are unhappy because they never learned to accept the reality of change.
Second, make the most out of it. Any good Air Force mentor worth their salt will tell you that the way to be successful in any assignment or any job is to make the most out of it. Don’t spend time lamenting what could have been or what you wish had happened. Make the most of where you are. One thing about change is that most times you can’t change it! It doesn’t do anyone any good to fight change. Accept it, and make the most out of it.
Finally, lean into change. What I mean by this is that when change happens, don’t just accept it or resolve to make the most out of it, but lean into it or contribute to it! If change or transition is happening in your office or shop, see how you can help. If there is change going on in your personal life, how can you invest in it? Change is happening all around us. It’s up to us to make the most of it.