Jim’s Journal Special Edition: The Way We Were Vs. The Way We Are

March 1, 2013 in Jim's Journal


Dwight McCann/Chumash Casino Resort/www.DwightMcCann.com

Gladys Knight photo by Dwight McCann

I love me some Gladys Knight. With or without the Pips, it doesn’t matter. When I was at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony last month I had a quick opportunity to speak to her and I pounced right on it. As she was walking to take her seat our eyes met (it wasn’t eye contact it was eye communication – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). I touched her hand and she paused for a second. “Ms. Knight, my heart just stopped,” I said to her, looking directly into her eyes. My groupie behavior didn’t stop there. “You’re looking at your number one fan.” She smiled, winked (ok, I’m exaggerating, she didn’t wink) and politely said, “Thank you.”

One of my favorite Gladys Knight songs of all time is The Way We Were. “Memories light the corners of my mind…” you know the rest. I get emotional every time I hear her sing it. In one version of the song she begins by saying, “You know, everybody’s talking about the good old days…” Well Gladys, you couldn’t be more right. A number of my coaching sessions these days have been about the “good old days.” My clients want things to go back to the way they used to be. They are not embracing change, or this new normal, well. I’m sure that some of their angst is coming from a place of fear and apprehension. And some of it is coming from a place of wanting to stay in their comfort zone, however, they have to come to grips with the fact that that’s “the way we were, not the way we are.“

The Way We Were: Little Jim Smith, Jr.

The Way We Were: Little Jim

Why do people fear change so much? Some people have a hard time just changing their mind. When we change our thinking and change the way we approach things we open up possibilities to newer and better results and outcomes. How many people do you know who would rather have a root canal than change the way they do something right now? And in some cases what they’re doing is not working or not working well.

This is our now! Later on today, let alone tomorrow, is not promised. Change has to become our friend not our foe! You’ve heard the saying, change is inevitable, but growth is optional. If you’re ready to become BFFs with change add these “Super Seven” tips to your life repertoire:

You'll always get what you've always gotten, until you become the person you've never been. - Jim Smith, Jr.

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  1. Become more vulnerable and more flexible
  2. Embrace uncertainty and fear
  3. Attend an experiential, transformational multiple-day training session
  4. Spend more time with people who live, and play, BIG and listen to them and watch them devour life
  5. Put your comfort-zone up for sale
  6. Entertain the possibility that you may not be right OR that there is a better way of doing “it”
  7. Add this quote to your list, “You’ll always get, what you’ve always gotten, until you become the person you’ve never been”

–By Jim Smith, Jr.

Photo attribution: Dwight McCann/Chumash Casino Resort/www.DwightMcCann.com