Keep the change

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


Michelle: The world is changing and there seems nothing else that we can do but change with it. However, many of these changes sometimes challenge the very nature of our humanity. For example, assisted death or euthanasia, same sex marriages, cloning or living in and having children out of wedlock are accepted or have become acceptable.

Before, if a man and woman lived together without the benefit of marriage, it was called “living in sin.” Now it’s plainly “living in.” A child born out of wedlock was called “bastard.” Now, the term is sanitized and even glamorized as “love child.” There is nothing constant in this world except constant change.

Change is needed for growth, but not all changes are good, even if they have become acceptable. DJ: Speed and efficiency matter more these days than
ever before. Not that they’re bad but there’s a greater challenge to find stillness at this age and time. Multi-tasking is the name of almost every game. We have doctors by day and nursing students by night. We have corporate slaves who rock the stage on weekends.

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We do our usual task like analyzing a report while having a call with stakeholders in a different time zone plugged in one ear as we juggled around simultaneous chat exchanges with three or four people as Red Hot Chili Peppers pumps lethal amounts of angst into our other ear. Definitely, change is happening in big, bold, hurry-up-and-get-with-it strokes splitting time into atomic particles.

M: A few days back, some lawyer-friends and I were talking how company cultures have changed, especially in its hiring/qualifi cation standards. In the past, companies preferred hiring single women whose unattached status was said to guarantee focus and dedication to their work as against single moms who, saddled with the responsibility of raising a child, were perceived to be distracted and/or whose work output is not maximized.

Nowadays, companies and firms prefer single moms over single women. Single employees do not stay long with the company as they have many plans: travel, further studies, migrate abroad, etc.

Single moms stay on with the company and are dedicated to their work as the income is needed to support her and her child as well. In fact, I was told that when asked to render overtime, single moms do not hesitate to do so and are said to be more disciplined with their time management as against single employees who are said to balk at rendering overtime as their calendars are filled with activities and gimmicks.

DJ: There are generally accepted trends which were once grey areas. Emotional intelligence is already a proven better predictor of future success than traditional methods like the grade point average, intelligence quotient and standardized test scores. Based on study results, even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions.

So what are the essential tools in our survival kit to manage the change?

1. Prioritize. There’s information overload. So many things to be do with so little time. So many ideas ricocheting inside our heads but we can only do so much. To put things on perspective, PNoy, Pope Francis and peeps like you and me all have only 24 hours in a day.

We just have to learn to choose which activities will matter the most and which one we can do without.

2. Strike a good balance by having healthy social life.

Work hard but work smartly. We don’t live to work. We work to live. Stay connected with friends. Keep family in your top trending activities. They are the constants in a sea of highly variable relationships.

3. Have a break. And I’m not talking about having a Kit-Kat. That’s so ‘90s. Have a vacation. Take advantage of seat sales. Now I understand why it’s best to reserve a day to rest and regroup. We become more grounded on the essential. It helps us focus which not so surprisingly make us even more productive. As what the wise often say, let’s not run too fast that we forget where we came from or where we are going.

M: The important thing to remember is that there are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a series of trials and errors. Every situation is an opportunity to learn yet again. Change can be challenging. But you can get out of your present circumstance or your comfort zone by challenging yourself and eventually changing for the better.

I think everything is summed up best in the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

DJ: Life moves pretty fast. Change is here to stay.

And for us to be successful, we have to change often. But there is a limit to what our senses can take it. And if we know how to prioritize, to balance work and our social life, when we know when it’s time to pause, think and process, we have every chance to stay happy and be able to truly say, “Keep the change!”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 03, 2014.

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