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At what point do you embrace the only thing that is constant in your life - Change? Thursday October 2, 2014

Let's face it. Just about the only people who like a change are wet babies! For the rest of us, a change is rarely welcomed. Change of any kind, personal or professional, is one of the most common sources of stress.

Change evokes a series of emotional responses that, left unmanaged, can eventually take a toll on health, happiness and performance.*

(Please see Moodscope blogspot for chart:

The question is not will you adjust to change, you eventually have no option. The real issue is how long will it take to shift and embrace it? Your relationships and your performance and success may depend on your ability to quickly move through the change cycle.

A strategy for coping with change.

Acknowledge where you are on the change curve. Observing your normal reaction to change adds objectivity and enables you to neutralise the damaging effects change can otherwise have.

Identify your core values. Remembering what matters most during stressful times is a help to shift your internal experience. It will reduce stress in the moment and creates the opportunity for a shift in how you are viewing things at that time.

If you manage a team, are part of a team or family, knowing where each person falls on the change curve lets you provide what is needed to help them move to the next stage: Information on the down slope; support during the trough; recognition on the up slope.

Take time each day to appreciate everyone's talents and contributions, including your own. Doing so is energising and helps minimise emotional drains and dramas.

Revisit organisational values. Starting staff or team meetings with a discussion of the group's shared mission or vision will help create an emotional shift that then positively impacts the meeting and facilitates adjustment to changes. The same will work over the dinner table or on a walk.

And if you do not have family values maybe you should create them. The fun of identifying your own and sharing them with someone else will take you deeper in a relationship and yet most don't even know what their own are, never mind their partners! Values are the core of every decision we make and when aligned what comes from this is an emerging joy...

"Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasure for long-term values"
Joshua L Liebman

A Moodscope member.

*Model is loosely based on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's work on grief and loss.

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Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 6:55am

This blog could not be more timely for me, arriving as it does the day after I had to miss the final session of a course entitled " Embracing Life's Transitions"... Curtailing my participation was necessary as I was not prepared to miss the rival claim on my morning, namely showing solidarity and wiilingness to embrace change to and at our local library: 'twas a case of 'friends of...' meet 'service chief(s)' at, or rather until, High Noon. Guns drawn initially became human handshakes by the finish, and I return to my college stirred but not shaken, to continue embracing the loss of all but two of my course companions from meal tables and classrooms. Our course had not been long enough to include the team fellowship/leadership aspect you have supplied to prepare me for breakfast, and my subsequent sessions as a group of seekers of our own singing voice(s). Onwards with the benefit of collective and collegiate circumspection.... Thank you.

Hopeful One Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 7:24am

The core of your message appears to be to learn or to teach oneself to accept whatever has happened as unconditionally as possible As soon as one passes through that gate of acceptance all sorts of other more positive gates and options open on the other side.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 7:35am

I left work in july 2013 , and the change from working to being retired has caused me to suffer anxiety and now horrible depression.
I am finding the change so difficult to deal with . My whole self is a different person.
I am trying to find my way , keeping busy ,doing things i enjoy ,although my enjoyment for life is very low at the moment . I feel lost ,as i was very busy in my job,i was there for 19years ,i isolated myself ,came home after a days work tired but satisfied ,shut my door and on other people . Thought i did'nt need people,cause i was so busy during the day . Change for me is a very difficult journey that i am facing .

Rupert Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 8:12am

Anon I find your tale very interesting - I too am in a job which keeps me pre-occupied not just at work but outside it too either worrying about it or trying not to worry about it and I think everything else suffers as a result eg little real or beneficial contact with friends and family. Would you have done anything differently or more importantly do you have any plans now to start rebuilding relationships etc?

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 8:30am

Rupert i am trying to rebuild my life . Yes if i had known then what i know now , i would have had a balance in my life . I would have prepared for retirement ,at the moment i am full of anxiety . My life was definitely out of kilter but i thought i had everything . I did not sadly.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 8:50am

Rupert,they say its never too late , but making new friends is harder at 62 than 42 . I think you should start to rethink your life and don't do what i did , because without your all consuming job what then?

Rupert Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 9:23am

Yes I agree - but it is difficult as you will have found to try and set aside time when you are very time poor - retirement seems such a dream to be away from all the stress etc but I guess one becomes so acclimatised to the work that it is literally a way of life. Do you have any family?

Julia Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 9:24am

Hi Rupert. I sympathise. I was in a job which eventually got the better of me and while the people around me didn't care, my relationships with family and friends suffered and I made inappropriate friendships just to survive those years when I struggled so much. The torment lasted 10 years and I am in a much better place now. I stayed in the job for financial reasons but also because I thought I would be able to single handedly find a solution. I was unable to handle the people I worked with or the workload (which was too much for a superhero) but handled the leaving well. The end result worked out well for me but it took years to get over the 10 years of grief. If you need to carry on in the job you are currently in, I would say persevere but in the end , there is always a solution, always. It might take time to achieve what is right for you work wise and you may never achieve it working, I didn't. But a solution will come and when it does, you will act.

Julia Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 9:28am

I think change is good but it has to come from those who control your working life. Most of us who work (I don't now) are controlled by managers and colleagues who want to maintain the status quo just so long as it continues to be beneficial to them. What you advise Les is great I think for families, and work places. I may apply it to my family and see what happens! If only all bosses and employers, employees were as reflective and genuine as you.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 10:34am

Hi Les; great to read you as always!

I used to tell my kids that the only things to be sure of in life are; birth, death, taxes (their Grandad's quote), chores, change and love (my extra bits).

As I struggle to avoid spiralling down again, and as I watch our eldest in her own hole refusing all help, rarely leaving her room and avoiding all contact with friends and family, I feel exhausted by the constant effort of remaining positive; add to this the daily aches and lack of energy (no) thanks to my medical condition ... there seems no sign on the horizon of any positive change ... and it has been this way for some months now ...

Julia you say "a solution will come" - I just wish I could believe that ... can you believe it for me?


Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 10:36am


If you give control of your life away to others wrong things will happen.

If we place money before morals - our life can never be what we want it to who do we become if not ourselves?

And then what do we teach our children - as children only learn three ways. Firstly example, Secondly example and Thirdly example!

Most people teach their children that work will hardly ever be happy and you have to put up with it to earn a living.

To truly earn a true living - I believe you have to find a way to live that aligns with who you are at your deepest joy.

Many people prostitute themselves for money.

How many tiems I have stood with predominately male attendess on leadership programmes and they all talk of how they worked hard to give their children a home, holidays, 'stuff' and they now realise that not only were they not there when there children were growing up and they cannot BUY that back.......but that is also has not worked for anyone.

Children don't want things when they are youg - they want their parents! Ask them.

Parents talk about their kids always wanting material goods and how bad it is - WHO TAUGHT THEM through showing them that money is so important for houses and cars and ..and....and........and to get it you have to work in a way that doesn't make you happy.

The best companies to work for - Sunday Times Top 100 List - place morals before money and MORE money comes as an outcome of a truly engaged and happy workforce. They eran on average 4 times what their FSTE focussed (money b 4 morals) counterparts do over a five year period. It's fact. yet companies do not change - why? because certina people will not give up power and control and millions of others work unhappily for them and produce great profits for the bosses......prosititution is the for sure emotive word I it creates energy and thoughts.

IQ beings conclusions
EQ brings action

Even 'wrong' emotion will being change of some sort.......

The opposite of love isn't hate - it is indifference.

It is mostly the adults who should do without material things and then their kids would learn by their actions (EQ) NOT their intellect (IQ) to tell them they should not be so materially focussed.

We should be serving (EQ) our children not telling (IQ) them......and I won't start on about schools (IQ) from the Greek 'Schole' meaning 'to put into' comes from the Latin 'Educare' meaning 'to lead out of'.......our whole system is based on schooling NOT education.

Teachers in general 'put in' - they need to 'lead out' - see Dead Poets Society and good (& gone) Robin Wiliams at his brilliant best.

They need to serve the pupil not tell the subject............

We can clearly see the result of placing numbers (IQ scores) or money (material) before morals (values) - all around us.

Anonymous 0735...I'll reply to the retirement question shortly......that is another BIG good to hear from you on such an important subject.

Money and things provide motivation
Values provide meaning

Which would you like your future leaders and children to focus on first....?

We all are required to change......however do it in alignment with your values......

I walked away from being Chief Executive of a council (the second youngest in the UK) - financially set for a wealthy life - but bereft of authenticity.....I left not only from my deep disturbance at having to deal with duplicitous politicians and power seeking officers, but also to 'show' my children that work should be about who you are (EQ) and not what you do (IQ) and......and should come home happy.

Example - example - EXAMPLE

Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 10:48am

Hi Frankie

All true solutions come from within.

The ONLY person we can change is who - yup - ourselves.

Nothing else has worked since time began....!!!!!

Humans are not good at change...............

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves." Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt

"Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"You have to be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

If we want anyone else to change - we have to change ourselves first - no matter how 'right' we feel!

Julia Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 11:07am

Hi Frankie. I do believe (not in any spiritual way) that solutions do present themselves against all odds. The solutions might not be easy to follow or adopt but I found that the struggle I endured during those 10 awful years, earning money to survive and give my children a semblance of a normal life, gave me the strength to realise that I could actually struggle on and solve my problems. So what I was trying to say to Rupert was that actually we are strong people because of the problems we face in our daily lives and that the struggle in itself gives us the motivation to deal with a solution when it arises. So with you Frankie, I feel for you but I am not pessimistic for your situation. It's easy for me to say all this with hindsight. I do agree that at the time it was awful. But I hope I am passing on to you the strong possibility that it will be OK in the end. If I can sort my work life out, anyone can. But it IS hard.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 11:35am

Very thought provoking blog today Les. As usual you have made us stand up and think more about life in your unique way

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 12:45pm

Dear, dear Les - thank-you; "... no matter how 'right' we feel" ... I was becoming paralysed by the need to feel ok before taking action - I particularly value the Frankl quote (and not just for his resemblance to my nick-name!)

and Julia, yes; you have reminded me of something one of my closest friends believes and says to me "You are awesome - with what you have coped with, and what you do cope with, and the fact that you carry on regardless" - yes, we are strong because of our problems ...

Thank-you both, for reaching out to me with your reassuring pearls of wisdom - which have touched me deeply ...

Frankie xx

Julia Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 12:53pm

You have helped me a lot in the past Frankie. xx

Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 1:33pm


Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 6:05pm

Hello a'bdy. I seem to have car-crashed into wearing my full length metal coat, two sizes too big, not much warning this time but I did get a little hint or two. I'm little use to anyone aside from dragging my sorry hide through the parenting thing on repeat and pulling on my Eleanor Rigby face before and after school. A barrel of laughs I am not. Just wanted to say hello and that I'm enjoying reading the nuggets and pearls as they are keeping me going right now. Love to all, wishing peaceful days to you, love from the room above the garage x.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 6:35pm

Apparently lots of us in this boat....I too retired after 19 years from a very stressful job...thought all would be ok but finding myself with lots of anxiety and depressive swings.....trying to cope as best as I can, but very difficult at the moment......even searching for part time job to feel somewhat productive again and get me out and about....interesting how we all think we are so alone in one way or another, and then discover there are many like us out there struggling with same issues. I would like insights from people who did overcome this and how they did it..thanks Dave

Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 7:02pm


Thinking of you..............
Les x

Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 7:58pm

Hi folks


The challenge with most in 'busyness' today, is that if you are not strong, committed and clear on your values and thus what you stand for and how you make decisions - for those 30+ years of work - you have 'retired' from yourself, long before you physically retire!

Many people look so short term - and think things will change through time - 'they'll get better' - and then of course, mostly find out that it is they who change....into someone they do not know!

If you are married.......think of who your partner wonder so many relationships struggle.

If you devalue your values - you become your de-valued self.

De-valued relationship...........?

Then that becomes a habit and shortly later it becomes the new norm - then you may 'de-value' yet again - as you become time poor and busyness rich - and maybe after the first child / second child / new house / upgraded car / costs for school / costs for holidays / costs for elderly parents etc etc.....and as you work harder to fund everything - who are you now?

So now your addicted to 'do' and rarely if ever to 'be'.

Human-doing (IQ) not Human-being (EQ) or better still Being-human (SQ)

Look at :-
Julia's language - 'a job that got the better of me'
Anonymous 0735 - 'My whole self is a different person.'
Rupert - 'everything else suffers as a result '
Anonymous - 'but i thought i had everything . I did not sadly.'

People must be prepared to walk away from such 'jobs' to find their vocation (from Latin 'vocare' meaaing 'your voice').....and hey, you'll need courage to swim against the IQ tide.....maybe even place morals b 4 money....if you don't however, you will surely 'drown' and start living under the water.....breathing in a different way.....gulping air in when you can.....breathing more and more shallowly.......and as you can see from the comments above - it is FAR more difficult to find the surface again, once you are in the whirlpool...and you don't know which way is up....!!!

You've lost your moral compass.

Plus - PLUS such people have just taught their children that that IS the way you live life.....!!!!-----***

And of course at the same time, such people possibly talk 'at' their children about what they doing and how they should be less addicted to their phone, tablet, computer etc. and why they should spend more family time etc..........quite possibly completely duplicitously with what those people are doing they not only teach their children, by their actions about work - they are also demonstrating the very things they are 'blaming' their children for?

No there is easy road to anywhere worth going....

If people allow themselves to be pulled into the IQ, short term, unsustainable, Newtonian, command and control, black and white, hierarchical, materialistic world - will they ever find themselves again?

Just like a drug addict - such people are addicted to their own drug.....'busyness'.....and many drug addicts 'die' and others never recover.....who should it be any different just because its a materialistic drug?

How do such people 'find' themselves again without a moral compass?

Slowly and often any addict......and if you have a present'll both need to change....otherwise your partner will not find who they have been living with if you succeed.

Mindfullness these days is probably the best way to start to go in.....a journey of 'inscaping' is required here.......- now that you have spent years 'escaping'......out there.

Retirement suddenly makes us come face to face with who we have become.

It is most likely that those who retire happily - have stayed closest to who they actually are.....and have been happy most of the way through. They stood strong and lived their life.

Les Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 7:58pm

"Nothing will work unless you do." Maya Angelou

"Do not be afraid of death. Be afraid of the half-lived life! "
Laird Hamilton

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” Frederick Douglas

"To come to the pleasure you have not,
you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.
To come to the knowledge you have not,
you must go by a way that you have not.
To come to the possession you have not,
you must go by a way you posses not.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 @ 11:01pm

Les, the addiction to living the life...strikes a deep chord here. My partner (separated now but oddly connected still) remains addicted but thoroughly and utterly blind to it. I have long wondered if there will ever be realisation. I agree with your writing (albeit I scanned as I don't have the brain power tonight to read much).
From writing little, you are firmly on a roll! How's the recovery path? Ratg

Les Fri, Oct 3rd 2014 @ 12:15am

Recovery path now levelled out and all is well.

Best I have been for a wee while...........and getting close to final divorce.....although have had to let go on the costs and be happy so silly only money to lawyers......she still doesn't get that morals are more important........and it's not how much I come out with - but 'how' I come out......

Off to work in Swiss Alps for 3 days tomorrow - oops today.....better go and pack and get to bed.

Look after yourself.

"Getting your head in sync with your heart and harnessing the power of coherence gives you the energy efficiency you need to achieve changes that haven't been possible before." Doc Childre and Howard Martin

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