Amanda Dickson co-hosts Utah's #1 rated morning show, “Utah's Morning
News with Grant and Amanda,” on KSL Newsradio. Amanda earned her B.A. in English and Juris Doctorate at the University of Utah. In her 40+ years, she's held 18 different jobs. She's been good at a few of them; and fired from a few. Given her work experiences combined with being married, the stepmother of three children, Cameron 16, Ashley 19 and Laurel 20, and the mother of Ethan 4 and Aiden 2, Amanda is no stranger to change. You can read her blog here, and about her latest book Change It Up here.
Some months ago, I found myself surrounded by the word “change.” It was the theme of political campaigns, a point of contention (“That’s not real change!” “That’s just change for change’s sake.”), something companies and entire industries needed to do (“We’ve got to change something around here, or we’re all going under.”) There was no ground under my feet, or what ground was there was shaking the china out of the hutch.
During this time of unsteadiness, companies would hire me as a speaker to address their management retreats and employee off-sites. The topic they wanted me to address with their teams? How to handle change.
When I’d go to these gatherings, I’d often get there early, early enough to hang around the lobby and see if I could get any of the attendees to talk to me before the event began. “How’s it going?” I’d open. “Pretty good.” The standard response. “No, really. How’s it going? How’s everybody taking all the changes?” Whoa. Would that open the floodgates? This was a topic people wanted to talk about. I felt their stiffness, their reluctance to embrace the changes, no matter what they were. I felt their unease, their worry for the future, for their family’s security. Change was not a good word for these professionals, of every pay grade, of every stage in their careers.
That got me thinking. How can I help? If one of the themes of my life is helping people see happiness where before there was only worry, lightness where there was despair, then how can I help people (myself included) to see playfulness in change, if not pleasure. I started to think about some of the changes we do like.
There are some, you know. For instance, we watch those makeover shows. We love to watch people change hairstyles and wardrobes and kitchen appliances. We love to make those little changes in our own lives. And when we do, we feel great. Why? It’s the energy.
There is a charge on change. That’s why when you change your hairstyle, people will compliment you, even if your old hairstyle looked better. It’s not about the quality of the change – it’s about the fact of the change. The change woke you up on some level, and that’s what they feel. So, knowing this, if we want energy in our lives (and who doesn’t) we just need to welcome some change in. Any change. It doesn’t really matter what you change. Drive to work a different way. Move your books. Paint something. Wear a different color. Wear dresses if you used to wear pants, or vice versa. Feel the charge that comes with change.
And feel the skill. Change is like any other ability – the more you do it, the better you get. Since we know that change is coming to all of us, big, hairy, painful change, shouldn’t we try to develop a little skill in this area while we can, while there’s a calm in the storm. Change something now. Feel the rush of it. Feel the ease of it. That wasn’t as hard as you thought.
Then, when the painful change comes, remember what you’ve learned. Let go. Keep moving. Keep loving the living. You know those six little words that we crave during difficult times, that we want our husbands to say to us, or our parents, or even our presidents. “Everything is going to be okay.”
Do you know why we crave those exact words? Because they’re TRUE! Their truth makes them powerful in the quietest of ways. And do you know how I know they’re true? I’m not privy to any secret information. I’m just a mom who’s trying to juggle work and kids and life, like you are. I know they’re true because of change. Change – the eternal do-over. No matter what is happening right now, hang on. It will be okay. It will be different, to be sure, but it will be okay.
These are the ideas that prompted me to write my new book, Change It Up. I felt the power in these thoughts when I shared them with groups, and I was humbled by the simplicity of their strength. I know I’m not the first person to have these thoughts. You’ve probably read them and thought them before, but in case you have not – I offer them to you in this book – with the wish that you have more change in your life, not less.
Change is life.
Change is joy.
No one is getting out of this life alive, and no one is getting out unchanged.
Change it up!
Change – the eternal do-over. I like that.
I know I tend to speak of change negatively. And yet, as Amanda points out, so many of the changes in our life are quite good. What are some of your recent positive changes? And what is there to be learned from the process? I'll have to give this some thought.