Change fixes the past
Transformation creates the future
Transformational Life Skills are not about fixing what is broken or learning to better manage the day-to-day of life, they are about freeing yourself from the constraints of the past and creating the future of your dreams. Most people think of life skills as money management, time management, daily living skills and the abilities necessary to get and keep a job. All of these are important; however they are not transformational. They are the basic skills for managing day-to-day living. Transformational life skills apply everyday in every way and take you into a future that you have only imagined to be possible. They require a systems level change in your thinking and beliefs. Transformational life skills alter who you are, what you believe and how you act. Developing them gives you the skills that you need to manage your life with less effort. They literally transform your life.
Transformational Life Skills help you create a completely new you.
Two Types of Change
Change is a process of becoming familiar with the present and working to make things better, faster, cheaper, easier and so on. In a typical change process, your past serves as your starting line, and you design the actions you take so that you will experience an improved outcome in the future. You create a superior you to increase revenues, reduce mistakes, improve the way you do business or hone skills. You get better at managing your life, time and/or money. You increase your skills for holding a job and the skills necessary for daily living such as cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. Your past and the stories you tell yourself about who you are act to set boundaries and constraints on the possibilities of what and who you are becoming. You were a caterpillar and you remain one-just a caterpillar that functions more effectively.
Transformational change on the other hand requires a new form and structure. It is future focused rather than past focused. Transformational change is boundless-there are no constraints on the possibilities of whom and what you can become or achieve. Although your present state servers as the starting point, you are free to envision the future and emerge as a whole new you. You change completely; you become the person you have always wanted to be. You leave the caterpillar and the cocoon behind, and you take flight as a butterfly.
Why Transformational Change
The changing nature of change is the biggest catalyst for shifting to a transformational change model. Today’s rapidly changing world requires deep sustainable shifts and the ability to be both flexible and adaptable. As forces are coming from all directions-technological advancements, outsourcing, addiction, mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, divorce, financial difficulties, aging, downsizing, expansion, global competition, cyber based systems-your ability to shift your actions while you maintain your core values is essential. Besides flexibility and adaptability, integrity and resiliency give you the edge in the ever-changing environment. Integrity is the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to your personal principles and standards. Resiliency is your ability to recover quickly during perceived difficult or adverse times. These two qualities give you an advantage in managing multiple changes and successfully navigating the transition process.
What beliefs guide the roles you perform – as a partner, father/mother, leader, manager or role model? What does integrity look like in your personal and professional life? How do you handle mistakes whether individual or corporate? What is your personal (company’s) stance on rewards/incentives and punishments? You need to identify and commit to these core values to prepare for transformation.
The hallmark of a transformational individual or organization is mental flexibility. Individuals and organizations that are mentally flexible are able to shift in and out of different types of thinking depending on the needs of the situation.
Transformational change can appear complex and difficult; however once you truly understand human behavior, you recognize that transformational change can be instantaneous. Just as flight for the caterpillar is impossible, through the transformational process of metamorphosis, flight is immediately possible for the butterfly. Letting Go, Imagineering, Mindfulness and Healthy Self-evaluation are the four transformational life skills that will help you develop the internal assets necessary to manage today’s complex world.
*Look for articles on each of the four life skills in upcoming articles.