All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
Being interested in and involved in the “Change” industry, I found this quote to be dead on, All too often we tend to think that if we are changing, it must be a positive thing, that we must be growing is some manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some change is neutral, you neither move forward nor back, your just stand still. Yet other changes seems to be more positive, we move forward, all-be-it, sometimes a little too slow for our liking, but it’s still a move forward. Change can also move us backwards, much to our dismay.
Let us look at each type of change and discover its potential:
The process of non-change, as it where, in the natural state we are neither moving forward nor back, we are just there. This state of being, I would venture, is the most common state. The state of contentment or resignation, we neither desire to change or do not possess the motivation to enact the steps necessary to change. In this state there is no complaining about your current state, but it does not mean you are satisfied with your current life, you may be, but you may also be just resigned to the fact that this is your life. This state can be a sort of sloth, a laziness or true contentment.
This change is what most people would consider a positive change, a change that is moving you from one state to a new state. This is true, in a forward state you are moving in a new direction. However, the move may or may not be a positive move. For example, you may decide that you wish to advance your situation at work, to become a manager. To help you achieve this goal you start to read books on leadership and management. However, in your search for the right books, you are given bad advice and read books that teach you skills that cause you to back stab and claw your way to the top. You have now moved in a new direction, but that direction is not positive. It is not life affirming it is a direction that may get you that management position, but along the way you have destroyed yourself, and your relationships. Forward change is not always positive; we must pay close attention to how we go about achieving the change we desire.
Using the example from above, you have now achieved your goal, you are a manager. Yet along the way you backstabbed many friends and you have neglected your relationships. Your life, simple, is a wreck. You have seen your failures, and no longer wish to remain the person you have become. You desire change. At this junction you have three choices. 1. Stay the course; learn to live with what you are. (Neutral) 2. Move forward, correction the misguided choices of the past. 3. Return back; Undo the changes to return to your former self.
This third choice, to move back, sounds like a retreat that you are giving up. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask any good General, and they will tell you that you need to know when to retreat. That a well-timed retreat can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
There are times in all our lives that we need to return to our past. Times that we must go back in order to truly move forward. In the example above, you may decide that returning to the “old” you bay be the best starting point to move forward to the “new” you. Especially if you never felt comfortable in the “current” you, you just created. Retreating to safety, back behind the lines, does not mean you are giving up the ground you have taken. Returning to the old you doesn’t mean you give up your new management position. However, it does mean that you must reevaluate your current position and decide if it fits into your new tactical plan.
Change is not a single war to be won, it is many battles, some are victories others are defeats and some are draws. Nevertheless, each battle is a part of the overall war. Only in war can an army lose most of the battles, yet still win the war. We must learn to choose our battles, to plan our attach and our retreats. Learn to be content with a draw and retreat as we are with a victory.
Each of the four books looks at change and life. The first two are historical in nature, but offer lessons that we all should learn. I have read each book, learned life lessons and gained insight in to myself and the world around me. Each book will teach you about the three types of changes and the power of each. Happy reading!
By: Bill O`Reilly
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly
The anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America’s Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln‘s generous terms for Robert E. Lee‘s surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln’s dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.
In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies’ man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country’s most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history’s most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.
Being George Washington
By: Glenn Beck
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW GEORGE WASHINGTON, THINK AGAIN.
This is the amazing true story of a real-life superhero who wore no cape and possessed no special powers—yet changed the world forever. It’s a story about a man whose life reads as if it were torn from the pages of an action novel: Bullet holes through his clothing. Horses shot out from under him. Unimaginable hardship. Disease. Heroism. Spies and double-agents. And, of course, the unmistakable hand of Divine Providence that guided it all.
Being George Washington is a whole new way to look at history. You won’t simply read about the awful winter spent at Valley Forge—you’ll live it right alongside Washington. You’ll be on the boat with him crossing the Delaware, in the trenches with him at Yorktown, and standing next to him at the Constitutional Convention as a new republic is finally born.
Through these stories you’ll not only learn our real history (and how it applies to today), you’ll also see how the media and others have distorted our view of it. It’s ironic that the best-known fact about George Washington—that he chopped down a cherry tree—is a complete lie. It’s even more ironic when you consider that a lie was thought necessary to prove he could not tell one.
For all of his heroism and triumphs, Washington’s single greatest accomplishment was the man he created in the process: courageous and principled, fair and just, respectful to all. But he was also something else: flawed.
It’s those flaws that should give us hope for today. After all, if Washington had been perfect, then there would be no way to build another one. That’s why this book is not just about being George Washington in 1776, it’s about the struggle to be him every single day of our lives. Understanding the way he turned himself from an uneducated farmer into the Indispensable (yet imperfect) Man, is the only way to build a new generation of George Washington’s that can take on the extraordinary challenges that America is once again facing.
Seeds of Success
By: Bill and Billy Moyer (Father and Son)
Publication Date: 2008
This book serves as a wake up call for men and women of all ages and occupations by helping them balance their lives and realize what matters most. Will you choose success or significance? "Take a look in mirror, and redefine what matters most."–Patrick Morley
How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
By: Michael J. Gelb
Publication Date: February 8, 2000
Genius is made, not born. And human beings are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity. Now you can uncover your own hidden abilities, sharpen your senses, and liberate your unique intelligence—by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci.
Acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, who has helped thousands of people expand their minds to accomplish more than they ever thought possible, shows you how. Drawing on Da Vinci’s notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Gelb introduces Seven Da Vinci an Principles—the essential elements of genius—from curiosity, the insatiably curious approach to life to concessioner, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things. With Da Vinci as your inspiration, you will discover an exhilarating new way of thinking. And step-by-step, through exercises and provocative lessons, you will harness the power—and awesome wonder—of your own genius, mastering such life-changing abilities as:
•Enjoying the world around you
•Goal setting and life balance
•Harmonizing body and mind
Drawing on Da Vinci’s notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, introduces seven Da Vinci an principles, the essential elements of genius, from curiosity, the insatiably curious approach to life, to concessioner, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things. With Da Vinci as their inspiration, readers will discover an exhilarating new way of thinking.
Step-by-step, through exercises and provocative lessons, anyone can harness the power and awesome wonder of their own genius, mastering such life-changing skills as problem solving, creative thinking, self-expression, goal setting and life balance, and harmonizing body and mind.
Please let me know of other books you feel would be good reads for all. Post them here for all to see.