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  • Writer's pictureGladys Agwai

ARE YOU CHASING WHAT IS NO LONGER RELEVANT?



In this modern age, change is not merely a constant; it has become the very means in which you swim. The pace at which new technologies emerge, societal norms evolve, and knowledge expands is unprecedented. It leaves too many grappling for breath in a relentless current of transition and transformation just surviving! While the speed of change presents undeniable challenges, it also offers you unique opportunities for growth, innovation, and self-discovery.


How you adapt to this progression across all facets of your life, frames your future. Are you adapting or chasing irrelevancy? You must understand that the very nature of your environment is a double-edged sword. On one edge, technological breakthroughs like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and renewable energy systems promise to solve substantial problems. The other edge, however, brings disruption. Industries can vanish overnight as streaming did to video rental stores. The acceleration is all encompassing and within technology, sociocultural, economic, and ecological patterns, and shifts.


The speed of change is not simply fast. It leads to environments that seem nearly unrecognizable with each passing decade and is challenging to predict or understand. As a result, your capacity to adapt lies at the heart of your survival and progress. However, psychologically, you are wired to prefer stability that is at odds with reality. This internal conflict induces stress, anxiety, and a sense of not belonging. However, you can learn, unlearn, and relearn skills that are vital when becoming obsolete is the norm. Your very biology equips your ability to evolve. The question becomes not whether you can adapt, but how you do so with grace and effectiveness.


To leverage change rather than be destroyed by it, embrace a multi-pronged approach that integrates personal development, social adaptation, and systemic thinking through:


Growth Mindset: Embrace the belief that your abilities and comprehension can be developed. It is about valuing the process over the result, and in a world, that is constantly changing, the process is where you live your life.


Lifelong Learning: Continuous learning is now a requirement. Traditional degrees are being complemented by certifications, online courses, and experience learning opportunities enabling you to stay relevant and adaptable.


Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as recognizing and influencing the emotions of others enables you to navigate emotional landscapes, creates strong networks, and maintain a sense of well-being.


Systemic Thinking: This entails understanding how various actions and changes of a process in one sector can have significant, unforeseen consequences in another. Being able to think in systems means you are less likely to be blindsided by change.


Diverse Networks: Cultivating relationships across a wide range of people, professions, and perspectives allows for the blending of ideas and insights. This diverse network provides support, resources, and differing viewpoints that can be invaluable.


Self-Care: Fast-paced environments can be mentally exhausting. Being proactive about mental health, through mindfulness, exercise, adequate rest, and if necessary, professional support, is crucial.


Agility: Being agile means you have the capacity to quickly pivot or change direction. Waiting for something to break, may be too late. Look ahead and adjust.


Innovation: Foster creativity, encourage experimentation, and tolerate failures as you prepare yourself to see and seize upon the opportunities that change provides.


Leadership: As leaders, model the way by embodying adaptive traits and cultivating an environment that rewards adaptability within teams and organizations.


Reflection: When rushed, it is vital to stop and reflect allowing you to digest experiences, integrate them, and learn lessons. Do not be swept away in the current. Navigate the flow with intention. Goals and Expectations: Set flexible, adaptable goals to capitalize on unexpected opportunities. Avoid the frustration that comes with ‘chasing what is no longer relevant.’


Technology: Technology can augment your capabilities and free up time for higher order thinking and creativity when intentional.


Deep and Broad Alignment: Deep expertise and broad-based knowledge and skills are valuable. Adapt your expertise to new roles and contexts as boundaries between disciplines are increasingly blurred.


Advocacy: Be an advocate for policies and structures that support flexible work arrangements, lifelong learning incentives, and social safety nets that contribute to resilient communities.


Integrate these strategies into your personal and professional life and be ready, proactive, flexible, and anticipate change! Change is like the wind that blows you over when unprepared but propels you forward when ready. Change will only gather speed and has the potential for new discoveries, new ways of living, and new understandings of you and how you fit within change. Embrace it!


"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - John C. Maxwell


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