I’ve been an iPhone guy since the very first model. I remember watching Steve Jobs’ iPhone keynote on repeat — “it’s an iPod, a phone, an internet communicator; an iPod, a phone, an internet communicator!” — over and over. I listen to Apple-centric podcasts and I read Apple rumor blogs.
So it came as quite a shock to my family and friends when they saw me pop up with a green SMS bubble when I texted them from my new Android phone.
Why did I switch to Android after 10 years of iOS they all asked?
It certainly wasn’t because I stopped liking iPhones.
Sure the camera on the Pixel was a big motivator. And the cheaper price tag was nice. But there was one real reason I switched.
I wanted to force myself to proactively seek out and adapt to change. To get myself comfortable with the discomfort that change can bring — to escape the safe and secure walled-garden of iOS. I wanted to push myself to figure out a new operating system; to get off of auto-pilot; to persevere in the face of confusion, uncertainty and inconstancy. To consciously and proactively introduce more change into my life — even in a form as trivial as a mobile phone.
A world that is changing faster than ever requires leaders and individuals who can not only adapt to change, but who are so comfortable in the face of it, that they can leverage, steer, and shape change to create a more just world
But it isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t automatic. It’s helpful to practice adapting to change in smaller ways so that we can be ready for the bigger, more consequential change we seek to create.
Success in the 21st century will be determined by which of two groups you join. Will you be someone who proactively leads and drives change? Or will you be someone who simply reacts to change as it occurs around you?
Those who try to avoid change are like a led-footed man during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. He is moving forward, but with his neck cranked backwards looking out for danger, he moves ahead awkwardly, inefficiently and with trepidation.
In the scheme of the change facing our world today — global warming, technological innovation, workforce automation — the choice of a mobile phone is hilariously quaint. But it’s not about the scale of the change itself — it’s about practicing the mindset which embraces and chooses to change rather than avoiding or dreading it.
We all want and need to develop our changemaking muscles. To train ourselves to adapt to change, start by practicing overcoming smaller slices of change: Micro-change. Here are some opportunities for you to start practicing today.
- On your evening walk, take a different path each night of the week.
- Communicate only using snapchat — no email — for an entire day (like travel startup HotelTonight did!)
- Eat dinner foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner.
- Switch sides of the bed with your spouse.
- If you normally drink coffee in the morning, drink tea instead.
- Let a friend choose all the music you listen to for a week.
Does considering this make you uncomfortable? Great! That’s a sign you should absolutely give it a shot. Plus I’m sure you can think of many examples of your own. These small acts of change will help you prepare to face a world in which change is the only constant.
Choosing change over stability in your daily life will give you the confidence, agility and courage to be someone who doesn’t back away from big change, but who thrives in the face of it. Conquer enough micro-change and you will be ready to handle all of the larger change to come.