The World is For Those Who Relish ChangeReading Time: 5 minutes
Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce is an abnormal woman. She is far from being called sane and she knows it too well to disagree. She is a double Olympic champion with 6 Olympic medals and 11 World Championships to her name.
That is far from what makes her abnormal.
In 2019, at 32 years, she became the first mom and the oldest woman to ever win the 100m title.
Two years prior, in 2017, shelly went on a hiatus to have her son Zyon. She not only interfered with her training and competitive schedule but she also suffered major setbacks during her career break.
She experienced a difficult pregnancy and early days of motherhood. Her son was born prematurely. Shelly had to spend a month in the neonatal intensive care unit.
At Doha in 2019- after a hard-fought two years break from her career -she came back like she had never left. It was as if childbirth had added springs to her short quick strides. Starting a family could not stop her from gunning down her career goals. She came back and won her fourth individual world title. Shelly who had earned herself the nick-name pocket rocket could now go by the name mommy rocket.
She completed the race in 10.71 seconds, 0.01 seconds away from her lifetime best.
In her own words, “motherhood does not stop us from achieving our goals. If anything, it adds value to who we are. And knowing that we can create a human being and come back and be able to get the ball rolling and still be a tough mom was just awesome.”
THINGS CONSTANTLY CHANGE- FAST ADAPTERS ARE REWARDED
Like it happened to Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, change never ceases to happen. At one time she was the defending Olympic champion on course to being the first female sprinter to win three successive Olympic gold medals but it did not happen.
Her goal to break the 10.60 world record could have vanished when she got her son but she did not let it deter her from achieving goals. She came back rejuvenated.
Life is a roller-coaster. You will fall down several times and getting up fast is a skill you need to have mastered.
Things will not remain the same. Every single day will hand you its sour cup of adversities and you will have to take it.
The world needs fast adopters. People who thrive and are comfortable enjoy the fruits of change.
IF YOU DO NOT CHANGE, YOU BECOME EXTINCT
Nokia was the leading mobile phone manufacturer for over 13 years until 2014. It ceased its mobile phone operations after the company was purchased by Microsoft.
Nokia developed through the idea of manufacturing the first mobile phone. It had risen fast as the company that connected people. Manufacturing phones that enabled people to call and text from all over the world was a hot idea that got so many people sold to it. Everyone wanted such a gadget on their hands and since the late 70’s Nokia rose to be the leading mobile phone manufacturer.
In 2002, something that would go on to lead to the fall of Nokia happened. A new hybrid of a mobile phone was introduced to the top Nokia executives- the smartphone. It had most of the features that have gone on to be adopted by the modern smartphone. Like swiping, touch screen operated by fingers, the full qwerty keyboard on the touch screen, full-blown web access, and automatic orientation.
The Nokia executives turned it down in five minutes! They dismissed it as a gimmick. Like any other company, Nokia was never going to accept that a foreign product was better than theirs. They decided to keep making their successful phones while this other guy can go make his phone elsewhere and sell it wherever he wished
Then on January 10, 2007, came Steve Jobs with his stonewashed jeans and a black polo neck. He introduced the iPhone. It went on to kick Nokia out of business and soon rose to be the leading mobile phone manufacturer.
WE ALL FEAR CHANGE
As the fall of Nokia has come to teach many, we are all afraid of change. When everything is going nice and smooth, no one ever tends to question how long the good times will last. We get comfortable that even early signs of change that are clear as daylight get ignored. We assume them and unnoticed they go. Then the small changes soon gather pace and our lives are given career-ending blows just like it happened to Nokia.
LIFE MOVES ON AND SO SHOULD YOU.
Life is a game of soft punches and hard knocks. You will sing in and out of tune but you should never stop singing.
Sometimes things change and they are never the same again. That new job becomes the lost job. That newlywed couple divorces. That promoted team becomes relegated. That top student fails in his major exam.
Life provides terrible and unfair blows even to the wise and lucky. Some people recover and others don’t.
THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY
As Epictetus famously taught, “every mischance in life, however bad creates an opportunity to behave well. An opportunity to learn something useful. And one’s duty is not to become immersed in self-pity, but to utilize each terrible blow constructively.”
To quote Ryan holiday, “never forget within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve your condition. You might not have wanted it to happen but you decide how it will affect you. No one else has the right to decide. The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Nothing makes us feel in any way, we choose to give in to such feelings. There is good in everything if we only look for it. The struggle is an advantage, not an adversity.”
HOW TO RELISH CHANGE
When you anticipate change, it won’t take you by surprise. Stay alert. Expect change to happen and look for it.
Sense when change is likely to occur and be ready to adapt to it
Noticing small changes will help you adapt to bigger changes that are yet to come.
Keep life simple. Do not overanalyze or overcomplicate things.
When the situation has changed, adapt and change quickly.
You need to adapt faster, for if you do not adapt in time, you might as well not adapt at all.
If you do not change, you become extinct. The biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself, and nothing gets better until you change.
Life moves on and so should you.
Savor the adventure and enjoy the things that come with change. Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again.