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Life Planning

Dealing with change: Walls or Windmills?


Kim Potgieter

Kim Potgieter

January 11, 2016
As we welcome in 2016, I would like to share my personal mantra for this year:

“Being able to adapt to change will serve me well in the year ahead.”

A very traumatic personal experience recently reminded me of the sage words of a Chinese proverb:  When the winds of change blow, some people build walls … and others build windmills.  I am making choices that catch that wind of adversity and turn it to advantage.

It is said that that the only certainty is death and taxes.  I would like to add ‘change’ to that list.

As a driver personality, I tend to set challenging goals and have even higher expectations of how I should live life and what that life should comprise.  Of course, life has its own agenda, and often, in retrospect, I have had to tweak what I was trying to achieve … with the recognition that I am not completely in control.

So, perhaps my message in this newsletter is this:  we may not be able to control all circumstances in our lives, but what we do have control over is our response to these changes.

Winston’s wisdom for wholeness

It was Winston Churchill who said that “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  This truth seldom has greater application than when we are in a crisis, and my recent encounter with crime in our country has required me to harness my attitude.

Having donated proceeds from my book to a special day with Reach for a Dream, I was looking forward to seeing little girls having one day of being pampered.  But, as I braked outside the hotel, my gut put me on full alert … something was not right.  “It’s a charity event,” I told myself, “don’t be ridiculous!”   In a moment, I had two guns to my head and, for the second time in my life, my wedding ring and my jewellery was being taken from me.

I lost only material possessions, not my life.

But, despite trying to hold onto this positive outcome, something changed within me.  I thought of the unfairness of it all, and the state of the country, and, most of all, the fragility of life.  Following my last robbery, I had adopted the attitude that the thieves would win if I stopped wearing my jewellery (I love wearing my jewellery); but now?  I knew that I needed to adjust to change.

I am embracing the idea that I am worth more than jewellery, and working on feeling secure again.  This has required many courageous conversations with myself, drawing on inner strength that we all too often forget that we have.

Gratitude frequently comes to the rescue!  By reminding myself of how much I have to be grateful for, I become better equipped to deal with change.

Let’s embrace shifts in life.  Let’s live courageously.  Let’s bring our wholehearted selves to making every day a significant one.

This is my wish for you this year … whatever changes you may face.  Build those windmills and have an exciting 2016.

Click here to access some exercises to change- charge your brain!

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