Changes – Can You Handle Them?

Changes – Can You Handle Them?
By Charmaine Emanuel Ralph, Vice President, Public Relations, Transport Canada Toastmasters Club

Do you think that something you can’t see, touch, taste, feel, hear or sense, would have any power at all?  Let’s say that something exists, that has the power to turn your life upside down.  Consider what that being might be.  

Here are some clues for you.  That creature caused a monumental transformation 5 months ago.  It forced us to change our ingrained habits and turned our lives upside down.  When that miniscule being came into our lives, it brought our fast pace of life to a screeching halt.  It forced us to put our lives on pause.  It made us isolate ourselves from others, for our personal protection and safety.  This tiny being has so much power, it forced Treasury Board to send public servants home on Friday March 13th, to start teleworking.  It moved swiftly to cause private sector employers to lay off employees because the economy slowed right down.  Toastmasters Club meetings and conferences were broadcast via Zoom.  Families, who were unused to spending lots of time together, suddenly had to interact.  This led to divorces, verbal fights, and lots and lots of anxiety.  People who are used to seeing their friends, colleagues and going to the office each day became nervous and depressed.  The loss of friendships and close interaction makes them physically and mentally distressed.

So what is that organism that has so much power over the whole world?  It’s the COVID-19 virus.  This tiny being is one of the biggest catalysts of change that we’ve ever faced this century.

The COVID-19 virus is like change.  Change is disruptive.  It is inevitable.  It forces you out of your comfort zone.  It brings opportunities into your life.  Change can make you use your imagination, to plan your way out of difficulties that it brings.  In thinking about how to turn a bad situation into one that benefits you, you empower yourself, when you act on your plan to get out of trouble.  We will all have to make changes at some point, with or without our permission.  Circumstances will demand that we change, whether we like it or not.  That’s just life.  

You can take full advantage of those opportunities to do what you did not do before.  Like take walks or ride a bike in your neighbourhood.  Like pursue your dreams, with the extra time you have on your hands.  Or use your time management skills to make time for the more important things in life.  Yes, the COVID-19 virus has turned our lives upside down.  Nevertheless, you have the power to use the changes it has brought and turn it to your advantage.  That is how you turn the power of disadvantage into the power of your advantage.

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