‘Imi ola ~ Choose Your Change

Aloha, and happy September. You been in good spirit while I’ve been gone?

September 1st is the 244th day of the year (since this is not a leap year). That means we have 121 days to go in 2010, a bit over 33%. Here’s what I suggest: Choose your change and find that you are a much happier person by the time 2011 comes knocking, regardless of what might be going on in your family, your workplace, your neighborhood, or in the rest of the world.

KÄ«hei Blu

Choosing change of your own design is a very smart strategy, an ‘Imi ola, create your best life kind of strategy. [Literally; ‘Imi (seek) ola (life)… Hō‘imi means “look for better and best.”]

You can choose big change (get a new job, move to a new city), or you can choose little change (get a different haircut, move the furniture around). The important thing is that you are the one who is doing the choosing. It goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway, to be crystal clear about this) that whether big or small, you’ll opt for bright-outlook change that will give you a more positive expectancy about the future to come. You will also be choosing to Ho‘o, and make your change-of-choice happen.

One of my all-time favorite quotations is this one by organizational change pioneer Richard Beckhard: “People do not resist change; people resist being changed.” In other words, we must feel we’re the ones in control, whether simply for balance, or so we’re able to take charge, and re-correct when we feel we need to. We resist when we feel the reins of control and self-determination may slip out of our hands.

When we work on a plan of our own design we don’t feel helpless, directionless, or victimized. Even when we screw up, we can say we were experimenting or exploring, and learning —and we were! Decisions to change can’t be totally wrong or ill-advised if they were generated within our own wants, needs and purposes because we are not, by nature, self-saboteurs. Our survival instincts will always kick in and serve us well.

Beckhard’s quote is written within the cover of my current journal as a self-prompting; I’ve read, and reread his words often during the past year to ask myself, “What are you resisting now? Why?” and then, “What can you do about it?” because I don’t believe that avoidance works well; avoidance is a twin sister to procrastination. There’s always something I can pry out of hiding: I’ll identify my resistance, choose my change and get moving again.

And you know what? Great stuff has happened for me this past year, both because of the ‘Great Recession’ and in spite of it. I’ve chosen to focus on certain things, and ignore, or bring a better ending to others. I’ve simply believed, heart and soul, that I can choose my own destiny and work on creating and shaping it. Then I do!

Choice ~ your choice ~ is the white magic of ‘Imi ola, and there’s plenty to go around. So go make your own magic in September; it’s a fine month for it.

If you want a bit more help with self-determination, and making a “plan of your own design” these two posts from the archives may help:


    • Rosa Say says

      So glad it resonated with you Anne! Mahalo for taking this moment to stop by and let me know :)

  1. says

    It didn’t just resonate with me, it’s like you wrote this before I posted my Changes: series on my blog recently… I changed jumped down a rung on the ladder on purpose, by choice, and it was a change that still feels good to me after having made the choice. No “buyer’s remorse” after the fact. I’m glad about that. I was worried there would be some maybe.

    Here’s to choosing change when it’s a healthy choice made for the right reasons, and not just change for the sake of change. *cheers*

    • Rosa Say says

      I read through your posts Rich ~ so much gold within all 3 of them! ~ and you are indeed making your change-of-choice for reasons which sound gloriously right for you; Ho‘omaika‘i ‘ana ”“ “Congratulations!” “Well done!” and “Wow, Ho‘ohana goodness!” combined :)

  2. says

    Aloha Rosa! Wisdom needed…

    Change in philosophy and process is needed, in fact, long overdue,
    “I don’t want to change” is a strong resistance among those who should bring about the change,
    “You can’t change me” is in cement among the same ones,
    The people in question are long term customers.

    Being absolutely certain about the change that is needed, how much energy and attention should be given to these people? When do you just move forward with the needed changes?



    • Rosa Say says

      Mahalo for the bit of context you share Dean, for I do recognize that urge to keep the customers you already have: It’s a very strong pulling which can have us questioning our own decisions and direction. However customers are the consumers of something we produce for them, and even the most faithful will eventually peel away too if a business (or organization of any kind) loses its passion and energy and falls into the mediocrity of going through the motions. [Remember this? You’ll Be the Company you Keep]

      So how much energy should we give them? Enough I think, to be sure that we identify the true source of their resistance, for people don’t always articulate it as precisely as we need to hear, and understand it. Once certain, you do what you can for them without wavering from your own “absolute certainty about the change which is needed” and press on so they clearly get that you are not changing your own mind: Give them another recommendation where they can continue as they wish to without you if need be, then part ways with an invitation to reconnect when and if they might find they are ready for a shift too.

      What we can keep in mind in these conversations is that we are reconciling differing degrees of readiness – we are not making any judgments or pronouncements which say “you’re wrong and I’m right.” We can keep the relationship and still shift the primary energies we attend to – the change we ourselves have decided on.

      Mahalo for the question Dean, I hope that helps.

    • says

      Hey Dean!
      Nice to meet you. I’m in retail and I’ve been part of store take overs where we buy a location, go in, rebrand everything and turn it from a Mom & Pop into one of ours. That’s an abrupt change and usually pretty big. We work hard to get the customers to stay, we ask their indulgence, we offer deals during the transition and during that time we try and find out who the whales are and who the complainers are. There are some people who will be your super regulars that spend and then those that come in complain and kind of maybe sometimes spend a little something… I do what I can to keep the whales, even if it means grand-fathering them if that’s what it takes. It’s not our first choice corporately, we want things standardized, but if this person is worth 6-10k a year to a location we’re going to keep him coming to that location.
      We’ve been known to try things at a new location that we buy or build before we roll it out company wide. The theory being we’re changing all those customers anyway. It’ll only be one change for them, then if it works we roll it out to other locations, but on the roll out we do LOTS of signs ahead of time and educate the customers about future changes. Unanticipated changes are little liked typically, surprise changes are rarely liked… so whenever possible we start giving customers heads up and sometimes asking their opinion on fine tuning parts of it… nothing helps with buy in like giving them the feeling they helped develop the thing… even if it’s some small detail.

      • Rosa Say says

        Thanks for chipping in here Rich, good stuff! This bit rings true in nearly every situation I find;

        Unanticipated changes are little liked typically, surprise changes are rarely liked” so whenever possible we start giving customers heads up and sometimes asking their opinion on fine tuning parts of it” nothing helps with buy in like giving them the feeling they helped develop the thing…

        Gotta tell you that “whales” is brand new jargon for me, and am wondering if you can share any more about the word choice? Would be fascinated to learn if there is a story there…

  3. says

    It’s not my favorite word and I don’t like it much at all really. A speaker at one of our company meetings used it to refer to big spenders in the stores. I believe it’s a term used in casinos for the big gamblers, high rollers. That top 5% that if they were to leave you’d notice immediately. They’re not just regulars who come in often, but they come in often and spend piles of money.

    • Rosa Say says

      Ah… influencers who can keep you hopping on one foot if you aren’t careful – whales are certainly big enough to tip a lot of bobbling boats!

      What a coincidence, for I recently had a coaching conversation about a whale with one of my clients, and we’re trying to a) recast the whale in the company’s mindset as a different kind of ‘venture capitalist’ for them while we b) partner with the whale in the effort you mentioned earlier, getting them involved in a different way that will be a win-win.