- make (someone or something) different; alter or modify
- replace (something) with something else
- the act or instance of making or becoming different
Greetings my vocabulary-loving friends! You may have noticed that we have changed the format of our newsletter. So I thought for this month’s Word I would take a closer look at a word that seems so commonplace it seems to hardly need examining. It’s omnipresent and elusive, and able to strike either fear or elation in the hearts of humans, often mutually exclusively. Forget about how my cats handle change!
First, a few fun facts:
- According to thesaurus.com, there are no less than 157 synonyms for change. I try to make these blogs about 600 words, so listing all the synonyms would take up a quarter of my post!
- A little Googling yielded dozens of websites listing hundreds of quotes and adages on the subject of change. Here is a sampling:
- “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
- “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
- “A wise man changes his mind; a fool never will.” – Proverb
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
- “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai
- “If we don’t change we don’t grow. If we don’t grow we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy
Change is a paradox. We are wired to be resistant to change but we also crave change. We often feel like nothing ever changes, but we often feel that change is the only constant. It’s a word that evokes novelty but is hard to even talk about without sounding trite.
So enough about the intrinsic nature of the word. What can I add to the mix? Probably nothing on a grand scale, but I can talk about how I think about change in my business.
I operate in an industry frequently called “flexible workspace,” so change is built right into what we do here at CapeSpace. Being flexible means being able to change and adapt easily to changing customer needs, technologies, environmental conditions and the other assorted seismic shifts which seem to occur regularly in the modern world. Being part of this industry has helped me to think about change as normal, and has steered me away from static decisions. One of my favorite quotes about change, which has been attributed to Henry Kissinger, says that the best decision is the one that is most easily reversed. That’s a philosophy that anticipates change.
I think part of the reason we sometimes fear change is that we don’t have enough practice at managing it. Everything gets easier with practice, and I think it’s fair to say we have all been forced to practice a lot in the last few years. I also would bet that out of the many awful downsides to the forced changes we have endured, we all found a few positives. Home improvement projects got done; cooking skills improved; money got saved; long distance friends and family got more face time through Zoom; maybe even some great new ideas got generated.
At CapeSpace, we decided it was time to update our newsletter format, in an attempt to avoid being lost in the barrage of information coming your way daily, with a cleaner style, less clutter, standardized features and (hopefully) more relevant and useful content. So for all of you who have read and commented on our newsletter, we know that your attention is a limited resource, and we thank you kindly for sharing some of it with us. We would be delighted if you’d share your thoughts about our newsletter, and about change, with us.
Live long and prosper,