When asked to write a blog on handling change that is forced upon you, my first thought was: I have some experience here, but my second thought was—I am not a writer. When I think of a change ‘forced upon you,’ this implies an unwelcome change. When that happens to me, I try to understand it the best I can and then use techniques that have been successful in the past.

What is the change? What is the impact and duration? Does the change impact a single person, a group, a company, a business sector, a region, a nation, or the world? Is this change temporary or permanent? Is the change a complete showstopper? Do you now have to choose a different path, or do you just have to proceed down the same path, but in a different way? What are the consequences of not accepting the change or ignoring it?

COVID-19 was temporarily a showstopper and has temporarily changed our path to perform business and has affected the world. We live, work, and play differently now because of it.

When I found out I have cancer that is not curable but treatable, I knew permanent changes were coming to me, my family, and my work. I still mostly do the things I want/need to do, just a little differently.

Then there are minor changes with updated software or website reconfigurations that force you to work differently than before.

I try my best not to let a change be all-consuming. I compartmentalize so that work, home, and play can continue and expend energy only on the change when appropriate. I think it is extremely important not to go it alone. There is always someone else who has gone through this before or someone in the same situation. Work together. There is almost always something good to be found; a silver lining. Find it and be grateful. Telehealth and pollution reduction are positives from COVID-19. Getting to be closer to my brother is a positive from cancer, and I am incredibly grateful. Possibly getting your work done quicker as a result of a software update is also beneficial.

Finally, a temporary distraction might be helpful to better focus later on the change. The best kind is to do something caring for someone else. It makes me feel better and helps me think more clearly after I volunteer and makes the change easier to handle.