A good few years into my life, I have started over in Surrey.
Was an evolutionary or revolutionary approach required? I might as well try both.
Change is a funny thing and comes in many guises. It can be:
• Continuous or one-off.
• Small or large-scale.
• Fast or slow.
I decided my approach to becoming a ‘Surreyite’ was to be an evolutionary one as the process involved several major life changes. To make them manageable I broke each into incremental stages.
The ‘to do ‘ list felt endless. This did mean though that I got to wallow in my guilty pleasure of writing lists, fancy notepads and a multitude of coloured pens. I adore stationery. Long live Paper Chase! Check it out paperchase.co.uk
I got stuck into the meaty stuff of finding a place to live, tended to my sporting needs by transferring my gym membership and found my way round Dorking. I will not go on, but you get the gist.
View from café in Waitrose Dorking
Looking back, taking the first tentative steps were the hardest. With each step I achieved a goal, built my knowledge and grew in confidence. Momentum gathered and I was implementing change at a comfortable pace.
This evolutionary approach had the benefit of affording me space and time. I could change a plan, refocus while taking a walk and embed my new thinking. I do not think the luxury of digesting experiences can be overstated when building a strong base to move forward from.
My incremental change continues today.
So, is there a place for rapid transformation, a revolution? I tried it, admittedly by mistake, and yes there is.
I am a steady, some would say slow, driver. Picture this, a scorching hot June day. The grass needs cutting and I am pottering along, in first gear, on a sit on mower. To avoid my skin being scorched I decide to speed the job up.
Who needs incremental change? Move aside Jenson Button, I can handle this machine in fourth gear. Why bother with those middling second and third gears?
Yaaaahooooo speeding around felt exciting, if not a little out of control. All I had to do was avoid the decrepit standpipe in the garden! In one badly timed turn I ran straight over the standpipe. Flattened, water spurting everywhere, with me and the mower wedged on top waiting to be helped, must have been a sight to behold.
It turned out OK though. I was rescued, the mower survived and the old standpipe was fixed and transformed with a brand new tap. The tap now does not have a jaunty angle or need two people to turn it on!
This ‘big bang’ change (literally in this case) can be:
• Scary and exciting.
• Fast and unpredictable.
• Provide unexpected and positive outcomes.
Which approach is best?
I guess the answer is that both the evolutionary and revolutionary approaches are effective. It is discerning when to use them, and how to respond, is the clever bit.
Have you a preference for how you tackle change?
Until next time, when I would like to look at how change can happen through reflection.