Brokenness: It Always Forces a Change!

Photo Credit: Colin Adamson

It is quite evident that BP is in every news article that you read lately. I personally can not wait to read the case studies that will evolve in regards to BP’s announced change. One thought that continues to go through my mind is, why does true/solid change only occur after a devastated type of event has happened? Why can’t we foresee such drastic change measures that need to occur either in our personal life or in our corporations  until a disaster has to strike before a change is made? Why is it that when we become “broken” through the process of a criss that we psychologically realize we need change? To be broken, as defined by Wiktionary, has some clever understanding as to what this word means: fragmented, completely defeated and dispirited, having no money, degraded, badly designed and implemented, not having gone in the way intended. A conglomerate as big as BP through the devastation of gulf oil spill has now realized that it must change the way of doing business – this includes culture, safety, and future management practices – in order to be a good corporate citizen.

My thought though has been, why have these items never been incorporated in the organization from the start? I at times want to say who or what overpowered a few of these basic common sense items such as safety? Most of us want to answer this question by saying “greed”, but are we willing to go a step further? Does a deeper answer exist? Will BP be willing to challenge themselves in the right way to obtain deeper answers as make this change happen and stick? Are we even willing to challenge ourselves to a deeper level of thinking? Why is it when something is taken away that we are then willing to face reality and make change?

I think of consumer spending in regards to the Great Recession that America (and even on a global basis) has been battling. Why is it that reality has just now sunk into our minds about such crazy spending habits and about how banks and lending institutions devised such a clever plan on making money from our lofty spending ways? Everyone wants to place blame on everyone else, but in this cycle, who is the one that initiates all this activity? Would it be the consumer? And why is the consumer a suspect here? Have we not allowed banks and lending institutions to fill such emotional voids or other psychological needs that allowed us to temporarily keep up with and excel at having more “things” than the “Jones’”? Then a crash, why are some people freaking out so bad when this cyclical spending has been interrupted? Why have we become so emotionally attached to wanting to return back to what was believed to being times of economic prosperity and happiness? Was it true prosperity or just a loan on temporary happiness and now the loan from life’s psychology department has become due and some people are not able to emotionally pay?

Have we kind of forgotten about Newton’s law of gravity, what goes up, must come down? Did we ever think that our consumer spending habits or corporate management practices were going to finally reach that “hyperbolic” orbit and that we had evolved enough as a society that we would never fail again back to the level experienced during the Great Depression? For anyone that has been following me around online knows that my life has been temporarily interrupted by a broken foot. This has been the first time in my life that I have had to truly depend on others, forced to sit down and stop, and not able to do the things that I want. I never realized how much a right broken foot would interrupt my life and plans. For example, driving is really out the window. My hobby as a digital photographer had to be put on hold – hard to take a photo with a heavy camera on one foot while leaning on two crutches.  It even impacted piano playing in regards to right foot pedal control – and those that know me, I have several keyboards that I play at one time using multiple pedals. No matter what I tried to do, I was always reminded, the foot is broken and this activity cannot be performed. I never thought I’d miss wanting to go to the gym and work out, play tennis, golf, sand volleyball, mountain biking as I never realized how much I wanted those things to be a part of my life. In this time, the only thing that would work was my brain and how much I really wanted to change my life to be able to enjoy the things that I did once and follow the things that I am passion about – (not to mention the daily reminder that I need to chuck 40lbs). Yes, the broken foot and broken spirit has really prompted change in my life. Yes with all the little parts of my life now lying out in front of me, I want to be more active and healthier from a physical stance in addition to moving forward in my desire of leadership and learning development studies.

I am curious to hear from you as the reader, what times of brokenness have prompted you to make the biggest change in your life. How did you initiate, manage, and ensure the process was successful?


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