Saturday, August 9, 2008

Embrace change, but don't let go of your values...

As humans, we often become creatures of habit. Once that " habit" is broken, we try to see it as a way of opening our arms to change. However, inspite of embracing that change, we tend to let go of our values.

Take for instance, a new job. You're so happy that you landed it. It pays better, it has benefits, it's closer to home....but then, to make money, you have to do some backhanded things, some things that may go against your morals. That's where letting go of your values comes into play. Sure you embraced the change, you're living the life! But at what cost? If you hadn't landed this job, you wouldn't be doing 1/3 of the things required of you. Sure, you love the money, and the benefits-the fact that it's closer to home. The way you see it, it was a good change, slightly peppered with bad values.

In the beginning it's great. You're hitting every goal that your boss wants you to hit. You begin to lose that guilt of selling a product to someone that you know will crap out within six months, just because there's a bigger comission in it for you. You lose sight of what makes you, you. Your character is taking a hit. You don't notice it though, others around you do. And this makes you a not so favored friend. You're teetering on the edge of aquaintance and stranger.

One day you realize that you've spent years at a company that offered such great things, but you're not happy. You're not happy with the person you've become. You can't even remember the person that you were, all you can remember is that you had friends who loved you, you had values. You embraced a change, but let go of all of your values.

Before, you were the star sales rep at your previous company. Sure, you weren't making as much money, but you were happy. You had a rapport with all clients. They loved coming in and talking to you. You were honest with them, informing them that, for example, " that toaster will putz out on you in 2 weeks" and suggesting a different toaster, which while a bit higher in price, had better quality. You were willing to take a cut in commission to sell this toaster to someone, because they needed it. Because it would better their life. And in turn, you got referrals because of how much you wanted to work with the client to meet their needs.

Now, you are the star sales rep, but for a different reason. You sell cheap products to unsuspecting customers because it means that you will be able to buy that new pair of shoes, or put a down payment on that little red sports car. You don't care that the client will be back within a matter of months to return the piece of crap item they purchased; You'll just show them a sign that says all sales are final. No refunds, exchanges, or credits. You've become a zombie. You've lost all compassion for anyone but yourself. You. Are. Alone.

Values are what make us who we are. They give us our opinions. They make us different, they give us character. Life is that much richer because of values. Values give us a conscience.

Change is good. Change is necessary. Without change, again, life would not be as rich and fullfilling.

There is, however, a balance that needs to be maintained between the two. You have to embrace change. There's no way around it. Eventually, things will happen that you can't avoid. But in doing that, don't lose sight of your values, and most definitely don't let go of them.

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