Monday, August 07, 2006

Change Management 101

Years ago, when my brother Ben and I were 16 and 17, respectively, we were constantly fighting over use of our parents' old 1981 Reliant K-Car station wagon. The dispute usually arose over who had put gas in it more recently and therefore had primary driving rights.

Ben was always a car guy, and he knows more about what goes on under the hood than I could ever hope to know. So one day he decided to use his knowledge for evil. He disabled something so that I could not start the car.

I was furious. I had places to go, people to see... and I was probably even more angry that he had outsmarted me. I could not let that go unanswered.

So I hoisted the car up, took off two tires, and hid them.

I was very proud of my ingenuity. I learned a lesson that day: if you can't adapt yourself to the situation, adapt the situation to yourself.

Wow, did that lesson ever screw me over.

Now I find that when I'm confronted with situation I can't handle, I change the situation instead of changing me. This has had rather unfortunate ramifications; for instance, if there's a task I can't complete at work, I'll frequently just leave it for someone else to do, rather than dive in and learn as I go. If I'm stressed out about family life, I'll bury myself into computer games or books or anything, just to avoid having to grow into a better husband and father.

It's only occurred to me recently that this is rather unhealthy behaviour.

Um, God? Help.

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