Are You Prepared to Handle Life Changes?
July 25, 2018 by VIA Institute on Character ·
Turn Small Changes Into Big Opportunities
There is an old Chinese proverb, “When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.” It’s a beautiful metaphor for how you can approach transitions with either resistance or purpose. But what about those times that you don’t notice the wind is blowing? You look around and realize that you are in the middle of a life change that you didn’t quite prepare for. Maybe you are in one right now. Let’s explore…
Take a moment and think about where you are now compared to last year in all domains of your life (relationships, professional, hobbies, personal). Maybe you’ve taken on new responsibilities at work—not quite a career change, but your role is still shifting, evolving. Perhaps your child is starting a new school, club or sports team and you are now balancing different schedules and being introduced to new people. Or maybe your health has changed and you’re making more mindful choices regarding your diet and exercise. These may not feel like monumental life changes, but chances are, you are instinctively using your top character strengths to fluidly adjust and adapt to these new experiences.
And what if you’re not? Now is your chance to take stock. Your character strengths are the positive aspects of your personality that define who you are and impact the way you think, feel and behave. Effectively harnessing your strengths can help you maneuver through changes with confidence and greater ease. Your answers to the research-based VIA Survey revealed which strengths come most naturally to you (Sign in to your account to view your Results again). Now, how do you put them to use?
In our online, on-demand course, Navigating Transitions, our experts have taken the science on character strengths and created an actionable model to help you use your strengths as you move through new experiences. You’ll be taught how to learn from past strengths use, explore present challenges with an open mind, and look toward future opportunities with self-compassion and hope. And since we know you’re busy, we’ve designed this course to give you the flexibility to work through the material at your convenience. Learn more and register here.
After all, some life changes are so important that the dates are worth remembering, like the birth of a child, the beginning of a new job, or the death of a loved one; but small changes are constantly drifting in and out too. It’s good to be mindful of these minor shifts and reassess how your character strengths can help you make the most of them, building windmills instead of walls.