Constantly Change the Changeable While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable

One of the most important distinctions you need to learn to make is between those things in your life that should be constant and unchangeable and the kind of change you should welcome.

-Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rear view of a male kayaker paddling through rapids

If an amateur canoeist unexpectedly finds himself in a raging rapid what do you suppose would come to his mind?  A new technique, a new way to lunge his paddle into the water? Or would his mind immediately flash back to the words of his instructor, “Dig in!”?  Where would your mind go in that situation?

Rabbi Lapin gives this advice. “The more things change, the more you must depend on things that never change.”  He suggests that the Jewish star, also known as the Star of David, shows how to balance change with a fixed frame of reference.  The triangle on its base represents things that should never change in life.  Lapin points to things such as your relationships with your Creator and your family.  The triangle on its apex represents being open to and benefiting from the opportunity that comes with change.  The relationship between the two suggests that a strong base of things that do not change allows you to deal with and even embrace the things that inevitably will.

Change will happen.  Your cheese will be moved.  Jim Collins, author of Built to Last, was asked how great companies get through tough times.  Collins suggested “In times of great duress, tumult, and uncertainty, you have to have moorings.”  A mooring refers to any permanent structure to which a vessel may be secured.

We’ve all heard the stories of famous coaches going back to the basics at points of change.  A college basketball coach that teaches his freshman all-state recruits their first lesson on his team – how to tie their shoes.  Vince Lombardi holds up a football as he addresses his team before the big game “Gentleman, this is a football.” Back to the basics.

I have even found that forcing change helps keep me sharp.  To keep my shot on I often shoot three pointers left handed.  If I want to even hit the backboard it has to be back to the basics.  Good lift, elbow above my shoulder at the top, elbow pointed at the rim, aim small – concentrate on the middle eyelet on the rim, reach for the cookie jar and let the it roll off my pointer finger last, focus on the eyelet – do not watch the ball in the air.  When I go back to my strong hand – my shot never felt more natural.

When you or your company face great change go back to the basics.  The blocking and tackling.  The things that your earlier victories were founded on.  Stand on this firm footing. With a strong base – take full advantage of the opportunity change presents.

-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.