Borders Books are an example of a company who did not embrace change. They wanted to create superstores and they had an amazing model, but they didn’t pay enough attention to the effect that the Internet and digital books would have on their business. They started an online store but after a while felt it distracted them from their core business so they made the decision to outsource their e-commerce to Amazon. It was a fatal decision from which they never recovered. Although they reversed this decision in 2008 it was too late. From 2006 – 2010 their annual income dropped by $1 billion and the shops closed world-wide in 2011.
We all know that change in occurring at a rapid pace, but I was surprised to read these statistics. Denis Waitley says: ‘Every 15 seconds a new website is launched. Every 15 minutes a new technological breakthrough occurs. Every 15 days a new product or service is introduced, that didn’t exist before.’
There are very few areas of our lives that the Internet and technology have not affected, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we shop, and those who refuse to stay abreast of change often get left behind. Unless you are a person who loves change the natural response for many people is to resist the unfamiliar, but rather than do this, pause, then ask yourself these questions:
What gifts could these changes bring into my life?
What opportunities that I’ve never even thought about wait for me?
How can I use this change to create a life far grander than I ever imagined?
While change continues at such a rapid pace we need to be aware that some change is good and some weakens us. It has been reported that Generation Y, while much faster at learning that previous generations have smaller memories as they have don’t have the same need to need to memorise numbers and information as previous generations. They are also a generation whose need for instant gratification is stronger as they have been raised with so much information and access is at their fingertips.
On the other hand, a study into how technology changes the human brain in older people found that frequent users of the Internet showed twice as much activity as novices and this strengthened neural circuits in the brain, which could keep us mentally active for much longer.
Resistance is an automatic response that makes life more difficult. What we need to develop is our ability to be mindful. To pause before we say ‘yes’, ‘no’, or react. When you combine mindfulness with discernment you gain wisdom. At this time in our world we need to embrace change by retaining the good from the older generations and combining it with the knowledge and eagerness of the younger generations to enable us to create the best possible world that serves all mankind.