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  • Emily Witter

Joy@Work #3 Dancing with change - The hoodoos and how dos



Whether you work in an office, factory, farm or home, the concept of joy at work is so important. You spend most of your waking hours for most of your life working in some form or another. Mostly I hear people bemoan some aspect of work: they dread waking up, they hate a co-worker, things are always changing, their work is repetitive and depressing, the place is distressing...

It is important to make a conscious choice: is that how you really want your life to be? If the answer is no, then YOU need to change!

Many of the aspects of your current distress may be out of your control, however one crucial aspect is all your doing... your attitude! Amazingly that can make all the difference in your world!

And now to introduce you to the hoodoos...

My daughter just graduated with a geology degree from Queens University in Canada. As a part of the celebration, first, she drove two friends from Kingston to Vancouver, and then my husband and I flew to Vancouver and the three of us drove the 2000 miles back across Canada, to Kingston for her graduation. Why am I telling you this? Because travelling with a geologist provides a whole new perspective which I thought you may appreciate as much as we did.

First, do you know what a hoodoo is? They look like this…


As you drive over the rim into the gorge it looks as though you are entering an alien world - it is very exciting. This amazing landscape is formed by changes which took place over 1.8 billion years. Seen in this light, whatever you are experiencing can seem very small and relatively inconsequential.

I thought back to my first office, the computer, yes there was ONE and it had 500mb! That was considered huge! I can remember the excitement when we had our first FAX machine, everyone stopped with anticipation when it began to whir, and a fax came through on a long roll of paper which needed to be cut into A4 size. Then they were carefully filed, only to discover, years later, that the words had all faded away! It feels like a lifetime ago and so different from today and our incredible electronic 24/7 communications.

The hoodoos have grown because of a combination of the weather and the way they were created*. When you stand in the middle of what has been fashioned from billions of years of change, it broadens your perspective.

Let me ask you…

  1. How do you generally respond to the concept of change? 😄 ☹

  2. Are you comfortable exploring new ways of communicating? 😄 ☹

  3. Do you enjoy meeting new people? 😄 ☹

  4. Do new opportunities excite and motivate you? 😄 ☹

  5. Do changes in plans or schedule upset you? 😄 ☹

  6. Does a new boss or organisational structure bother you? 😄 ☹

  7. What if your business / life must completely re-invent its-self? 😄 ☹

  8. Do you need to change-proof yourself? 😄 ☹

How you respond, will either fuel you with enthusiasm and joy for life and work or fill you with dread and stress. If you had more ☹ than 😊 then let’s look at each question with some practical suggestions for you.

  1. How do you generally respond to the concept of change? 😄 ☹ If you are resistant and expecting the worst, think back - were there any changes that ended up being for the better? Change IS going to occur, so best to flow with it and look for the gifts that may be there.

  2. Are you comfortable exploring new ways of communicating? 😄 ☹ This does mean learning something new, and that is a real bonus to keep your brain active and dementia at bay. Ask a young person to teach you, maybe do a skill swap! The opportunities to communicate on a global scale and very inexpensively are truly thrilling.

  3. Do you enjoy meeting new people? 😄 ☹ If you feel a bit uncomfortable, start by asking them a few ‘open ended’ questions. That is a question which requires a response other than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example: ‘How do you feel about this weather?’ rather than, ‘Hot today, isn’t it?’

  4. Do new opportunities excite and motivate you? 😄 ☹ An appropriate amount of caution might be very wise, however spend an equal or greater amount of time considering all the wonderful things that might occur.

  5. Do changes in plans or schedule upset you? 😄 ☹ Start to notice how often the new plan or schedule actually works out better than the original and then you will begin to almost look forward to them!

  6. Does a new boss / organisational structure / move / relationship bother you? 😄 ☹ Coming in new to an existing group or structure is always difficult for all involved. The new person/system may have specific tasks to perform and may feel very awkward. Keep communications open, gently ask for the reasons for the changes, make an effort to include new people in existing rituals and together plan what will be the new ways of operating.

  7. What if your business / life must completely re-invent its-self? 😄 ☹ Sometimes you go through a time when all the things you thought were ‘certain’ suddenly are removed. Having experienced that, I know there is great sorrow and heartbreak. You may feel that you are living in a vacuum, void and empty of all that was. The good news is that nature/life loves a vacuum and only when everything has been removed can new things/people/experiences be drawn into that space. So, pause, heal, be gentle with yourself and wait for your new opportunities.

  8. Do you need to change-proof yourself? 😄 ☹ Most of us do! Sadly, this very important skill is not taught at school, only through the knocks of life and our basic temperament. Learn coping strategies and build your resilience, then you will have a way to dance with the hoodoos and be the best you can be at any time in your life.

There are two specific coping strategy programs: One is ‘Colour me Resilient’ where you can create 8 bespoke resilience strategies based on your specific temperament and the other an 8-step routine, taking only 8 minutes a day called ‘Mind Chi’.

* Hoodoos typically form in areas where a thick layer of a relatively soft rock, such as sandstone is covered by a thin layer of hard rock, such as well-cemented limestone. Over time, cracks in the resistant layer allow the much softer rock beneath to be eroded and washed away.

Hoodoos form where a small cap of the resistant layer remains and protects a cone of the underlying softer layer from erosion. Further erosion of the soft layer causes the cap to be undercut, eventually falling off, and the remaining cone is then quickly eroded.

Why don't you engage with Vanda by email?

#joywork #leadership #Resilience #MindChi #change