Oh, Shift: Dealing With Change
Perhaps the most talked about session at this year's Association of College and University Printers (ACUP+) conference was the Tuesday morning keynote by Jennifer Powers. In her provocatively titled session “Oh, Shift!” she noted that shift (i.e., change) is happening all the time in our lives, and we can either resist it or be in flow with it. The latter will bring us more peace.
Words play powerful roles in our lives, Powers said, and to prove it she had volunteers read positive and negative statements to see how they affected the audience. Then she paired everyone up and had them simply compliment their partners. This visibly lifted the energy level in the room.
The upshot, she said, is that by reducing negative words in your vocabulary and adding positive words, you will attract more positive people. (The lesson inspired lots of complimenting by attendees for the duration of the conference.)
Powers also targeted the habit of blaming others for the problems we face in our lives. By doing this, we essentially give all our personal power to the person or situation we’re blaming and become the victim.
“Things don’t happen to you or against you, they just happen,” she said. “It’s how you react to those things that gives you control over your life.”
She offered a list of questions people should ask themselves before blaming or having knee-jerk reactions to situations, such as:
- What good can come of this?
- How does this fit into the bigger picture?
- What information am I lacking?
- What can I turn this into?
- Whom can I compliment or say something nice to?
- What is actually upsetting me?
- Who would love to switch places with me?