24. Embrace Change.

What got us here is not always the same as what will take us to the next level. Be inspired by the opportunities that change brings, rather than stubbornly holding on to the old ways of doing things. Be flexible and open to new approaches, whether it’s technology or a new process to improve efficiency.

Kevin's Message:


Imagine your manager comes up to you tomorrow and says, “you’ve been doing great work lately. I’m going to double your pay”. In this hypothetical situation, change would be pretty easy to embrace.

Others aren’t so easy.

Think about some dramatic changes that Famous has made throughout the years;

  • Investing in our computer system (Eclipse) in 1998
  • Moving customer deliveries to distribution centers
  • Entering a new corporate headquarters.

Associates lost their routines for writing orders. Many people were unsure if we could service customer deliveries at a high level from the DCs. Moving into a new headquarters meant over 100 associates would have to work in a whole new way.

I use these examples to make a point that someone shared with me a while back;

We do not fear change. We fear what we lose from the change.

So why do we fear loss? The reason is that our brains like being certain about the future. If we know what’s coming, our chances of survival increase. It’s how our brains are wired.

The human brain is complex and for many years the way it works has been a mystery. As we’ve studied it more, a significant theme emerged that explains why some change can be uncomfortable.

What we’ve found is that uncertainty heightens stimulation in our Amygdala. This is the oldest and most primitive part of our brain that controls “fight, flight or freeze” response.

This mechanism was far more important to our species many thousands of years ago than it is today. Uncertainty then meant being unsure of what was lurking in the jungle (that may want to make us their dinner), so our Amygdala was doing its job to keep us alive.

Uncertainty today does not have nearly as dire of consequences, yet our Amygdala stays working in the background of our lives every day. This means that when we decide to change the way we do something in our business, our brains release stressors to make us anxious. It’s trying to protect us from life-threatening danger, even though we aren’t in life-threatening danger. Fascinating!

So what can we do about it?

One way is to regularly practice mindfulness to remain in the present moment. When we’re present, we don’t need to rely on our instincts to react to situations. If we’re here, our brains aren’t working in overdrive, and it’s easier to process new information with a clear, rational mind.

Everything in the world is always changing and moving forward. We have to evolve and adapt, or we’ll be left behind. If we practice mindfulness to stay present, we will meet these challenges with a clear, happy and healthy mind.