Architects of Change Share How We Can All Move Forward

AOCs

On the eve of Friday’s presidential inauguration, we released a special edition of The Sunday Paper. Our goal was to remind you that we have navigated change before and we will navigate it again.

As part of that effort, we reached out to five Architects of Change who are renowned at navigating change in life. We asked them to come up with words that would provide an elevated perspective to help us go into the days ahead with hope and wisdom.

We are grateful to be able to share their powerful words with you below.

Tony Robbins
Husband · Motivational Speaker · Architect of Change

“In the modern world that we live in today, the only thing that you can be certain about is that change is a constant. While some people are fearful in the face of uncertainty, others thrive. How do they do it? What is the difference between someone who views uncertainty as a gift, versus someone who sees it as an obstacle? Think of the difference between fear and faith. Both are about the future, both convey something that is unknowable, both are experiences of life, and both are built on your imagination. The only difference between the two is that fear is imagination undirected and faith is imagination that we consciously direct to create what we want in life. When you step into uncertainty knowing that certainty isn’t just a feeling – it’s a habit you create – everything shifts. When you have faith and let go of what you can’t control and instead put all your focus into what you can make happen, you’re on the right path. Whenever you consciously focus on what you have instead of what’s missing, your mind and heart will fill up with gratitude. If you take your focus away from imagined worst-case scenarios and instead focus on serving something or someone you love or something greater than yourself, fear and suffering evaporate. If you truly connect and contribute deeply to something more than just yourself, you will find yourself thriving even in the most turbulent of times. The choice is yours!”

Martha Beck
Mother · Life Coach · Architect of Change

“Uncertainty triggers our fear of the unknown, our dread of inevitable losses, our most desperate, obsessive, agonized hopes. Ironically, we can never truly be certain of anything. Anything might happen to us tomorrow, tonight, in ten minutes.  That truth can shake us to our cores. But it can also orient us toward a new way of being, help us tune into our inner guidance and respond creatively and openly to whatever comes. Especially when the times are most uncertain, we must be certain to trust ourselves.”

Pema Chödrön
Mother · Nun · Architect of Change

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” (shared from Chödrön’s book, When Things Fall Apart).

TD Jakes
Father · Pastor · Architect of Change

Mark 3:25 KJV: “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

“Historically we have always had presidents that delighted half the country; but dismayed the other half. This cycle has been contentious beyond the norm. But what has enabled us to maintain our balance in such polarizing times is our government’s system of checks and balances and the extraordinary goodness of the American people to be self-correcting.  Let’s watch as well as pray for the nation and its new leadership and when you see something, say something!”

Nely Galan
Mother · Entrepreneur · Architect of Change

2016 was a year that shook me to the core. As an immigrant, I understand the swing of uncertain times, but also that those are the times when we rise and grow. In 2017, I WILL rise further because I know there is no Prince Charming. I know no one is coming to save me. No mate, boss, corporation, government or President is coming to my rescue and it no longer matters because I know I can do it myself. I am my own Prince Charming. I am done with being paralyzed by fear and fear of failure. I have turned fear and failure into my best friends. When fear shows up, I do it anyway. When I fail and fall, I mourn it, cry it out and get back on the horse. I am done with not declaring myself, as I know that if I don’t choose myself first, no one else will. I am done with the notion that the painful parts of my life are something to sweep under the rug—because I understand that I am an expert in that pain and I can turn my pain into profit. I am done with waiting for things to happen, knowing full well at this point in my life and career that power is taken, not given. I am done with making myself less of anything that I am: Latina, colorful, loud, bold, disruptive, brutally honest, (all things I have been told to tone down my entire life), because I know that all my power lies in being completely authentic. Finally, I am done with depending on anyone or anything financially. I decided to start an entrepreneurial path, step by step, first as a side hustle and then as my identity and career. I am not a celebrity, I can’t sing or dance, and I am not an athlete. BUT I AM SELF MADE, and that has made all the difference. And if I can do it, you can too in 2017!

Joan Chittister
Nun · Author · Architect of Change

In times of great personal and social upheaval, real peacemakers, genuine bridge builders do four things:

First, they must tap into their own deepest spiritual self and recommit to the higher values that shines in them there.

Second, they must speak kindly to the other at all times. No name-calling, no threats, no ultimatums, no personal judgments.

Third, they must articulate their own values, goals, concerns and hopes clearly and calmly.

Fourth, and perhaps most important, they must listen carefully to the issues and commitments that impel and motivate the other, looking for the desires that are common to both sides. 

Then, and only then, can we say that we are honestly committed to working together for the common good. Only then can we call ourselves peacemakers.

Never before have we needed this kind of common commitment so badly.  Honesty, clarity, kindness and wisdom are the key to a just future. Maybe it’s time for us to form uncommon groups of unlike minds using these simple guidelines as a way forward. 

I always thought that Congress was meant to be that group. Obviously, this commitment has withered there. So, now it is clearly up to us.

 

 

About the Author

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Lindsay Wilkes-Edrington is Shriver Media's digital director. She’d love to hear your ideas and feedback for the Architects of Change digital community! Connect with her here.

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