Seems to me that there are reasons God changes the season four times a year. A change of scenery is a time of renewal, provides a different perspective, a different outlook. Think of how you feel each Spring that first day the sun heats the day enough to wear shorts or spend lunch time soaking in the heat and light. How does that make you feel? I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, reinvigorated. I get the same feeling the first crisp Fall day when the colors start to change and the air temperature cools. Even that first cold, bitter winter day causes me to refocus, buckle down.
Last week I changed offices for the first time in seven years. I was reluctant. I liked my old “crib,” it was in a great hood, and the neighbors were fun and comforting. Yet now I’ve been my new digs for a week. And my perspective is changing. I’m seeing things differently. I’m having different conversations, leading to different connections, leading to different (better?) outcomes. I guess I needed a change of scenery.
While I changed my role here at Darden more or less a year ago, it is this change of scenery that is truly pushing me, morphing my point of view, transforming my perspective. I’m rebuilding my energy and enthusiasm for my goals.
Are you stuck somewhere? On something? Are you in a job that is no longer fun and productive? Are you finishing your first term at Darden and not liking the results—feeling already in a rut rather than in the zone? Did you do a summer internship in which you felt trapped rather than engaged?
Maybe you need a change of scenery. The most dramatic (and most difficulty, and most risky) change of scenery is a completely new job change—with a job change, it’s likely that you get a do-over, a fresh start, no baggage. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where the job (or the scene) is changing you, causing you to question who you are or causing you to change what you believe, how you act. It’s easy to recognize that you need a change of scenery, but making that step is so difficult, feels so risky. It’s easy to create excuses, delays. Yet, the longer you stay in the scene, the more difficult it becomes to escape. You become a part of it. Sometimes a new job, new company, new career is the only answer to whatever is ailing you, the only thing that can solve the underlying problem, the only solution that can renew, get you unstuck. If so, take the plunge with your eyes wide open, with lots of advice, and lots of preparation. Lots have been written on this subject.
But you don’t have to change jobs/companies/careers to have a change of scenery. You can change your scenery right where you are: at Darden, in your classroom, in your current job, wherever you are stuck.
Here’s my top 6 suggestions for a change of scenery—some I’ve just done, some I’ve encountered in other ruts along the way. Some cause a permanent change, some just temporary.
- Change your immediate physical surroundings—move offices, redecorate. As I started this blog, this sole act is giving me new approaches and new opportunities I could have never created in my old home.
- Change your neighbors—you might love ‘em, but maybe new neighbors will help you get unstuck. Now I have new neighbors, different folks sticking their heads in the door in the morning to say hello. The conversations are rich with newness.
- Spend time outdoors—there’s nothing like God’s creation to help you see things differently or put things in perspective.
- Engage in significant physical activity—try a 100 mile bike ride or three hour walk. Try to push yourself beyond what you’ve ever done. Do something that requires you to really concentrate and put everything else aside. (Today, I combined 3 and 4 with a 30 mile bike ride for the Boys & Girls Club. It’s different now than a normal Sunday night. The physical exhaustion, the reflection of the mountain views and the blue sky—I feel I have a different perspective.)
- Do something you’ve never (or seldom) done that gives you a real thrill. Last week I went whitewater rafting with my family. Wow! You really forget what you are doing and focus on the task at hand. The adrenaline rush clears your mind in a way that you seldom experience.
- If all else fails, go shopping. Or to Dunkin Donuts.
Need a way to re-engage, re-energize, start over? Try a change of scenery this week. Then write me and tell me about it.