transform/21 — the process of mastering change

A ca. 6 months old Winter White Russian Dwarf ...

If you feel like a lot of your life comes down to being a hamster on a wheel, then this blog post may just be worth reading.

transform/21 is the formal name of my “mastering change” newsletter, where I share with my readers the best tools, articles, and ideas I have come across for really understanding now change works and how to put it into personal use for developing your own personal and career success.

The “21” has a double meaning; the first is a reference to personal survival in the 21st century, and my own view that in our 21st century world the hamster wheel is spinning a heck of a lot faster, driven by globalization, new technologies, demographics, and a host of other “big factors”. The world we’re living in is most certainly not the world our parents still sometimes describe to us  — where good jobs follow as a consequence of completing an education, companies that exist where we can put down roots and grow our careers for decades at a time, where we can make an elegant shift from working to retirement, and where institutions are there for us when we need them. Doesn’t seem to be our 21st century reality… so to survive and thrive means we need to hone our own skills at being more agile, more adaptable, and more comfortable with ongoing change.

The second meaning is a reference to what change is really all about — mastering habits.  At its core, “change” is nothing more than replacing old (bad?) habits (sitting on the couch watching TV, for example) that don’t get us what we know we need with new (good?) habits (going for a walk every evening to improve health and lose weight) that take us where we want to get to. Now for anyone who has ever tried to create a new habit (and hasn’t everyone?) we know it just is not that easy. It turns out to be about creating new neural pathways in our brains, which takes, some of the literature suggests, at least 21 days of repetition before it becomes our “preferred” response. (Now, take that “21” with a grain of salt — there is some interesting research into how long it takes to form ingrained behavior patterns and of course the answer really is: “it depends on the habit”. Read about that here…. for my purposes, I’m going to go with “21” for consistent branding!)

So transform/21 speaks to a methodology of 21 cycles to master change — at a personal, professional, business, and societal level — so we can increasingly become masters of our own destiny in the 21st century. Just in case that’s important to you.

Love to hear your comments about this — and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!


5 thoughts on “transform/21 — the process of mastering change

  1. Hey Tim,

    This looks interesting – I will sign up.

    The biggest “21” things for me are (A) trying to figure out the best time to jump off the crazy train and (B) helping the two offspring figure out what to do with themselves. Lots of opportunity and threat to consider in both cases.


  2. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for your comment. My thoughts: (A) — the best time to jump off the crazy train is when you start to realize it’s taking you in circles. If you still think it’s getting you somewhere (and you really should be able to articulate where that *somewhere* is…) then you probably want to stay on for a while more…. on (B), I’m in the same boat as my kids are 19 and 21 and just going through the process of draining our RESP’s, and I’m wondering where it all leads… at CCI (my career coaching company) we’re working on a program now to help the 20-25 year old crowd get a jump start on their career (working title = “career accelerator”). Still in early days however I’ll be writing more about that as we figure out what it needs to look like to be useful and consumable by that marketplace. Stay tuned…

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