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Where Have All The Kolaches Gone? – 10 Powerful Benefits of Embracing Change!

Posted by Kathy Laster on 09/14/2015

My paternal grandfather emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the early 1900’s.  I grew up eating delicious kolaches every time I visited with the Malchar side of the family, where they settled in Crosby, Texas (near Houston).  For my birthday this year, a dear friend treated me by planning a trip to the Czech Republic, so I could look into my European heritage.  One thing I looked forward to most was to have an authentic kolache!  I am sad to say, I left Prague having never seen one!
Although kolaches eluded me on my trip, I felt the excitement and renewal of a part of our world that has experienced a re-birth since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. It was then that the Czechs got their freedom back with the collapse of Communistic rule and the Berlin wall.  Our 65+ year-old Czech born and reared tour guides were contagiously enthusiastic about sharing all that their country has to offer the world and the strength of character they possess that helped them survive such a checkered and difficult history. 
Having been one of the few European cities that escaped damage from bombing during WWII, Prague is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  It has overcome the time it was referred to as the “black city” while under the Communists’ rule. It now gleams with colorful, revitalized buildings, yet still maintains its rich history and tradition. One cannot help but feel a vibrancy and optimism when walking through the streets and over the historical Charles Bridge of Prague!
So what does this have to do with Leadership? For me, it brings to mind the importance of embracing change and letting go of our entrenched, deep-rooted expectations. Upon reflection, I realize that the good things in my life, both personally and professionally, are the result of changes that occurred in the past. So here’s the reality: Things change, a new generation emerges, growth happens, and inconceivable progress comes about. While change can be painful and requires us to mourn loss (my kolaches, in this case!), it creates a space for what is to come.  With this newness, comes hope, vibrancy, and renewal. Companies and leaders, who become stagnant, get left behind.  Those who resist change pay costs in lost opportunities by undervaluing what tomorrow may bring.
Since we all experience the constant state of change, it helps to remind ourselves of some of the benefits of change. I would like to share 10 Powerful Benefits of Embracing Change from an inspiring little blog I read this past week by Ani Alexander (see below).  I’m now ready to give up my expectation of finding kolaches on every corner in Prague, and embrace the beauty and potential of what this ever-changing world has to offer!

10 Powerful Benefits of Embracing Change (by Ani Alexander, Tiny Buddha):

1. Personal growth
You grow and learn new things every time something changes. You discover new insights about different aspects of your life. You learn lessons even from changes that did not lead you to where you wanted to be.
2. Flexibility
Frequent changes make you easily adapt to new situations, new environments, and new people. As a result you do not freak out when something unexpectedly shifts.
3. Improvements
We all have things in our lives we would like to improve—finances, job, partner, house, etc. All of us know that nothing will improve by itself. We need to do things differently to make that happen. Without change, there would be no improvements.
4. Life values
From time to time, changes make you re-evaluate your life and 
look at certain things from a different perspective. Depending on what the change is, it may also reinforce your life values.
5. The Snowball Effect
Often we give up because we cannot accomplish the difficult task of making a huge and immediate change. That is when 
small changes become extremely valuable. One shift at a time, small changes will eventually lead you to the desired big one.
6. Strength
Not all changes lead you to pleasant periods of life. Unfortunately we do not live in fairy tale and sad things happen, too. Overcoming the tough period will make you stronger.
7. Progress
Changes trigger progress and help things move forward and develop.
8. Opportunities
One never knows what each change may bring. When you turn from your usual path, there will be plenty of different opportunities waiting for you. Changes will bring new choices for happiness and fulfillment.
9. New beginnings
Each change is a turning page. It is about closing one chapter and opening another one. Changes bring new beginnings and excitement to life.
10. Routine
Remember the movie Stranger than Fiction? The main character Harold Crick does the same things in exactly the same time for years. He leads a completely dull, extremely predictable, and uninteresting life. That is how your life would be without changes. So next time you get the temptation to avoid or resist the change, aim instead to initiate the ones that will lead you to where you want be. And remember—if there were no change, there would be no butterflies!

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