My wife took this photo the other day at a gas station. And I think it’s pretty weird.
If you can’t tell what’s happening, basically a guy in a truck has driven up next to a payphone so that he can make a phone call from his car.
Why is this photo so weird?
Because things have changed.
We have cell phones. We have voice activated, fully integrated onboard commuters that you can use to dial by voice from your vehicle. You can press OnStar and get a restaurant recommendation from a friendly guy named Jason from inside your car.
Cars have changed.
Thirty years ago, this photo wouldn’t be weird. You had to do this if you wanted to make a call from inside your car. This photo would make perfect sense in the 1970s. But because technology has changed, it looks out of place and out of date.
And change is coming for you too.
In your industry, your career, your dream. I don’t know anything about what you do or what your world is all about, but I know this: It is going to change. And you have to decide which way you’ll deal with it because you only have two options:
1. Will you deny the change?
Maybe this guy is driving a modern truck with a boatload of modern conveniences but refuses to admit that phones have changed. Maybe he’s got seat warmers and satellite radio but for some reason he’s denying change has occurred with phones and refuses to get on board to his own detriment. Driving around looking for a functioning payphone is less convenient than just making a cell phone call after all. Recently when my wife hurt her finger with a power drill and had to go to the emergency room, she called my cell phone. That would have been a really hard call for me to receive if, instead, I gave out the number of this pay phone and told people they could leave a message with whoever was standing near it at the time it rang in the gas station parking lot.
2. Will you develop a plan for the change?
Maybe this guy made a conscious decision not to get a cell phone. Maybe he had one and it became a huge source of distraction, and he kept ignoring his kids while he played Angry Birds. Maybe to slow down the pace of his life he got rid of his cell phone, and since he’s no longer instantly accessible 24/7, the quality of his whole existence improved dramatically. Maybe his wife would call him at work or at home if she had an accident and they already have a plan for that. He developed a deliberate plan and is living within it. I have friends who are not on social media sites for those very same reasons. They recognized the changes that are coming to communication. They then decided face-to-face interaction mattered more to them and that social media would be a distraction to that.
Did you notice that the outcome is the exact same in those two scenarios? He doesn’t have a cell phone, but our perception of this guy is different?
In the first scenario, he’s an ostrich with his head in the sand.
In the second scenario, he’s a wise person enjoying the things that matter most to him.
In both situations, he doesn’t have a cell phone, so why do we look at those so differently?
Simple. In the first, he denied change had occurred. In the second, he developed a plan to deal with change.
Deny or develop. As many different options as there are to handle change, they all come back to that.
Deny change is coming, or develop a plan for when it does.
The choice is yours.
What’s one change in your life (job, home, technology) you’ve experienced over the last year?