Vail Daily column: Responding to sudden changes |

Vail Daily column: Responding to sudden changes

Stuff happens right? I mean, when we least expect change, it happens.

Sometimes we are caught off guard by awesome and wonderfully unexpected good news. And when that fortunate occurance does happen, we never really have to worry about how we respond or react because in most cases we are smiling and enjoying the moment.

Then there are those other times. The times when we least expect it and our whole world gets turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

Have you ever been there? You’re cruising along based on plans, commitments and expectations and then all of sudden … WHAM … right between the eyes we get hit with a curve ball?

Stuff happens, and bad things happens to all of us at some time or another. The difference is how we actually respond to the immediate shift in our intended course.

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Our true character can be found in how we respond when faced with challenges or unexpected changes, especially when they come upon us out of the blue.

Philosophy for coping with life’s changes

If you have ever been faced with a sudden change or shift, or maybe even if you are experiencing something like that right now, I want to share a simple philosophy with you that may help. I call this the “Cadence of Change” and the acronym stands for:

Communication. Communication goes both ways, and in times of change we need to make sure we have expressed ourselves clearly and that we understand what is being shared. Miscommunication often makes change worse.

• Authority. Here, authority means we have to stay in control. We are in charge of how we respond or react. If we allow other people or circumstances to dictate how the changes surrounding us impacts our demeanor, we will never be in a position to maintain control.

• Decisions. Decisions, or lack of decisions, often leave us paralyzed and instead of taking much-needed action, we leave the decisions to others and again find ourselves being directed or driven by the motives of someone else. In times of change it is critical to be in control of our own decisions.

• Expectations. Properly set expectations have a much better chance of being realized that unrealistic ones. Many times, our emotions and subsequent actions or reactions stem from misleading ourselves from the beginning. Stretching ourselves through dreams and goals is awesome and realistic expectations are the foundation that ground us during times of change.

• New paradigm. The definition of insanity, it has been said, is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. All of us should be open and willing to think differently and see things through objective and productive eyes instead of being anchored to the past.

• Character. A person shows character when they handle themselves in a respectful manner no matter what unpleasant things happen. We must never yield or compromise who we are due to the circumstances that surround us as the craziness of change happens.

• Excellence. In times of change and growth the watchword should be excellence. If we strive for perfection, we will often miss the mark, but when we pursue excellence we will impact change, truly impact change for the better.

How is your cadence when it comes to change? The world is constantly changing, and I would love to hear all about how you handle it at And when your “Cadence of Change” improves, it will really be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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