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Mastering Transition

Sep 05, 2019

We’re all in transition. It’s a natural phase of life for us. Transitions can take many forms, as you’ve experienced yourself. In my life, I’ve seen eight types of transitions in particular that I want to discuss today. As believers, we have the ability to adapt to and master each type of transition life offers us. If we master these eight, we’ll maximize our potential for growth, leadership, and fulfilling our unique callings.

  1. People Transitions: This is the most influential category, because who you surround yourself with determines your future. Each season requires engagement with different types of people. For instance, at one time, your parents were your primary people. Now, however, that’s probably not the case. The question for your current season becomes, then, “Who has permission to speak into my life?” Be wise in how you answer that question.
  2. Pain Transitions: Here’s a little-known fact about rising higher, in any line of work: the higher you go, the greater the pain. Many of us want to be at the top, because our culture celebrates the value of promotion, working harder, and rising higher. However, when we get to where we yearned to be, it’s more than we bargain for—100% of the time. I’d like to encourage you not to see the top as your ultimate goal. Instead, realize that the higher you go, the more pain you will inherit.
  3. Place Transitions: For this transition, I find it helpful to picture a landscape and a seascape—think of a cliff overlooking the ocean. What’s the difference between these two terrains? A landscape doesn’t move. A seascape does. In order to discover new lands, we have to be willing to lose sight of our current shoreline. God’s Word contains countless stories of God moving His people from a certain place to an uncertain place. We must learn to be willing to be unsafe in order to discover our full calling.
  4. Perspective Transitions: As human beings, we must continually learn to think in new ways. This is why children are required to go to school, and adults are encouraged to pursue continual training, education, and other forms of learning. One critical element in perspective shifts is a personal coach. I’ve found that we need coaches to help us shift our thinking—remember, people are the most influential transition you’ll ever undertake. So… who in your life encourages you to think differently?
  5. Priority Transitions: Here’s a simple truth you’ll discover after about five days of life on earth: you can’t do everything. It’s simply not possible. Think of a sunbeam, or a ray of light. It’s not extremely powerful, right? However, if you narrow that beam, and create a laser out of that light, it has the power to cut through steel! Narrowing your priorities enhances your efforts. In short, decide what you need to do, what you want to do, and what doesn’t fall on your list of priorities to do at this time. Then, get to it!
  6. Passion Transitions: Our passions shift, as well. What made us jump out of bed ten years ago may not be what’s inspiring us today. So, the question is, “What’s fueling you today? Ask yourself, “If I didn’t have to make money, what would I want to do?” That’s the ultimate existential question, and it will help you narrow your priorities, as well!
  7. Preparation Transitions: While planning is a specific act, preparation is something you bring to the table. All of life has prepared you for where you are right now. Here’s a formula I like to share with leaders: Preparation + Opportunity = Success. You’re probably planning fairly well; but don’t neglect to prepare yourself for the opportunities around the corner…
  8. Possibility Transitions: Today, I give myself permission to dream dreams I haven’t dreamed before. When we allow ourselves to ask, “What if?” we open up a world of possibilities. People tend to dread transition, because it means unsteady waters, flux, and uncertainty. However, when we realize that transition brings a unique freedom and potential, we’ll be willing to enter these shifting seasons. The place where your biggest dreams are going to be come into being is in the middle of transition!

Every transition is the catalyst for a solution. For example, every app on your phone solves a problem that once existed. The world belongs to those who have solutions. When you know who you are, how you’re wired, and where you want to go, you’ll grow to be okay with these dynamic, shifting seasons—and even to capitalize on the possibilities they have to offer you!

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