10 helpful qualities for rebuilding futures | HMA

10 helpful qualities for rebuilding futures

Clear the space

I look out my window (from our temporary Ferrymead office) as a four story apartment block next door is demolished. My office actually looks onto the back of the building in the photo so I am within 10 metres of the remaining two towers. Don’t worry we have to move out when they do the final two towers so if you were worrying about my safety, you can relax. The distressing thing is the building had only recently been finished and was not even fully tenanted. I watch as the 110 tonne crane nibbles away piece by piece at the concrete and steel, razing this brand new structure to the ground. Christchurch is like that at the moment, clearing the rubble in order to rebuild.

I was thinking that this is a metaphor for life to some extent. Sometimes we have false starts. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we dream or plan. Sometimes we have to break down older structures to make way for new. We have to clear the rubble (internal and external) in order to have a clear base from which to rebuild. We have to sometimes start afresh. None of this is easy.

So what are the 10 qualities that can help us with the process of change?

  1. Solid foundations help as a starting point. We know that it is easier to change from a position of strength rather than weakness.
  2. We know that the capacity for change is immense in people, despite challenging starts to life. Intrinsic motivation and self-belief can overcome significant obstacles.
  3. Believers around us. We need people on our team who see the best in us (even when we are behaving at our worst), who will stay the distance with us.
  4. Hope. We think this accounts for around 15% of change so a significant factor in the scheme of things.
  5. Direction and a plan. This is translating the essence of motivation into committed action. We then can measure our success or deviations from the set course.
  6. Adaptability. Change is dynamic so the challenge is to be able to adjust/adapt to change as it happens. This requires us to be flexible in order to engage with the consequences of change.
  7. Tenacity – not giving up along the way. Stubbornness I think is a virtue. It certainly works for me.
  8. Being able to laugh at ourselves – sometimes we are just too serious when in the midst of life’s dramas.
  9. Self belief – the biggest backer is often not others, but ourselves. One key is to listen to our own self-talk which can often convince us that we won’t make it. Our language (in our thoughts and what we say to others) impacts hugely on our mood and behaviour.
  10. Be conservative with planning but once committed go for broke.
I am mindful that through the last year and a half, life has been tough for many of us in the Canterbury region due to the trauma that the earthquakes have caused. the challenges of our situation require change on many levels from daily adjustments to longer-term major decision-making. Love to hear your thoughts.


Published on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012, under What Ken thinks

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