Change is both inevitable and scary.
In Begin Boldly, I wrote an entire section dedicated to embracing change with an ‘Agile Mindset’ (something I admittedly struggled with for a large part of my life ).
Within the chapters, I share that the more flexible you can be during times of change, the better.
“Agility, flexibility, and adaptability in the face of change and new opportunities will be critical to your ability to embrace adventure and risk and to build a career and life you love.” – Begin Boldly
This week, Hunter James Arscott started a new school. When I asked him how he was feeling, he proclaimed that he’s “adaptable” (his passionate exclamation and pronunciation of this word are entertainment alone!). He shared that he has been to “7 schools” (including his nurseries and daycares ) and lived in “3 countries” .
I had a good giggle talking to my Dad about how Hunter handles change like a champ and, at that age, I was the exact opposite and struggled immensely with transitions. Luckily … I’ve changed !
Harvard Business Review contributor Jack Zenger says: “Success is driven by a person’s ability to constantly learn and adapt to a changing world. Doing so takes the right mindset.”
That is what I term an ‘Agile Mindset’.
September… let’s do this!
As part of the Rhodes Scholarship’s 120th Anniversary celebrations, the Rhodes Trust compiled a list of 120 significant books by Rhodes Scholars. Featuring books written by scholars elected between 1904 and 2018, the list includes works by Atul Gawande, Bill Clinton, Wes Moore, Jennifer Robinson, and so many more. I am humbled and honoured that Begin Boldly was selected for this list and stands alongside great works by scholars spanning over a century.
Many argue that the Rhodes Scholarship remains the most prestigious scholarship in the world. It is not lost on me that the scholarship has only a 0.7% acceptance rate and that, over the course of 120 years, there have been only 8,000 Rhodes Scholars (in total!).
However, it is impossible to discuss the Rhodes Scholarship without also recognising and grappling with its complex and dark history and origins. And, in more recent history, women were not awarded the scholarship until 1977.
In 2023, I receive the honour of being on list as one of the first scholars to ever pursue Women’s Studies and as one of only a handful of scholars who have completed this course of study while at Oxford. I receive this honour as a first-time female author who hopes more women will put their voices out into the world through authorship. In its original form, I wouldn’t have been eligible for the scholarship (as a woman) and in 2007, upon receiving the scholarship, many questioned my non-traditional course of study. Many years on, I stand here as someone who knows that there are many ways “to fight the world’s fight” and this book is one of my ways.
Thank you to the Rhodes Trust for this honour. The fight is far from over.
120 Books From 120 Years. Access the complete list here:
One Tool, Technique or Tactic To Try
Transitions and change can be anxiety provoking. However, Harvard Professor, Alison Wood Brooks, suggests that there is a better tactic than ‘trying to calm down’. Her research found that an overwhelming majority of people believe that trying to calm down is the best way to cope with anxiety. However, across several studies, she investigated an alternative strategy: reappraising anxiety as excitement. Compared with those who attempt to calm down, individuals who reappraise their anxiety as excitement felt better and performed better. Simple strategies (such as flipping your focus) can help you adopt an opportunity mindset (as opposed to a threat mindset), when facing change, a transition, or taking on something new.
Read her research in the American Psychological Association’s Journal: https://www.apa.org/pubs/
Ask yourself: How can I continue to cultivate an ‘Agile Mindset’ in myself and in those around me (e.g. those I parent, coach, teach, and mentor)?
If you aren’t sure where to start, check out Part IV in Begin Boldly.
Let’s go live boldly!