This semester I started a social media campaign at Coastal Carolina University titled #CCUwisdom. It is very simple. I ask students to provide me with quotes and each morning I tweet out one of the quotes over our main account. I also film them saying the quote and post that on Instagram.
I am not much of a quote guy so I didn’t know how much personal enjoyment I would get out of the campaign. I implemented it primarily because quotes on social media generate retweets and favorites. Little did I know that I would be surprised. I must have listened to the wrong quotes growing up because the ones our students are providing me with actually contain a lot of substance and meaning.
I grew up in awe of John F. Kennedy and because of this I knew several of his famous lines from speeches. However, at the end of last week I met with a student to film her quote. In the small talk before I recorded her, I asked her who her quote was from and she replied JFK. I thought I knew what was coming but when the student recited the quote my brain raced realizing that I had never heard this particular line before.
Tess Emiroglu, a transfer student from Myrtle Beach, offered this bit of wisdom from our 35th President:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
For all the faults I have, this is actually wisdom that I embrace and try to practice as much as possible. In under three decades of life, I have watched people react to change in different ways. The ones who I have watched accept this law of life thrive while those I have seen reject this law fall behind. I don’t really know if it is the positive or negative examples that have really motivated me to always be receptive of change.
Even though I am accepting of change it doesn’t always mean that the implementation is easy. Perhaps this is a reason, besides stubbornness, as to why many people fail to welcome life’s most sure thing. Change brings with it bumps in the road and a learning curve. The transition is definitely not seamless.
One thing I can’t do though is give myself too much credit for being open to change. If I want to eat, it is necessary that I am able to make 180 degree turns every day. When you have a career in social media you are constantly tracking the next trend and preparing yourself to react to the latest bombshell. You see, while some professions might allow for people to adapt a little more slowly, new media demands that you accept change RIGHT NOW. So basically my good habit of not hiding from change really isn’t because of my own merit but rather because of the job I work in.
The second half of Kennedy’s quote is equally important. Wayne Gretzsky said (paraphrasing) that he skates to not where the puck is, but where it will be. If you dismiss impending change and believe that things will always be how they are, it is tough to make necessary adjustments and be successful in the long term. Of course it goes without saying that those stuck in the past are in an even more troublesome state.
Change can be hard but it is absolutely necessary. Not only is it “the law of life” but it is also the key ingredient for progress and success. Don’t Blink.