As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I define change as an event by which something that is, or was, is replaced by something new.
The change typically includes an ending and a beginning. For example, changing jobs consists of leaving one job and starting another. Having our first child means the ending of life without children and the start of life with them.
A transition is the process of adapting to the change. When starting a new job, the new job is the change, but our adaptation or transition could begin before, with any preparations, and last well after we’ve started as we adjust to our new work environment.
Change and the quantum leap.
Today we’re going to explore the idea of change as a quantum leap. I consider the quantum leap to represent our completed transition. We’ve made the leap from what was to what is, and thus have completely adjusted to our change.
The interesting thing about quantum leaps is that there is no in-between; only the before and after.
In my doctoral research, I found many people experienced ‘aha’ or defining moments during their transition into a new work environment.
Prior to this moment, the people I interviewed typically felt a sense of tension or overwhelm; feeling as though they should have adjusted faster, or better, and were frustrated that they still hadn’t ‘gotten it.’
Then, seemingly out of the blue, something clicked and things suddenly made sense. This click wasn’t always something that could be articulated; the person just knew something had happened, and afterwards they felt more comfortable and at home in their change.
This shift is what I believe represents the quantum leap of change, and the aha moment is an indicator that a leap has happened. The leap itself is abrupt, which is why it often takes us by surprise; however, the transition to that point can be made smoother the more prepared we are.
Now don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a lesson on quantum physics, or really quantum anything other than to highlight that when it comes to transitioning to change, there may be a helpful indicator to recognize the point by which true adaptation has occurred.
While we don't always notice an aha moment during change, if you have experienced one, it is likely an indicator that you’ve transformed. That you’ve fully stepped into the change.
Understanding when our transition is at or nearing completion can be very helpful, especially during a long transition, where we’re wondering if it’s ever going to end.
More importantly though, I don’t believe it’s possible to force aha moments to happen, but I do believe there are ways to prepare for and facilitate our making that leap. These things will be the focus of this week’s posts.
When have you experienced a quantum leap?
In the mean time, have you experienced aha or defining moments when transitioning to change? They can be pretty profound, and typically represent a shift in perspective.
A recent aha moment of mine came when exploring how I spent my free time, which led to my realization that change and transition aren’t just interests, but are true life passions. In retrospect it felt like a no-duh moment, but it resulted in a sudden shift in perspective and had a profound impact on the work I do today.
I’d love to hear about your aha moments, please share and let’s have a conversation!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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