Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Smooth Transitions


As we approach the end of the calendar year, many will attend gatherings to honor fellow co-workers moving into a new phase of life—retirement. In many cases, retirements mean vacancies to be filled, yet another new phase of life. Just like fire operations, handling the transition is critical. We may only have one shot to do it right.

Those entering new phases of life are faced with the adjustments and stress like finding a purpose or new home, learning a new job or not having a job at all, meeting new people, finding their way in an unfamiliar environment, etc. The journey can be a smooth one or one bumpy ride. Ego is one of those things that can impair our ability to connect with others and make a smooth transition.

Before you make any transition, make sure create a transition plan. Ego can tell you there is not reason to plan. That everything will be work out just fine (and it may...). A little humility (maybe a lot) gives you the room for vulnerability. Vulnerability allows you to connect with yourself and others who know the other side of the transition than you do. Vulnerability allows you to say, I still have much to learn and there are others who have the key to gaining said knowledge.

Whatever your transition, be sure you have a plan—a plan that includes humility, empathy, love, and compassion. I share with you Jonathan Gravenor's TedX talk "The Other Side of Ego."  I have heard similar stories from others within the wildland fire service. With that, watch for yourself. 

Digging a Little Deeper
  • Is your ego driving your life or are you in control?
  • What matters most in your life? Are you giving it your full attention?
  • Make space in your life for silence.
  • We are never to old to be a child.
  • We are never to busy to embrace humanity.
  • Is there someone you need to engage and give of your greatest asset—your time.
  • For more of Jonathan's story, read his book The Other Side of Ego: From Cancer to Consciousness."
"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words awaitanother voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
— T.S. Eliot

I do care if you live or die! Go out and live those million amazing moments!

About the Author: Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

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