Adapting to Change Navigating the Winds of Transformation

Is our situation similar to that of a frog in boiling water?

There was a growing resistance movement during the lockdown back in 2020. Some individuals were voicing their disagreement with the growing emphasis on productivity. They rejected the idea of utilizing time wisely by engaging in activities such as learning a new language, establishing strict routines, or maximizing remote work.

Instead, they argued that this was a distressing and traumatic period.  They felt they were entitlement to rest, be still, and confront the challenges that they faced.

While certain individuals may be better at adapting to change, those of us who can readily adjust need to allow others the time to catch up. Change is an inevitable aspect of life for all of us, even though it is seldom comfortable.


Change - Barbara's gray hair

Superficial as it may sound, deciding to allow my hair to turn grey was a significant personal milestone.

As a woman, I felt subjected to judgment and criticism for this choice. I questioned whether I would be perceived as old, unfashionable, unattractive, and undesirable. However, I opted to embrace my grey hair as a symbol of change, acknowledging the transition from maiden to mother to crone. Ironically, those who initially criticised my decision now admire the natural streaks in my hair.

In a professional context, I chose to wear it as a badge of honor, representing wisdom, experience, and confidence.

Some women comment on my bravery, stating that they could never do the same or that they are not yet ready to go grey. My choice has even inspired others to follow suit. Most men probably won’t grasp the complex mental complexities associated with such a simple decision, the sense of identity, and the acceptance of change.


In fact, the Buddhist concept of Dukkha speaks of the inherent suffering that accompanies change, the perpetual ending and often rebirth of things. The most resilient individuals learn to adapt, navigate through challenges, and even celebrate change.

If a frog is placed directly into boiling water, it immediately recognises the threat to its life and reacts instinctively to the abrupt change in its environment. The frog’s well-being is endangered, and it must take immediate action. However, if the frog is placed in cold water and the temperature gradually rises, it is unlikely to react differently because it remains unaware of the changing environment, only leaving the water if compelled to do so.

When implementing change, most of us make a conscious choice and prepare ourselves for it. Whether it involves starting a new job, leaving our hometown, or embarking on a new exercise regimen, we willingly subject ourselves to stressful situations and prepare ourselves as needed. None of us, however, could have adequately prepared for the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the pandemic. Our sense of “normal” was completely disrupted. Those who actively resist the push for productivity are the ones desperately clinging to any remnants of normal life.

If you have ever experienced riding the waves while surfing, you are familiar with their forceful direction. We have three options:

    1. Stand our ground, confront it with resistance, and potentially be overwhelmed.
    2. Dive beneath it, hoping to avoid the powerful surge of energy.
    3. Sit on top of it, adjust our balance, and ride the wave towards the shore.
change - closed

Many businesses resisted change and managed to survive without embracing it. Until COVID, they may not have considered the need for a well-functioning website, e-commerce capabilities, a social media presence, or a customer management system.

Similar to the frog, the environment slowly changed around them over time. Eventually, within the next 10 to 15 years, adopting these elements would have become necessary for their survival. However, the pandemic forced businesses to abruptly face these changes without warning, just like the frog being dropped into boiling water.

Rather than resisting, fighting, or protesting against change, we should strive to find ways to celebrate it and discover opportunities within it.

Let us acknowledge the small miracles and knowledge gained along the way.

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About the Author

Barbara Clifford - The Time Tamer
Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a co-founder of The Hinwood Institute. She is the lead trainer and coach in Time Management. She is a recognized leader in Stress Management. An experienced coach, speaker, columnist and facilitator, Barbara’s work with The Hinwood Institute assists people to unclutter mess, make order from chaos, and swap the shackles of overwhelming for freedom. Barbara’s clients move from the relentless hamster wheel to waking inspired, motivated, making decisions with purpose and achieving peak performance. She lives in the desert of Alice Springs, Australia working with people around the country.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships