Adapting to Life Changes

by: Kenneth Cossin

We humans typically do not adapt well to change.  Why?  Could it be that we expect our situation to go from bad to worse?  Or does it mean a change in our routine?  Or is it a bit deeper than that?  In other words, a majority of us has experienced some change in our lives that has made our lives more complicated, more mundane through rote procedures, crazy policies, hoop-jumping, red tape; the list goes on and on.

Here at Full Sail University, we have to be flexible and adaptable.  Change comes quickly and typically without much prior notice.  It is my belief that the reason for rapid change is two-fold.  One, our university is growing quickly.  Two, technology is governed by Moore’s Law that roughly states that computing technology will double approximately every eighteen months.  Full Sail has changed so much in just the last year, and all these new changes are extremely positive!

photo: Kenneth Cossin

photo: Kenneth Cossin

So, what are we humans to do?  Let’s take an example of a plant called, “Morivivi (Mimosa Pudica),” loosely translated means “die-live.”  This plant, is native to the tropics, but it has found its way to the sub-tropics around the world, even here in Florida right in my back yard!  This plant has learned to adapt to the climate and conditions of the subtropics and now has learned how to thrive in our climate as well.

At the risk of sounding like I am personifying a simple tropical plant to us humans, I wonder what it is that makes plants, such as this one, more adaptable to changes in its environment?  I realize that change impacts humans in more complex ways, but I believe that it is partly the individual’s perception of the change that makes it more difficult for humans.

Here is my top five list of issues that I struggle with whenever I am presented with change:

  1. How is this change going to affect my ability to attain my goals?
  2. Do I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to deal with the change?
  3. How big of a change am I really facing?  That is, am I simply sweating the small stuff, or is it that I lost my job, moved, or faced a death?
  4. Am I mentally playing out a “what if” scenario to the nth degree in my head or am I allowing myself to deal with issues as they arise?
  5. Am I keeping an open mind and seeing the real opportunities that changes bring to me and embracing them without question?

I believe that if we take just a simple moment to allow changes to come into our lives, remain flexible regarding the changes, and stay open-minded, we will all be happier and healthier people.  Maybe we can even be as adaptable as the Morivivi plant!

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You Are not Alone

by: Kenneth Cossin

A hero in my life shared a link, “Let People Live in Your Heart,” with my fellow coworkers and me, and it compelled me to share my thoughts with you through my blog.  You will understand why I am writing this blog post if only you watch the first video in the link above.

Back in November 2003, I lost my mom to cancer.  Four years later, in July 2007, I lost my father to complications of diabetes.  At that time in life, I felt very alone.  I did not share my story with anyone, not even my siblings.  I felt that no one understood, and no one truly cared that much.

My life began to lose meaning, I began to lose weight, I had no motivation, and life was just a routine.  That changed for me one day when I shared not just the bad experience but also the good memories.  Life began to regain meaning to me, and to this day, I find that sharing the good times and the laughs as well as providing empathy to those around me regarding difficult times can help me heal and ultimately help others to understand that they are never alone.

We never truly realize the impact that tragedy can have on our fellow human beings unless we draw on the life lessons that we have learned.  In closing, I ask that you let people live in your heart.  You never know when you, too, will need not feel so alone.

Stedman Graham Presents…

by: Kenneth Cossin

Kenneth Cossin, Stedman Graham, and Robert Parrillo

photo: Arnold Munroe

Stedman Graham visited Full Sail University on 24 August 2009 to talk with faculty and staff about ways to follow our dreams.

He talked about his nine step plan for success (please see his book entitled, “You Can Make it Happen” if you wish to learn more).  His topics included ways that we can better communicate, collaborate, and build community through solid project management skills.  Many of these skills I use in my classes every month.  Therefore, I hope that my students glean interesting and fun ways that we can truly find our passions and empower ourselves.

The strongest and most useful message that I took away from his presentation was not just our need to find our passion but to pursue it without pause.  Our lives are filled with information and distractions to the point that we must filter it all and find the useful bits that fit into our passion.

During his presentation, I envisioned an analogy of the California Gold Rush in 1849 when gold miners flooded the west in search of the next big money-making venture.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not equating what Mr. Graham had to say with an influx of people seeking quick wealth.  I was imagining the emotional and personal wealth that one could obtain through honest soul searching to not only enrich their lives but also help sustain and give themselves purpose.

Thus, we can find meaning and purpose in whatever we may choose to do.  From my grandfather that was a French immigrant seeking a better way of life here in the United States to the successful Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that own multi-billion dollar companies, we, too, can do it.  We can all be positive and successful citizens no matter what path or passion we choose.

Note: Per FTC Rules – No money, products, or services were exchanged for this photo.