This nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day – It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the participans came up afterwards to say that he felt unsettled by the conversaiton. Notter then talks about life’s natural ups and downs and how having too much of the opposite of feeling unsettled is bad for us. We get complacent and stuck.
Over the years I have learned to appreciate feeling unsettled. It can be deeply unpleasant at the time – you feel dislocated, at sea, at risk and often alone. You could argue that as a freelancer life is always unsettled and it is true, compared to the apparent stability of a job, constantly needing to know where your next work is coming from can be challenging. But I wouldn’t go back. I love the opportunity that the odd period of feeling deeply unsettled, and I am in the middle of such a period now, gives me. It is when I think harder and work harder. It is when I get the chance to dig deep and discover things about myself – or remember what matters and make sure I am focussed on that.
I am aware that a lot of the people I work with feel unsettled about what is happening around them. Whether it is the web and the impact of social tools, or the volatility of organisational life, more of us face more turmoil and change than we might like. But this feeling isn’t likely to go away. We are not going to prevent life from forcing change on us. We need to learn ways to cope.
Feeling unsettled can be a good thing. Feeling settled isn’t always good for us. Life is less about having all of one or the other and more about keeping them in balance, making the most of each of them while they are happening, and getting better at managing the transitions.