I have be honest, when I first read Robert Quinn’s book Deep Change, I was underwhelmed. But it is growing on me. I’ve written about it previously in my articles “The Land of Excellence,” and “Excellence is a Form of Deviance.”
Consider what Quinn has to say about confronting gaps in our integrity:
We must recognize the lies we have been telling ourselves. We must acknowledge our own weakness, greed, insensitivity, and lack of vision and courage. If we do so, we begin to understand the clear need for a course correction, and we slowly begin to reinvent our self. The transition is painful, and we are often hesitant, fearing that we lack the courage and confidence to proceed. We uncover a great paradoxical truth. Change is hell. Yet not to change, to stay on the path of slow death, is also hell. The difference is that the hell of deep change is the hero’s journey. The journey puts us on a path of exhilaration, growth, and progress. (p.78).
Quinn doesn’t say change is uncomfortable, or change is difficult; no, he says deep change is HELL.
I wanted to offer some examples from my personal experience about deep change, but I realized that all I was willing to offer were examples where change was uncomfortable or difficult – not where change was hell for me. Does that mean I have gaps in my integrity that I am not confronting?
Still, I am thankful for the hell that I have yet to face. Sure I’ve come a long way since I quit my first job twenty two years ago, but I am convinced that the greatest exhilaration, growth, and progress in my life and career is still ahead of me – but it won’t come without deep change. That’s scary, but also very exciting.
What’s ahead of you? Convenience, comfort, conformity – or some much needed hell?