I’d say it was a long time coming, given that I’ve had nothing but problems with my Dell PCs for the last … oh … 20 years?
For the most recent 3 or so of those 20, several of my friends and colleagues have been begging and pleading with me to convert to Apple.
Did I listen? No. Changing just seemed like way too much work.
Then, in January, I hit a limit. My 1-year-old Windows 8 computer, whose operating system I had just reinstalled, was not working any better than it was before I reinstalled it. My programs were constantly going to “Not Responding.” Tech support could not fix the problem and was telling me I needed a more powerful computer with more RAM. Sales was telling me the 8 GB of RAM on my current computer should be plenty.
I figured either sales was wrong or tech support was wrong, and Dell should either fix the problem or give me some amount of credit toward a new computer. They claimed to be unable to do either. It was decision time, and I was DONE with Dell.
Perhaps you are celebrating, along with many of my friends, colleagues and even distant acquaintances, that I waltzed into an Apple store and bought a MacBook Pro. In the end, this change happened in an instant.
It wasn’t easy getting up to speed on the MacBook. The delete button drives me crazy. The command button is located in the most inconvenient spot I can imagine. My files are all organized differently now. Outlook was downloading all my email repeatedly and I had to get tech support to get a duplicate deletion program. I needed a new way to access my accountant’s server so I could use my QuickBooks program. I had to call HP support to get my printer working wirelessly. I blew out two adaptors trying to connect the Mac to an external monitor. And there’s more.
This is why I did not want to switch to a Mac.
But get this: The computer doesn’t use battery power while it’s asleep. It wakes up immediately. I can leave my house carrying my laptop and no power cord and trust that the battery will last. The programs work and don’t slow down on me ever. And iCal integrates with Google Calendar without a 3rd party program!
Most of the issues I faced were ramping up issues and are all resolved. And I get all the good stuff. I’m starting to be a proud Mac user.
My question out of all of this is, “Why the heck did I wait so long?” You can ask any of my close friends and relatives and they will attest to the fact that I was spending hours upon hours with Dell tech support for years. I have never been happy with a Dell computer! And yet, I resisted change. Pure and simple. I kept choosing to upgrade to a “better” Dell, hoping it would solve my problems. It never did.
People do this. Look at how many people stay in relationships that require hours of conversation to try to make them work. Look at how many of these people move in together, or get married, thinking that the “upgrade” will help. Or they have children in order to fix their relationship. Now that’s an upgrade! We so often avoid the risk of starting over with someone else because it would require an unknown amount of work – even if we have a strong inkling that ultimately the benefits would justify the investment. We resist change even if all our friends are telling us to “switch to Apple.”
Many of us stay in jobs that are not a good fit. Even if we’re miserable, at least we’re dealing with a known quantity. I myself kept working for 10 years as a lawyer, because it was safe and provided a living wage, even though there was no amount of adjusting and mind talk that could make me enjoy that job. I even accepted a promotion (my “upgrade”) before reaching my breaking point and starting something new.
The February issue of LeaderMag featured an article by Bruce Hodes, Five Ogres and an Angel, about the resistance to change in organizations. I love this quote which he shares: “Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have – and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” – James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994).
Hodes asserts that two of the main elements blocking change are “comfort” and “drift.” Comfort is something we’re all familiar with. We humans like things to stay the same. We get attached to our routines like a warm blanket, even if they aren’t serving us. And drift, the pull of the current always in the same direction (toward the status quo), affects us whether in our homes or workplaces. Hodes’ advice: “Trust your intuition—be convinced that even in the face of resistance this is the way forward.”
The payoff according to Hodes is Performance Improvement. I certainly got that with my MacBook Pro. My question to you is: Where in your life are you resisting change, falling victim to comfort and drift, when you really know it’s time to make a move? Where is there room for performance improvement in your life? Maybe it’s time to stop “upgrading” what you already have and to start something new.