Lynn and Doug Nodland

Doug and Lynn Nodland

“How are you doing?” That’s what a neighbor next door yelled across the front yard as she showed us the pink begonias she was going to plant. Also, as he walked his dog, another neighbor shouted from the street, “How’re you doing?” We asked them the same question.

We all know what people mean. They want to know how you are dealing with the changes we’re all experiencing during this challenging time. This also includes the fact that, apart from the pandemic, other changes are happening, such as graduations, marriages, divorces, moving, and even political discord, to name just a few.

In 1964, Bob Dylan wrote "The Times They Are A-Changin’," a song that’s as relevant now as it was then. If you can, check out the lyrics, which are surprisingly prophetic.

Today life as we knew it seems to have been tipped upside down in so many ways. Who would have thought just a few months ago that we would be in a “stay-at-home” mode or just beginning to “open up”? And when we do venture out for “essentials”, that most everyone would be wearing masks! It’s almost like we are living in a sci-fi movie. Well, this is not a movie — life is changing and this is real life!

Anthony D’Angelo said, “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” Because change is a part of life, we decided to become “students of change,” so we’ll share three helpful ways we found to adapt to changing times.

Accept the changes: An ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” Since change is inevitable, let’s embrace it. Everything in life is always changing, so being flexible and adapting to change will help to avoid feeling frustrated or even depressed.

It’s easy to get comfortable in our cocoons of comfort and want to resist change. Resisting may mean we’ve lost our zest for life and we are looking only for safety. This is understandable to an extent when a serious virus is involved.

But there are many other parts of life where we can embrace change, such as trying a new hobby or learning a new skill. Accepting change allows us to grow and also to become more resilient as we overcome challenges that come with change.

Face your fears: Often changes, especially sudden changes, will trigger fear. Fear happens because we know how things are in our life now, but we can’t imagine what things will be like in the future. Actually, notice how easy it is to imagine the future as a dismal outcome.

If you find your fears growing as you think about the situation, try to separate the real fears from the tragedies you create in your mind. Then write down those fears and what could be a positive outcome.

Steve Maraboli said, “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change with it.” When your choose to face your fears, you are ready for action.

Focus on action: When you have listed your real fears and can see the positive outcome you want, then take time to identify what you can control to get that good result. We can’t control everything, so it’s important to know what is controllable and what isn’t.

From the time they are babies, people develop minds of their own — and wills of their own! So, if the change involves other people, know that the only person you can control and change is you. Viktor Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Even though some situations are uncontrollable, you still can control how you handle the change. You have the freedom to choose how you want to move forward.

What about you? When someone asks you, ‘How you are doing?,” what will you say?

We acknowledge that sometimes change can be very difficult. We’ve listed some ways that will help to navigate change more easily. Hopefully, you will accept change as part of life, face your fears and focus on action in the most positive direction.

Then, when someone asks you how you are doing, you’ll be able to embrace the challenge and say, “Life is good,” even in changing times.

We would enjoy hearing what successful ways you use to work through changes in your life.


Chanhassen residents, Doug and Lynn Nodland are success coaches and owners of The Balance Center. Doug and Lynn can be contacted at More information and videos at



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