My mother-in-law, D. Clancy, is very progressive. When she was pregnant with my husband Mike, she wanted to have a “natural childbirth experience.” So, she enrolled herself and my father-in-law Bill in a childbirth class. The class followed the teachings of the popular book, How to Relax and Have Your Baby, by groundbreaking researcher Edmund Jacobson.
The instructor of the childbirth class taught the students that the word pain was not a positive word. Instead, the students were instructed to use the more desirable word discomfort to describe how they were feeling during their child’s birth. Since D. Clancy has always been an excellent student, she followed the teachings of this class very closely.
When the time came for Mike to be born, D. and Bill found that Mike was not a patient baby. With D. in labor, she and Bill arrived at the hospital in the nick of time. In the elevator on the way up to the birthing room, D. followed her natural childbirth class instructions. D. said to the nurse, “I am feeling a great deal of discomfort.” To which the nurse replied, “That discomfort is your baby’s head crowning!” Hilarious! Mike’s birth weight- a whopping 10lbs 6oz.
Having a baby is a big life change. Change is usually accompanied by a certain amount of discomfort. Sometimes, change can be downright painful. But change is necessary. When we change, we grow. Growth is what life is all about.
Lately, there has been a great deal written about the growth mindset. Researcher Carol Dweck coined the phrase growth mindset (as opposed to fixed mindset) over 30 years ago. To implement the growth mindset, we must believe we can change.
To me, there are two ways to change and create growth. Incremental change or disruptive change. Two excellent sources of information about successful incremental change are the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and the Ted Talk How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals by Stephen Duneier.
Incremental change is the usually the preferred method of change. Easier to implement and less painful. Unfortunately, life does not always give us the option to choose incremental change over disruptive change. Sometimes life is unpredictable, and disruption occurs even when we wish there was no change at all.
Would we ever choose disruptive change? Yes, says Whitney Johnson bestselling author of the book Disrupt Yourself. Johnson writes that if we choose disruptive change through pursuing untapped opportunities, playing to our strengths, embracing constraints, battling entitlement and becoming discovery driven, we can become the best version of ourselves.
I could not agree more. Starting as a solo attorney in a new area of law was a chosen disruptive change. Embracing the change, playing to my strengths, and seeking growth has made all the difference in my success and my happiness.
I believe the same approach can be applied to estate planning. Choose a disruptive change — create an estate plan to protect your family. The change will be completed quickly — your estate plan will be done, and you can embrace growth and happiness throughout your lifetime knowing your family is protected for those unexpected future disruptive changes.
To create or update an estate plan, please contact me today.