Wonderful Uneasiness
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I just started a new book titled 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens wrote the timeless classic, A Christmas Carol, in 1843, and his goal was to make his readers uncomfortable. Yes, it is a feel-good type of story, but it’s a story that will make you stop and think about your own values. As an example, Dickens introduces the reader to two starving children named Ignorance and Want, and it makes you uncomfortable. He was trying to draw attention to the suffering of many in England. While I don’t like to be uncomfortable or uneasy, I came to realize that it is only when I am uneasy that I am truly open to change.

Leo Tolstoy said, “Everybody thinks of changing humanity, but nobody thinks of changing himself.” Time for a reality check. How many times have you looked at others and said to yourself, they need to change? If you are like me, the number will be pretty high. Now, how many times have you looked at a situation and said, I need to change? Tolstoy was right. It is easy for us to look at situations at home, work, or society and say something must change. We sense that a change is needed when we become uneasy about something. In the past, I have always tried to remove the uneasiness. Rarely did my plan to remove the uneasiness involve me changing, and yet, I am the easiest person to change because I have 100% of the control.

As I was thinking this morning, I realized that the first thing I need to learn is to value the uneasiness. View it as wonderful. View it as an exercise in self-awareness revealing a growth opportunity. Just as a bodybuilder uses resistance to build muscle, I need to view this uneasiness as an opportunity to change some area of my life or my thinking. Uneasiness is a wonderful gift that should be valued just as we value a literary work like A Christmas Carol. The only way Scrooge found redemption was to change, and he was only willing to change when he became wonderfully uneasy.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 182 of The Next Page podcast as we discuss how to process through the uneasiness, leverage it as a growth opportunity, and build resilience into your life.

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