Look at the synonyms for the word transition. It is a rather amazing list that attempts to describe a process or an experience.
change, passage, move, transformation, conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover; segue, shift, switch, jump, leap, progression; progress, development, evolution, flux.
I chose three words which, for me, capture the essence of a transition, from one state of being to another. It usually happens over time rather than all at once, much like what the Skin Horse explains to Rabbit in Margery Williams classic book, The Velveteen Rabbit:
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
The first word is CHANGE and that can happen over time or all at once, suddenly. Many of us believe that the best kind of change is planned change, designed thoughtfully, implemented carefully and celebrated widely. Sudden changes like heart attacks, accidents and disasters that cause untold suffering are unwelcome events that change the lives of others as well as the victims who experience the change first hand. How we deal with change whether planned or unplanned speaks volumes about our capacity to adjust, adapt and continue forward.
The second word is SHIFT. Shift happens or so it has been said and the original video on You Tube back in 2008 is both inspiring and informative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdTOFkhaplo The question is have you made a shift in the way you see the world and your place in it? If so, what shifted? What happened in your mind and spirit that became different once the shift occurred? It is fairly certain that the world has shifted in many respects and how we respond to these shifts once again says much about who we are as individuals and as a collective group of people whether defined as Americans or any sub group worldwide.
The third word is PASSAGE. Passages from one state or stage to another are often subtle, characterized by a slower transition rather than a speedy or sudden one. The eight stages of human growth and development as described by Erik Erikson, from infancy to early childhood to pre-school to school age to adolescence to young adulthood, to middle adulthood to old age are easily observed passages that everyone does not complete on the exact same schedule. Each of these is accompanied by the passing of time, usually in a number of years. There are passages through mountain ranges, passes named after explorers who were often the first ones to record the passage. It was often a slow trek over dangerous terrain.
As you make your own transitions, in work and life, consider how you can effect those changes, stages and passages and how they affect you. Think for a moment about your future. Envision it. What do you see ahead?