The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


When we are satisfied with what we have and where we are in life, we tend to cling tightly to who we are and what we have become. We find comfort in the familiar without feeling the need for change. Should you be so fortunate, this Deliberation is not for your consideration. You have attained what you sought by choosing carefully the roads you travelled. You have arrived at the destination you planned, surrounded yourself with people that support your dreams, and found happiness where you landed. Many, however, would seek to change. Not knowing how or where to begin, however, they choose to do nothing – living life in the fringes rather than fulfilling their true promise.

If you could do anything you in the world – be anything at all – what would you chose? Would want to be what you now are if you could re-do the decisions that formed your life and values or would you make different choices that might lead to a different outcome? Would you study the same things or choose a different career path? Would you prefer to be a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete, a business manager, a politician? Would you be a laborer having to make few decisions, finding fulfillment in hard manual efforts that let you leave the worries of the day behind when your work was finished? Would you want to make a fortune or live a meager, earning only enough to satisfy your basic needs? Would you live in a larger home or seek a smaller residence? Would you seek to live in an urban community or a rural neighborhood? Would you keep the friends you have or would you seek a different support group?

We all make decisions – whether they are calls to action or an unconscious choice of inaction. Our lives are a result of the thoughts we had and the choices we made in the past. What we are results directly from the choices we made when we were growing up BUT it does not mean we cannot change or alter what we might wish to become. A train does not go from one station to another by standing still. Likewise, our station in life will not change until we take intentional action to move us from where we are towards where we wish to be.

If we recognize what we are and acknowledge what we prefer to be or do, what stops us from moving towards our dreams? For some it is a fear of the unknown. For others it may be a fear of succeeding and the responsibilities that success brings. Many fear change, somehow feeling that what is “known and comfortable” – though perhaps not the most desirable – is better than what might be ahead should they seek something different. Unless you seek an outcome that you are not physically or mentally capable of bringing to fruition (change MUST be realistic!), a fear of something or someone is what usually keeps us from being all we can be or doing all we can do.

What keeps you from changing – from moving beyond where you are to a place you would rather be? Are you afraid to leave the comfort of “what is” to face the fears of an unknown “what could be?” It is true that if we do not set goals we will never fail. Should we fail to understand what must be changed in order to transform ourselves into something different, however, we will never become what we might wish to be because we will remain what we always were.

Recognizing and acknowledging who we are is a good thing – but accepting that reality as an end rather than a beginning can stifle any growth you might wish to experience – can relegate you to the life you have rather than what you might prefer. When one actively seeks what they wish to find – without fears or apprehensions – they will realize what they seek – without restriction or limitation.