If 2020 was the year of resilience and crisis management, 2021 has been the year of adaptability. The world has changed and all of us have adapted to some version of a new normal. To adapt means to adjust to new conditions, and there’s no doubt the past couple of years have brought a host of “new conditions.” It’s fascinating to consider how recent events have affected us in terms of how we respond to change.
People are naturally averse to change—we’re hardwired to resist it. Biology informs us that a part of our brain interprets change as a threat, driving us to one of three modes: fear, fight or flight. Our physical instinct is to protect ourselves from change. It’s a part of our very nature.
But what if we viewed change as an opportunity instead of a threat? This year, as the world has gradually acclimated to a new way of life in the midst of a pandemic, there have been countless opportunities to embrace change and adapt. Personally, I’ve learned that great things can come from adapting to change. One of which was the opportunity to lead the MJ Foundation.
The launch of the MJ Foundation was fueled by the intention to adapt to the needs of our local communities—to do more and make a greater difference to improve the lives of the neighbors who need our help the most. In alignment with MJ’s purpose to inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person we serve, we considered how MJ could make a bigger impact in the communities we call home. This ultimately led to the creation of the MJ Foundation in late 2019. And you know what happened next…a global pandemic. Our plans for a launch event, in-person fundraisers and service opportunities went to the backburner. Our priorities changed. We adapted. We shifted our focus to what we could do to provide support to those most impacted. And despite the challenges that came with 2020, we partnered with one of our local competitors, Gregory & Appel, to raise $100k for local communities impacted by COVID-19 in the areas of food insecurity, economic security and family security.
This year, we’ve been able to make more strides by hosting the inaugural MJ Foundation fundraiser in Indiana. The event was an overwhelming success and resulted in over $30,000 in donations. The generosity demonstrated by our partners, employees and friends will enable the Foundation to make an even bigger impact surrounding our initiatives to overcome poverty, advance education, foster diversity and embrace humanity.
As I reflect on the development of the Foundation so far, I’m proud of our adaptability, our grit and our “figure it out” mentality. The opportunity to lead the Foundation is personally deeply fulfilling as it amplifies my own passion to serve others.
The MJ Foundation is just one example of how adaptability can lead to positive outcomes and greater impact. I believe MJ’s core values of Curiosity and Determination play a key role in our ability to adapt. To be curious means to be open to learning something new, to step out of our comfort zones, and explore the unknown. Determination fuels curiosity with the tenacity and willpower you need to take what you have learned and implement it to accomplish the goal at hand.
In my day-to-day world of marketing, change is both constant and frequent. Our team is often asked to step up and step into new and unfamiliar areas. I’ve learned to embrace the constant changes, knowing that with every change comes opportunity. A chance to be curious and learn something new, to be determined to press on and to move forward on the path of continued growth.
For me, being adaptable is a strategic and fulfilling way to live out our purpose. As we reflect on this year, I hope you’re reminded of ways you have adapted and you’re able to celebrate all the new things you’ve learned so far.
To learning and growing together. Cheers!