“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy
Human beings are not wired for change. We relish in our comfort, our certainty, our expectations. The slightest interruption of normality is enough to shift stress levels into high gear.
In times of great change, powerful people step to the front. From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr., these titans of cultural shift understood that without change, growth is not possible.
Change is a necessary discomfort. And the despite the ominous cloud of uncertainty that lurks nearby, magic cannot be produced without it.
No One Else Is Coming
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” — Max Depree
Life, and our view of it, is ever-evolving. It’s like a shapeshifter — as soon as we feel like we have a handle on it, something unfolds to loosen our grip.
It’s with this in mind, that we arrive at a choice: we can repeat the cyclical pattern and suffer as we resist, or we can embrace the change and form a new normal.
Max Planck, founder of Quantum Physics, is attributed for saying,
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This powerful statement is a one-way ticket out of being stuck. Your attachment to what’s comfortable or having to know all the information holds you hostage. And the only thing that will set you free is change — either in your view or in reality. The uncertainty not only breeds, but demands growth.
We’ve all heard the saying: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’d take it one step further and assert,
Get certain about uncertainty — and the necessity of it.
You Become The People You Hang Around — But It’s Not Automatic
“Surround yourself with people you can always learn something from. Always work with people that are better at their craft than you are.” — Tony Vincent
Despite the truth to the above statement and many others like it, there’s a bit of resignation and judgment surrounding it. There’s almost an implied dismissal looming to take action as soon as we distinguish something we don’t like about a person.
Sure, there’s a natural elevation that occurs when we are around optimistic and driven people but even if you spend all of your time around successful people, they’re not going to do the work for you, you have to focus on what you want to get out of the experience and make it happen.
In the situations where you find yourself in the presence of someone you wouldn’t otherwise spend time with, don’t write them off. Despite your differences, see what you can learn from them — perhaps even because of those differences.
Quiet the judgmental voice in your head and ask yourself what you could learn from this person or better yet — what they could teach you about yourself.
No matter who they are, the odds say they’re better than you at something.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” — Mother Teresa
A Peak Never Reached
“Man is the only kind of varmint that sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it.” — John Steinbeck
People who operate out of a sense of scarcity — always trying to get someplace else — will never have lasting fulfillment in life.
One of life’s biggest paradoxes is that perfection doesn’t exist. We’re going to continue to make mistakes as long as we live. To some, this is an unbearable truth. To others, it’s consistent opportunity — a reason to keep growing, which invariably breeds fulfillment.
We’ll never get to the summit, for what it means to be human is to continue adjusting the peak. Our human default has no concept of measurement.
But what is available is the multiplication of what each summit represents. Inspiring others with the way you welcome change, in turn, minimizes their suffering — leaving you as the beneficiary of their spared emotion.
Most everyone that is fearful of change is more so fearful of time, and the potential loss of it.
The human war with impermanence is very real. Those that face it head on, leveraging change as a weapon, are the ones who move the world.