“There is change in all things... The universe is change, life is understanding.” ~Marcus Aurelius
Everything that I have ever written, I have at one time or another truly believed with all my heart.
But this time, I might have outdone even myself: the premise of this piece is, perhaps, so unrealistic that even I am not yet totally convinced of its intrinsic value.
So, what is the radical concept?
We ought to incite change in our lives when we want things to stay the same: when everything in our lives feels comfortable, when we explicitly don’t want anything to change. In other words, when we recognize a level of unmatched comfort with the status quo — with most or all aspects of our lives — it should compel us to realize that we ought to spark new change.
What’s wrong with “everything” feeling comfortable?
I admit how backwards the idea may sound at its inception, but I promise I’m not suggesting the concept simply to be a contrarian. Even still, why would someone ever want to do such a thing? As I see it, there are three important reasons that set a special precedent for inciting change when everything feels too comfortable:
- One, because everything in our universe is in a constant state of change;
- Two, because change propels development and progress (conversely, resisting change causes regression and stagnancy); and lastly,
- Three, because if we make the choice to facilitate change in our lives when everything feels comfortable — rather than waiting for the inevitable fact that change is certain to happen to us — then, we can harness change and use it as we choose.
Incite change by your hand — using it for development, growth and progress — or allow change to do what it will to you — either being forced to adjust unexpectedly, or resist the change completely. The idea is not so radical after you give some consideration to the natural state of our universe and the very state of existence of all life.
1. Everything is Change
Change is the state of nature: the undeniable condition of our universe. The oceans and the tides ebb and flow without pause. The clouds are constantly swirling overhead, winds and jet-streams curve and blow with almost complete unpredictability. Energy is moving everywhere and at all times. The seasons transition, the Earth rotates. Not even the stars at night are as static as they appear: their light that we see has traveled for ages and eons — so long, that the glowing orbs of light that we see could possibly no longer exist.
Everything is change. Nothing is static, stagnant, or forever. As change is the status quo of life as we know it, what we perceive to be states of total comfort and perfection are merely illusions deceiving us from remembering the true nature of our world.
2. Change Propels Progress
We spend most of our lives trying to get our relationships, work, living situation, and so on, to feel comfortable. What’s wrong with that? Well, nothing is wrong with striving to achieve levels of comfort, happiness and fulfillment. Is it so wrong to try to maintain that feeling when everything feels comfortable? Of course not. Even still, how often does anything stay the same? How long does anything remain just as we desire? The answer, quite simply, is never.
Change is good: it propels progress and development. The sooner that we consider the ever-changing nature of our lives and our universe, the easier it is to come to peace with the fact that everything in our lives is always changing. Perhaps that’s a terrifying thought: that nothing is static and nothing is forever. But thankfully, because everything in our world is change, so too can anything in our lives be changed.
3. Choose to Harness It, or Wait for It to Happen to Us
The best, most advanced and internationally revered businesses that exist, like Apple and Sony, understand the how change can and must be used to one’s advantage. If you don’t harness change to propel your own growth and development, then change will happen to you, and in ways that you won’t find comfortable or easy to embrace.
These multi-billion dollar corporations embrace the principal of “constant change” by fueling inter-organizational competition, which sparks growth and innovation at all times. The most well known companies — the very reasons that they are the best, most successful and most profitable — understand that neglecting to incite change at all times will cause complacency, thus allowing change to happen to them.
Would you rather create change when everything feels comfortable, or try to maintain the status quo in spite of the fact that change is certain to eventually happen?