Updated: Aug 4, 2022
“The most damaging phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’.” — Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
The only constant in life and living, is change, and this maxim has held up with the test of time. Just look around, try and spot something or someone that has stayed the same. Young have become old, open fields are now shopping centers; quaint villages have made room for multi-million dollar homes and professional spaces, places were where birds and animals one ruled, have given way for modern infrastructure including a network of roads, rails and highways.
Is today the same as yesterday? Is 5 minutes ago, the same as now? Are you the same person, you were yesterday? NO! What is the difference? There has been some change. Ah!! You have grown one day older. There has been some change in surroundings, and in every living being on earth.
Look at this example. Have you been near a river or a brook? The change that occurs in a river is vivid and unmistakable. Although we feel it is the same water, you could not step into the same river twice. The river itself is a different river, and changes from moment to moment, since the water flowing in it is different. If you step into a river at one moment and step out, and then step back in, you are stepping into a different river. The river is the same river, but it keeps changing, every second, every nano-second.
That’s how it is, whether we want to believe it or not! The change we see in a river is true of our world in general. We may say that some things simply stay the same: we may not see the change so clearly, but change is occurring, nonetheless. This might be easy to accept in the physical realm, where you see things, for example, the leaves on the trees, the flowers in our vase, the earth’s rotation. There is constant motion in all physical objects, no matter how solid and stationary they may seem. And certainly it is easy enough to see that the bodies of all living things are constantly changing, not only aging but also going through various biological processes and exchanges with the environment. What about other realms? About things such as relationships and love, or a person's identity? The fundamental fact of change encourages us to consider whether change is not inevitable in such aspects of life as well and the answer is, yes. The same rule applies in these realms also. Think about it.
Accepting change is never easy
Change is not only something we must accept, but it is actually something to celebrate. The world is a system in flux, but that very flux is also what keeps the world alive. Everything moves on. Nothing is at rest. That’s how it is and should be. If things were to be stationary, we would then become a portrait hanging on the wall, lifeless creatures, a memory. When water flows, it is clear, energetic, powerful. What happens when water becomes stationery? It stagnates. It becomes dead.
Wasn’t it one of the world’s most celebrated minds, Dr. Einstein, that defined insanity as, “Doing the same things, over and over again and expecting different results”? Do we really expect different results or are we stuck in a continuous time warp, recycling the same storylines, unwilling or unable to tell a different story. Since the beginning of time, the world has seen its share of heroes, heroines, maladies and miracles. We have chronicled movements, celebrated successes and like clockwork, refurbished homes and consoled the bereaved, listened to eulogies about a lifetime of accomplishments. The list is endless.
We have heralded the miracle of finding cures for Polio and Typhoid only to have AIDS and Cancer take their place in the annuals of current incurable diseases.
Our parents mourn the passing of family we hardly knew and we look at them with the understanding that they are not immune from the march of time and soon enough we will be taking their place as the matriarchs and patriarchs of our respective families.
We will continue to celebrate the birth of our children and mourn the loss of family and friends. While we now know that the only constant is change, we also understand the power of repetition, which we call TRADITION, and the comfort it provides in a world with many uncertainties. This is our Comfort Zone and we love it. And to get out of this, is very difficult.
Accept Change, Accept Life
What does constant change mean? It means taking a risk. However Success in any realm of life comes more often from taking chances or risks, than from careful and cautious planning, which is associated with comfort zone.
How can we be ready for change and accept change?
Be aware and accept that change is inevitable. It is going to happen, whether we like it or not. Internalize this awareness
Be flexible and receptive to change. Understand that change brings with it a different perspective, Accept and celebrate it
Explore and engage with the changes, bit by bit, then chunks by chunks
Welcome and establish the change into your life. Be a change master
Establish a support system and a support network to help you get some good advice, support and push
Build a ‘for change’ preparation toolkit to enable you to accept change easily
Today’s world is all about change and development. The business world is expanding its boundaries like a chain reaction and if we are not flexible, it would be difficult to survive among so many competitors. For example - If we analyze the mobile manufacturing companies, then the graph shows that if one company say Blackberry has come up in market with a new feature, say karaoke or some other new additional feature, then becomes necessary for its competitors to launch a better product having karaoke with additional features, that too within a limited time, in order to stay in the market. Here it requires the ability to take chances and risks in order to compete and succeed.
The only way one can be alive, participating and becoming successful is by being open to change and the fruit it bears. As Socrates, the Greek philosopher, who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy puts it, “The secret of CHANGE is to focus all of your energy, NOT on fighting the OLD, but on building the NEW
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