‘Don’t change, just stay the way you are.’
‘Stick to your roots.’
‘We like you the way you are now.’
These days it seems that almost everyone has this idea, that change is bad. It’s taken a philosophical spin and there seems to be a movement towards advising or encouraging people to stay the same. On the surface, it seems harmless, even helpful to think this as people question the meaning of life and go in pursuit of happiness. When you or someone you know is feeling down or lost, it’s one of those easy things to say in order to feel better, a quick fix. But does staying the same really help anyone?
It might be fine to stay in your current position when you’re doing well in life but if you’re going through a crisis, loss, or depression then this is the worst thing you can do. The laws of nature dictate change for life to happen; evolution, night and day, seasons, the weather, etc. Staying the same goes against this. It keeps you chained to your current situation, and you don’t change. When you don’t change, you don’t grow. When you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Before you think about staying as you are, you should understand who you really are. All of us associate ourselves with an identity or even multiple identities based on our DNA, experiences and memories. We hold onto this identity dearly because it makes us feel unique, sometimes even special, in a sea of billions of people. For example, someone might identify as an Asian politician with a keen interest in development economics or a Colombian MBA graduate with a net worth of £100 million. If you were to be stripped of all your experiences, your memories, your physical entity, everything that you know, who are you at the end of the day? What are your core values?
The question shouldn’t be, ‘Who are you?’ but rather ‘Who are you developing into?’
Change can sometimes be difficult, even ruthless to experience. When a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis in order to become a butterfly, it goes through a gruesome experience. The cells get digested in order to reconstruct itself into a butterfly. It almost dissolves itself in the process before the magical transformation takes place. The end result is a completely different creature that not only looks different but has different habits and can even fly!
When you’re too comfortable in your current position or afraid to move, you become stagnant. If the caterpillar never went through metamorphosis, it would always just be a caterpillar.
Do you remember your first day at your first job? What was that like? Compare yourself from that time to today. Would you have stayed that way if you could?
Change, especially positive change can be challenging, demanding, and really uncomfortable. If people never challenged themselves we wouldn’t have the internet, cars, skyscrapers, phones, computers, all the things that you take for granted today. Without embracing change, you wouldn’t experience the challenges, failures and lessons that would have made you grow.
If you didn’t even try, you would never know what you were fully capable of, what you could have grown into or discovered.
‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’Thomas A. Edison
So will you fear change or embrace it?
If you’re ready to embrace change and become a butterfly in your business or personal life, let me know: https://www.naimzainal.com