February 13, 2023 ~ Written by: W.B. (Bud) Kirchner
Approx. read time: 7 Minutes
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
At no surprise, there are (many) quotes to come, but at this point, I can’t help but think of Marcus Aurelius who wrote that “change is nature’s delight” thus illustrating that change is actually woven into the universe.
While the following relates to changes on a significant scale (a question of perspective) we should start out reflecting on how fundamental change is (in this context per E. Spivack (#1) some “micro” examples):
- “Alchemy water into wine”
- “Ordinary metal into gold”
- “A chrysalis into a butterfly”
- “An acorn into an oak tree”
- “And even — when coaxed — skin cells into neurons”
At the other extreme, we currently see macro examples (several dealt with in previous articles) related to:
It is hard to think of a better concept for the times we live in other than the single word in our title. Also – the theme meets our fundamental criteria of being thematic and timely.
As you can imagine, there are endless perspectives related to change.
The bottom line is our perception and the reality of change is ubiquitous. It seems we are forever poised on the spectrum that embraces change – a spectrum often ranging from intense pain to inevitable gain.
As I researched this article, I came upon what might be a ‘sign of the times’ as it recreates the phenomena that is change – the process of advocating for (still more) change is housed on the internet.
“On Change.org, people everywhere are starting campaigns, mobilizing supporters, and working with decision makers to drive solutions.”
One can’t help but think of ‘gas on a fire’.
I couldn’t help but notice a certain bias around the definition of change: “replace (something) with something else, especially something of the same kind that is newer or better”.
Sadly, the process is not always so active and/or positive – nevertheless, it is clearly ubiquitous.
As an illustration of the intimacy within our lives – we see an endless list of synonyms:
As is often the case in semantics ‘change’ can also be counterintuitive. As Carrie Ditzel (#2) notes: “It’s often the ripple effect of a change that we aren’t prepared for which is the unique challenge.” She continues “resisting change even has an official physiological label, metathesis phobia: a fear of change so intense and persistent it keeps the person stagnant, psychologically paralyzed, and unable to make progress or find happiness.”
So how do we relate to this all-pervasive phenomenon? Perhaps, there are concepts that can help us put this all in perspective. For example, is all change bad? Obviously, when thinking about the change we call ‘aging’ it sure beats the alternative!
As we look at our standard approach this article is a change from the traditional format.
Anyone (is there such a person?) who reads these articles regularly will note I rely heavily on the quotes of others to create validity, perspective, credibility, etc. These are generally interpersonal with text abundant.
For the purposes of this article, I thought I would cut right to the salient aspects – i.e., it is all about the quotes.
Given the backbone (i.e., meat on the bones) of this article is perspectives on change via quotes – I readily acknowledge the admonishment of Joseph Roux:
“A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.”
- “Be the change you wish to see in this world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus
- “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” – Seneca
- “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud
- “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Einstein
- “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw
- “All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” – Max McKeown
- “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” – Peter Senge
- “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” – Woodrow Wilson
- “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker
- “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business.” – Mark Sanborn
- “All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” – Buddha
- “The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha
- “Change is never painful, only resistance to change is painful.” – Buddha
- “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha
- “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.” – Buddha
- “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha
- “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha
(Incidentally – impermanence is a tenet of Buddhism.)
- “The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” – Satchel Paige
- “Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternative.” – Maurice Chevalier
- “No one is as old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” – Henry David Thoreau
- “You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” – Ogden Nash
- “If I had known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” – Unknown
- “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” – Woody Allen
It is, of course, impossible to bring a topic like this ‘to a head’. However, as still one last perspective on change – one that touches on philosophical and practical and most importantly provides peace of mind:
“May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; The courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer
- Elana Spivack – “This Neuroscientist’s Breakthrough Experiment Could Herald A New Era Of Psychiatry”
- 11 Psychologist-Backed Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Change
Relevant Business Brain Model articles:
- Inhumanity – The “Yellow Brick Road” to Business Restructuring
- Our Current World: Paradigm Shift
- Decision Making – Cognitive Dissonance
- An Attribute to the Times
- More Arrows for Your Quiver – Further Thoughts on Targets
- More Arrows for Our Quiver
- We Aren’t Quite Tardigrades, But We Are More Resilient Than We Think
- Roadmap: Transitioning from catastrophes to paradoxes
- Creating and Promoting Values
- How To Use Your Vagal Lifeline
- A Powerful Arrow For Your Catastrophe Quiver
- A Metaphor for The Times
- Worrier vs. Warrior
- Effectiveness VS Efficiency: Striving for greater efficiency when there is a much more effective option available may be disastrous
- 10 Paradoxes That Will Bite You in the Ass (2nd in Series) “Post hoc ergo propter hoc”