“Not all change leads to improvement, but all improvement requires change,” Dr. Shefali. I think this is an appropriate follow up to our discussion about living in two worlds as well as the discussion about perfectionism. This is all about discernment and the ability to determine what is best for us, what is aligned with our beliefs, and where that falls on the greater good. It’s also about purpose—are we changing for the sake of change or are we changing to move the ball forward? And are we actually willing to do the work we say we will?
Change is rarely easy. I’ve said many times it involves destruction and loss and the release of what we think we know in order to create the vision. Sometimes it’s a leap of faith into what we think something could be. As pack animals, we rely on the herd to tell us when something is good and then we all adopt it, but we also know that there may be something better. Sometimes it means letting things get really crappy at first to understand how to do something different.
The other truth to this is that we are a distracted, lazy, and impatient culture. We are always looking to be entertained and looking for the next thing to cross our paths, hoping someone else will grant us what we are looking for. And that works to fuel the consumer system. We don’t emphasize the need to do it on our own or the ingenuity and fortitude it requires to sustain our visions. We admire it when we see people like Bezos and Zuckerberg, and Gates but we instill the fear of acting on that kind of vision. Our system works best on structure and repetition but the human mind is not a machine. While we may feel comfortable in routine, that is not what we are designed for. We are meant to revolutionize and galvanize people so that the system works for us—not so we are cogs in the machine.
To address the impatience, change rarely happens quickly. At least most things that are worthwhile don’t happen quickly. That is the way of nature. There are seasons for everything, and a natural order and time that we have no say in. It is up to us to align with that flow. So when we make moves in our lives and don’t see immediate results, we are often triggered that something isn’t working and we think we have to shift again—and to be fair, sometimes we do have to shift. But we need to train ourselves that it may not be a shift in the opposite direction, it may just be a little tweak. There is a general slowness that comes with lasting change—slowness in the arrival of it and a slowness of life once you get to the point where you are comfortable with the new ways.
As the world speeds up, I think we are all feeling the pressure and the disconcerting feeling of being propelled forward in a way that we didn’t sign up for. There are certain things that we can start questioning the need for—like people looking to colonize other planets and wasting resources getting there when we have very real crises here that can be rectified. We can modify the messages we share with people rather than repeating the drudgery and sadness of the day. Speak new messages. We can change the story here and now and it can be an improvement. But in order to do it, we have to change.