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Understanding Change

We all know that we change as we get older. But often times, we are happy to be blissfully unaware of where we have changed, until something happens to make us notice.

Sometimes we also fear change. We fear what we don’t know, and change, by definition, involves some unknowns. When we learn new things, we change. We change because we get new perspectives and new information, and sometimes we get entirely new worldviews. This requires us to be willing to leave off our previous convictions and adopt new ways of seeing things.

This is great!

I know it sounds like no fun! If you have to give up old ways of seeing things, which of course implies those old views were… (gasp)… wrong!! Doesn’t it. And who likes being wrong?

But really, we need to find it fun. The most effective learners find it fun to be wrong. Think about it this way: You had a worldview at age 5, right? Chances are it’s changed a little since then. But that’s not because everything we thought when we were 5 years old was soooo wrong and we were just sooooo stupid, it’s that our views evolved as we grew and gained more experience. We adjusted our views to our new state, and to our new roles in the world. And realistically, we couldn’t have known any better at age 5. And more importantly, it wouldn’t have made sense if we could. We don’t spend our time beating ourselves up about not having known everything then, so why should we beat ourselves up about not knowing everything now?

In terms of the great span of history, even if you’re 100 years old, you’re still just a spring chicken. This is how I want you to view change: it’s just you growing up.

Though you cannot at this moment, know more than you do, you can approach life with openness that says “there is more to know”. That’s how you make friends with change, and accept it when it happens.

Some people think that if they are not right about everything, then they are basically not worthwhile human beings. I hope you don’t feel this way. Think about how sad that must be. The ability to say “I don’t know” or better yet to take a position and then change your mind (my favourite activity) is one of the greatest reliefs in the world.

We don’t know everything. There is always more to learn. And learning is FUN!

Don’t worry if you have to throw out old ideas. They served you well, and you have nothing to regret. Just move forward with confidence.

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