Change Is the Only Constant in Life

In the laws of nature, change is inevitable. But what kind of change would you choose?

As humans, we are made of a staggering 724 trillion cells. Every minute in our bodies, about 300 million cells die and are replaced by other cells. In the constant nature of change, change is inevitable for us.

We face change every day, starting from a change in the cells of our bodies to an expected change of the season. Then, there are major changes in life — losing a job, having a relationship break-up, or getting your parents separated; all can change you into a completely different person, too.

Changes are bound to happen, whether they are related to the normal phenomena of the universe or the unexpected twists of life.

The Law of Cause and Effect

Knowing that change is a permanent fixture of liferather than avoiding it, we may as well embrace it.

Before we do that, however, we need to understand the law of cause and effect. Simply put, it tells the relationship between actions and results.

“For every effect, there is a cause.”

When I get good marks on my Math test, it’s because I studied hard for it. When I get a promotion at work, it’s because I worked harder than my peers. When my roses died (effect), it’s because of my improper watering (immediate cause). And… because nature made them die (principal cause).

In most cases, the principal cause is inevitable, but the immediate cause is within my control, and from there, I can find the root cause.

Thinking about causation shows the relationship between events based on reasons and outcomes. And understanding this is a vital skill to make positive changes in life.

Not all change is progress

Every action in the universe produces a reaction no matter what. Therefore, the next wise step you can take is to focus on changing the things that are under your control: yourself.

Ideally, change involves growth, right? But, here is the thing:

“There is no progress without change, but not all change is progress.”

That quote above was said by John Wooden. It got me confused at first. But it reminded me of something.

I have a very ambitious friend. Let’s call him Steve. As a real go-getter, Steve is determined to be successful. He strives to grow interchangeably and always wants to learn about many things in life.

As expected, his desire to “always grow” has turned him into a jack of all trades.

Being a jack of all trades is not always a big negative caveat. Having multiple skills is very much needed in this competitive world, and being able to turn your hand to several tasks can be a precious life skill.

However, Steve ended up being confused about what he truly wanted to do in life. He finally had to settle for an average job with an average salary. While Steve has surely changed, he hasn’t made significant growth in this regard.

Do you know what the problem is? Steve didn’t have a plan for the “change” — only for the “growth.” He grew for the sake of growing.

Edward Abbey once said,

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancerous cell.”

In economics, excessive growth occurs when growth is only caused by population growth while the economy cant support those changes. What happens then is, demand surpasses supply, leading to a condition where economists describe as “too many dollars chasing too few goods.” Talk about surging inflation, rapid wage increases, and a low unemployment rate — they are signs of an economy growing at an unsustainably strong pace.

But economics is such a big, complex thing.

Now, simply ask yourself, when you plan to grow (no matter how small), what kind of changes do you want to make?

“Growth for the sake of growth” is harmful and a recipe for potential disaster. For most of us, it is a trap that’s hard to escape because it’s not necessarily attuned to the actual drivers of long-term growth.

 You need to have specific goals to support those changes and purposes to push you forward in the right direction. It’s okay if haven’t found them yet, but at least you’re now aware that you’re in the process of exploration. This way, you are no longer growing for the sake of growing.

Manage change by focusing on the “seeds”

Many people resist change because it brings a feeling of fear of the unknown. But what actually happens is that they are not aligned with the laws of nature. They try to spread negativity in their actions and hoping positive results will automatically fill the vacuum. They try to change the effect while the cause remains.

More often than not, the fear of change comes from our worries about the future. If you can stop yourself from worrying about what might happen and just deal with “what is happening”, you’ll find that change is easier to manage.

James Allen, in his book “As a Man Thinketh” wrote,

“A man’s mind is like a garden. If we plant good seeds, we will have a good garden. But if we don’t plant anything, something will grow and they will be weeds.”

Don’t judge the changes in your life by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. If you want to make significant growth in life, don’t focus on the outcome — but on the process. Be more aware of your thoughts, accept and evaluate each of your actions, and choose the right decisions to get the results you want.

What kind of change would you choose?

As contradictory as it may seem, change is the only constant in life. But what’s important is how we anticipate change and react to it. We can manage change by focusing on the “seeds” within ourselves, practicing to live life with an attitude of gratitude, and embracing change as an opportunity for continuous growth with a purpose in mind.

Sometimes, the smallest decision can make a big change in our life—as small as choosing what to do right after reading this article. You can choose to keep complaining about how lousy your current job is, or to take meaningful action knowing that someone didn’t wake up today because the millions of cells in their body are no longer “changing” — but you did.

Whatever it is, I hope you choose wisely.

This article was originated from Author’s post on Medium.