Thoughts on Change

In a recent post on Christopher Connors wrote about Change. The central theme of his message is that change is inevitable and there is no point in fighting it. This has been on my mind a lot of late. Why do we fight change? Why do we resist it?

I suggest that there are two reasons. One of those reasons is because we are comfortable with the status quo and change is hard. It can be risky. It often takes great effort and time. The outcome of change is often uncertain. Many people do not like uncertainty. I suggest that most people do not like uncertainty. The second reason we resist change is because we determine that the change being proposed is not right. It may not be right for us, or it may not be right as a matter of principle. Connors acknowledges this second reason to resist change and allows that at times it may be justified.

Connors argues though that change is usually essential or at least unavoidable.

Sometimes I resist change because it just seems to be change for the sake of change. A lot of language change is like this. People suddenly adopt some new buzzword. The buzzword usually does convey meaning any better, often it conveys meaning less well than the words we used before the buzzword was adopted. Connors would probably say there is no point in fighting language change – it just is the nature of language.

Sometimes change is a legitimate advancement in the way we think. Often that is a very good thing. For me the challenge is to determine what change is truly beneficial and what change is not. Connors challenges us with the question: if you knew that making a change would positively influence your future outcomes, why wouldn’t you adopt that change? That is an excellent question. I agree if you could know that a change will improve things you should pursue it. My emails have this written on the bottom of them: Everything Can Be Improved. I truly believe that. I always have. I spent much of my professional career seeking change that will improve things.

Still I find it irritating when others want to make a change that does not appear to improve anything. This is that change for the sake of change.

I agree with Connors that some change is inevitable and there is little point in fighting it unless you truly believe that the change will make things worse. The challenge again is to discern when change will improve and when it will not.

I agree with Connors that opposing or resisting all change is counter-productive.

I suggest that Connors fails to discuss in enough detail how we should evaluate change to determine if it is worthy. Once we have done that work, and it can be very hard work, we should embrace change that will truly improve things. But the real challenge remains evaluating that proposed change to begin with.

I must ask myself at times if I resist change simply because as I get older I become more resistant to change. Being “set in your ways” and resisting all change or most change for that reason is not wise. It also will not work well in a world where change is happening all the time and the rate of change is accelerating all the time.

I suggest you read Connor’s post. It has some very good ideas about change and making progress at a personal level. I also suggest that in a world where change is so ubiquitous we must evaluate it and determine if it is worthwhile. We must determine if it will truly improve things.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.