To Change your Life, First Change your Thinking

I came across this quote from Bernard Shaw – “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

It almost resonated with me, but it grated a little. It assumes that progress must be forever different, and it takes courage to sometimes stay the same to move ahead.

Let’s unpack this thought.

First, how can things progress if they stay the same? Let’s take a manufacturing process. Let’s say you can manufacture widgets. You can produce them with a basic machine and two employees. You can meet the yearly demand with your equipment and increase production periodically to meet peak short-term demand. Everyone is earning a good living.

One could decide that progress should look like it does at that moment. There is harmony, a balance. Progressing into the future while keeping the business unchanged is just fine. The other side of that coin is that the company is ultimately doomed. Demand might change, or a competitor will produce more widgets at a lower price, putting the original business out of business.

The assumption is that everything should last forever by striving to be bigger, better, higher, longer, etc. Staying the same is a silent death knell.

We see this thinking in our society today. Increasing the world’s population is hardwired into our thinking and our behaviour.

Oh, those countries over there should have fewer children, but we need more young people to support our seniors. As our population increases, they will become seniors and need an ever-increasing number of young people to support them.

Of course, that thinking is headed to catastrophe.

A self-sustaining approach to life over time is possible. We’ll need to progress towards such a goal by changing our thinking, but at some point, progress will be the equivalent of standing pat.

Please give this a bit of a think. On a smaller scale – an individual scale, has there been a situation that you consciously decided to keep the same, knowing it might be more complex than changing?  Have you ever had a situation that you wanted to stay the same but consciously chose to change? Lastly, revisit the Bernard Shaw quote and give it a bit of a think. Was he right?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash

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