‘Life is change’.
Heraclitus of Ephesus, the Greek philosopher said that some 2,500 years ago.
It’s impossible to argue with the statement. We all live, and we all experience change. Every single day. We change. Other people change. The whole world changes.
The only variable is how that change affects us. Directly or indirectly, dramatically or hardly at all.
Change both frightens and excites us. We can see it as both a blessing and a curse. We hate change and yet love it at the same time. Even if we don’t want to admit it. What we really want is for things to remain the same but to get better. If we’re honest, we know the world doesn’t work like that.
Look back over your life and think about the biggest changes that came along. I’m guessing you didn’t instigate them. I’m guessing that all sorts of shit happened that you didn’t want to happen. But I’m also guessing that, like me, with the benefit of hindsight, you’ll now see some of that shit in a different light. Maybe it doesn’t even look like shit anymore. Maybe it looks like one of the best things that ever happened to you.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says:
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.
Changes will come sure as the winds. We have no say in the matter.
It’s how we react to change that matters.
Back to the Greeks.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Socrates said that.
We can help the process by adding some change of our own. When these seemingly unwanted changes come along, we can change the way we think about those changes. Maybe even use them as a prompt to make some changes of our own
The art of life is constant readjustment to our surroundings
Okakura Kakuzo said that.
2018 so far has brought many changes into my life. I didn’t want most of them. Right now they look like shit.
Only a few months ago I had it all planned out. Now everything’s changed.
It’d be easy to complain, to feel bitter, to wish things were different. But what’s happened has happened. It is what it is.
So I’m taking Socrates’ advice. I’m directing my energy on building the new. That’s why I’m posting this on a new website. That’s why I’m working hard on my writing.
For nearly 12 years I’ve worked on a dream. I built a sailboat, I went sailing, I had no plans to change anything anytime soon.
The Universe had different ideas it seems.
I’ll leave you with these words from American author Robert Penn Warren.
If anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn’t the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.
The game is still on.