There are so many songs telling you you’re perfect the way you are. There are so many self-help books telling you that there’s really nothing to change. There is definitely no shortage of motivational speakers who tell you, “You are complete.”
You need to set all that aside. In fact, if I wasn’t being polite I would call them lies because that’s what they are. They are lies because the more you believe in that, the more you wall yourself off from a meaningful change in your life.
I’ve got bad news to tell you. The only constant in life is change. That’s the only thing you can bank on. That’s the only thing you can rely on and can safely come back to again and again. It was true in the past. It’s true right now. It will continue to be through long into the future.
Change is the only constant in life and it’s a good thing because, with change, we can improve. Change is actually a promise. It doesn’t matter how small you feel, how defeated you think you are, and how incompetent, ugly, and desperate things may be to you. With change, you can turn things around. That’s what’s so awesome about change.
I once met a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles and I was working for an insurance company and he said something that really blew my mind. It changed my life. He was a guy who just had newspapers as his bed.
He lives a block away from my office. He said, “This too will pass.” I looked at him. I looked at the situation and look at how desperate things seemed. And then it hit me like a crystal bullet in the heart. This too will pass.
There I was wearing an expensive suit, a nice silk tie, and I realized that this connects me and that homeless person. This the truth that connects all of us. What we think our reality is will pass because of change.
Instead of something that’s scary, instead of something we have to run away from, it’s something we should work with. How do we do that? How do we make a change? How do we make the deep and profound reality of change work for us instead of against us?
Well, it boils down to assumption. Choose your thoughts carefully because when you assume that you’re perfect you cannot deny that change always happens. It’s like a fire. We can’t intimidate it. It will continue to rage. It will continue to burn. It will continue to march forward.
It doesn’t care even if you acknowledge it or not. Sadly, when you think you’re perfect the way you are, you end up getting burned by change. This doesn’t just happen once. It happens again and again and again until you get the lesson.
What lessons are there to learn? First, assuming you’re perfect means you’re less likely to want to learn. I don’t care how smart you are. I don’t care how well you have it together. You need to keep updating your knowledge base. Otherwise, the world will leave you behind.
Given we live in the Internet age means information spoils quickly. Take the case of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You may be at the top of your game ten years ago. But SEO from 10 years ago will only get you banned or punished by Google today.
Keep with the times. Unfortunately, if you think you’re perfect, you know everything. It prevents you from learning what you need to learn to keep up. Assuming you’re perfect also means you’re less likely to want to adapt.
The world is chaotic the world throws many curve balls at you. You need to move. You need to be quick on your feet but to assume that you’re perfect means that you’re just going to stand still. So you get hit with one ball after another.
Soon enough, there’s blood all over the place and you are flat on your back. Not a happy ending. Assuming you’re perfect also means you’re likely to blame others. If you’re perfect, it’s everybody else’s fault. They’re imperfect. It’s not my fault. I’m perfect.
Do you get the twisted logic of that? It’s sad on so many levels. Most of all, it’s sad because when you blame other people, you give them power over your life. Why? Well, if they’re the ones who caused the problems, logically this means they are also the solution.
Well, reality check. It’s bad enough controlling yourself. Can you imagine trying to control other people? Forget about it. Finally, assuming you’re perfect means you’re less likely to assume or believe life is unfair. I’m telling you. Life isn’t fair.
It’s rough. It’s chaotic out there but the good news is that despite all this imperfection, there is beauty. There are sublime truths. There is profound peace you can attain but you should struggle for it. You should uncover it. You should work for it. You’re not perfect. You never will be. Welcome to the club.