Have you ever heard that phrase “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? What a bunch of crap! There are 2 main reasons why phrases like that exist, and neither one holds water.
The truth of the matter is that in order for change to occur – on both an individual scale, as well as a global scale – holding on to the way things “used to be” is a recipe for nothing but a modern-day remake of the same mistakes that we have already made in our lives, and on our planet.
If we want true, lasting change to occur, then we must realize that change means change, it does not mean wrapping the old life up in a new package and then presenting it again as if it’s all new. It’s like that ridiculous advertising slogan “New and Improved”. Something can’t be new AND improved – it has to be one or the other!
Nostalgia for Days gone By
One of the biggest reasons why people cling to their old patterns despite an innate need to move forward is nothing more complex than that wonderful emotion of nostalgia.
Our lives, no matter how hectic or chaotic they may be, are filled with “sweet spots” that are permanently ingrained in our memories and on our hearts. We remember “back when,” or “that time when,” or “how it used to be”.
Those memories and the emotions that they invoke are wonderful, and to forget or bury them would be nothing less than criminal. However, living from them is just as much of a crime! Your glory days from the past are just that – in the past. No matter how wonderful those days were, they are gone now, and you need to come to terms with that.
You should cherish your past, and learn from your past, and apply what your past has taught you, but your life will never move forward if you are hooked on “the good ol’ days”. Recognize your past for its positive aspects, utilize the contrast from the negative aspects as a marker for what to avoid in the future, and then let it all go.
Your past – no matter how powerful it may be – is gone. An exponentially more powerful and more glorious future, on the other hand, is nothing but a thought and a commitment away.
A Comfort Zone that needs to be Broken out Of
The other main reason why people tend to color their futures with the hues of their past is simply the fact that they are used to doing things that way.
I’m not talking about the standard self improvement dogma about getting outside of your comfort zone – we’ve all heard that one a thousand times. No, I am talking about the fact that people simply don’t do what it takes to create and maintain new habits that cause their lives to be significantly different than they have been in the past.
Each of us is guilty of it on some level or other, but we don’t realize our guilt because we are so used to doing things that way that it feels natural to us. Just because something feels natural does NOT mean that it should be a part of your life!
When I was a kid, I lived one quarter mile from a very busy set of railroad tracks. Those trains were very loud, and they came through many, many times every day and every night. After a few years, though, I stopped hearing them. They became such a natural background noise that I didn’t even consciously hear them anymore.
Just because I got used to living close to the train tracks does not mean that I would want to live there again!
Our ability to get used to something – even something challenging or difficult – does not automatically mean that we should make that thing a part of our lives. If our habits – no matter how steeped in antiquity they may be – do not take our lives in the direction that we want to go, then those habits need to fall by the wayside.
I have used the term “if nothing changes, then nothing changes” in so many of my writings that I have literally lost count. I don’t keep repeating it because it sounds cool, but rather because it is the truth of our existence.
The more things change, the more they stay the same? I call B.S.!! The more things change, the more they NEED to change.
Anything less is just a carbon copy that is getting more and more faded the more times you copy it.