By Jim Kaminecki –
“Yet a man may love a paradox, without losing either his wit or his honesty.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the world we live in, change happens in more areas of our lives, and at a more rapid rate than at any time in recorded history.
Inventor and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” He estimated, using the Gregorian calendar, that it took from year One to 1500 for the amount of human knowledge to double. The next doubling, he estimated to have occurred around 1750. The next occurred around 1900. By 1945, the rate increased to every 25 years. Today, the estimates suggest knowledge is doubling every 13 months, and is expected to eventually double every 12 hours.
One thing we can count on not changing is this… things will continue changing.
In many cases, these rapid changes can lead to positive outcomes. Maybe that cure we need is only years away instead of decades? Maybe that new industry built today will create the job we will be holding in five years? Maybe that trip to see the grandkids will take only 40 minutes, when it previously took four hours?
In other instances, these rapid advances will have adverse effects on people. It may even impact you personally. Has a favorite store closed due to online competition? Have things you have done successfully in the past stopped working? Technology, competition and increased efficiencies have eliminated many jobs. Was one of those yours?
This is not a technical article, but since technology affects so many areas of our lives it is a great introduction to the effects that change, rapid or otherwise, can bring into our lives.
As things change, they have the potential to introduce a level of uncertainty into our lives. This happens whether we expect it or not. It happens whether we want it or not. How does it feel when you have a very small level of uncertainty? Curious is the word that comes to my mind. How does it feel when there is a moderate level of uncertainty? Exciting or disturbing could be choices, depending on your personality type. How does it feel when you have a very high level of uncertainly, such as being the sole income earner for the family and losing your job unexpectedly? Extremely concerned or stressed out are phrases that might fit.
If the uncertainty has you anxious, it will drive you to act in a way to reduce the effects. Some of those actions could be very positive for you and others. You could spend eight hours searching for and applying for a new job. Some may be neutral, but don’t really assist in finding a solution, and are simply distractions from the situation. You could reorganize your office, and file three-month-old papers. Others could be destructive, such as not doing anything, excessive drinking, overeating, or arguing.
There is a human need for certainty, even if it is just perceived. It is a survival mechanism.
But the opposite holds true as well. What happens when you are absolutely certain of an outcome? You have had the same job for 25 years and know every inch of the office; every client; everyone’s schedule; every solution to every problem within your area. How will you feel when you are absolutely certain of the events and outcome? You will likely be bored – complete certainty, yet maybe that is what you need and prefer in your job situation.
There is personal variation in the levels. People will want more or less variety in their lives on each side of those scales. But the truth remains, we all need both. Obviously, other areas of your life can help you meet your needs for either situation. However, it is important to be careful when addressing a needs gap. Make sure it is not at the expense of other areas of your life. Don’t go seeking excitement (uncertainty) in your work, completely at the expense of making your close or intimate relationships boring (certain).
You are sure to find yourself facing new circumstances involving your career, spirituality, personal relationships, family, or health in the future. Find that balance in each situation that works for you.
Remember this when it comes to change: life is happening for us not to us. Choose to find the positives in your experience. Choose positive actions. Something appearing as a setback is an opportunity to move forward in a new direction. You have more control than you believe. Choose wisely.
If that unwanted or unexpected change did not occur, you might never have –
- Heard your favorite new song
- Discovered that great new destination
- Learned that new skill
- Found that new career
- Met that important person
- Appreciated all those things that you already have…
Such is life.
Such is the paradox.
Jim Kaminecki is a holistic health and wellness advocate; a lifelong learner; a sand volleyball, swimming, and skiing enthusiast; an amateur photographer; a career, investment, and business consultant; a music aficionado; a Shaolin Kung Fu, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi practitioner, and occasional instructor.