Okay, so you’re probably viewing this post to find out what you need to do to be successful, thanks to my clickbait title. (Sorry about that!)
Well, I won’t keep you scrolling for long.
Instead, I’ll tell you exactly what it is you need to do.
You need to CHANGE.
Think about it. If you’re not successful and you don’t change, then you’re going to remain in the same default unsuccessful state.
On the flip side, even if you’re already super-successful, you still need to change if you want to stay that way.
…and here’s why.
The theory of evolution and survival
When Charles Darwin studied animals and creepy crawlies, he came to the conclusion that it was not the strongest species that survived, nor was it the quickest, or the one with the largest teeth.
Instead, it was the species that could adapt and change.
The animals and living creatures that weren’t able to (or refused to) change did not survive.
The same principle is true within mankind and within business.
Change is certain
There are not many things in life that we can apply certainty to, except death and change (and to some extent, taxes).
We’re all going to die eventually, we’re certain of that, we just don’t know when or how.
And everything is going to change, but again, we just don’t know when or how.
The uncertainty of the future is what worries us; it makes us feel anxious and fearful.
However, the uncertainty of the future is, ironically, something that we can be certain of since nothing will stay the same forever.
Therefore, we need to embrace the certainty of the uncertainty of the future. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Staying in the same place (refusing to change) is as bad as going backward.
We mistakenly believe that keeping everything the same helps us to remain safe and secure. After all, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Why change when everything is okay as it is?
Allow me to explain by using water as a metaphor.
When water is flowing (think of a stream), the water runs clear and clean. It’s traveling and constantly changing direction as it’s navigating its way over and around rocks and obstacles.
Take that same water and stop it from flowing. After a while, it will start to smell and turn brown and swamp-like. It other words, it will stagnate.
Stagnated water is teeming full of bacteria and it’s a far cry from our clean and clear flowing stream.
So, although you may think that you are protecting yourself by staying comfortable and not risking change, this is a very fatal strategy, because whilst you are staying still and stagnating, the world around you (your competition) is flowing.
Backwards can be forwards
I’ve already argued that staying put is just as bad as going backward because whilst you stand still, everyone else is moving.
But say, for example, you embrace the change and it doesn’t work out for you, and you are pushed backward, you’re still winning because you would have learned from that experience.
You learned something that those others who ‘stayed put’ didn’t, and therefore, even though you went backward, you actually went forwards.
Change or die
We’ve recently gone through a huge cultural change thanks to technology, and we’ve adopted everything digital.
Well, most of us have.
I’m sure we all have that one parent/grandparent/friend that never got excited about the latest technology.
Whilst you were playing with new mobile phones, discovering the internet, and other technological options, they were quite happy sticking to pen and paper, snail-mail, and their trusty landline.
This was fine in the early days, but as things have progressed more, they have been left behind.
Now they find technology to be strange, confusing, and they are unable to get their head around simple concepts.
Using an app to call a taxi or order food simply blows their mind even though small children, sometimes a third of their age, can manage it with ease.
The problem is that they failed to adapt and change and now are completely out of kilter with modern life.
Moral of the story: don’t get left behind.
People never actually ‘make it’
Entrepreneurs, or anyone who is overly ambitious, have this fantasy of ‘making it’.
The milestone is different for everyone. For some, it may be a 6-bedroom house on a hill, for others, it may be a sports car, a $1million+ income, a family of 4 with a loving wife/husband.
But here’s the catch….
Nobody ever feels as though they’ve ‘made it’.
Even if they get the 6-bed house, the sports car, the $1million+ income, and the picture-perfect family, that’s not the end of the game for them.
They will move their own goalposts.
…and that’s good! It means that they are continuing to change.
This is the only way successful people stay successful.
They’re always chasing something and in doing so they continue to grow, change, and provide their lives with meaning and purpose.
Luckily, this notion that everything will change gives us a huge space for opportunity.
It is during the biggest changes where opportunities emerge. For example, most millionaires are created during recessions and economic downturns due to the pressures of change.
So, embrace the change, ride the wave, and use the certainty of change to grow, learn, and experience life to its fullest.
Change is scary. But do you know what’s even scarier? Staying the same.
P.S. This is a great opportunity for me to share with you one of my favorite quotes. “Don’t live the same year 40 times over on repeat and call it a life.” (Or something like that anyway). In other words, CHANGE!
- The Trading of Time
- Digital Darwinism by Tom Goodwin
- Knowing the Cost of an Opportunity
- The Human Edge by Greg Orme