“Changes, along with agony and distress, provide opportunities. But he who does not change himself cannot utilize the opportunities presented by changes.”
– Bharathwaj Suresh
When people refer to an ideal situation, they use words like stability, uniformity, consistency and dependability. A company is said to be successful if it is progressing steadily. Everyone looks forward to settling down in life. A champion cricket team makes very few changes to its playing eleven. We always talk about change as something undesirable -something we are forced to make. But is change really so bad?
It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet, humans are predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. Little do we realise that change is one of the fundamental principles of life. Evolution, which is change on the grandest scale, is key to the survival of a species. Although the world hates change, it is the only thing that has ever brought about progress. Nokia’s reluctance to shift to lifestyle products like the iPhone, and its consequent downfall, is testament to the fact. Napoleon once said, “One must change one’s tactics every 10 years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.” Organizations and people that don’t embrace change are bound to lose ground. When you are finished changing, you’re as good as finished. In today’s society the pace of change is immensely faster, and it will only continue to accelerate. Even the pace of change doesn’t stagnate! Changeception?
However, change isn’t all rainbows and daisies. Change does come with a heavy tag, and real change is costly in all dimensions. A change directly implies stepping outside your comfort zone, which we inherently avoid. If we are to accept change, we must be prepared to lose whatever we have now for something that could be worse than before.
Once we’ve appreciated the importance of change and embraced its demands, we find ourselves only wanting to exact it from others and desiring to exempt ourselves. We’ve understood that change is good, but look for ways to push its risks onto someone else, by expecting our environment to change without changing ourselves. A failing student always looks to change his teachers or books, but rarely looks to adapt himself for the needs of the course. Real change starts with the individual. It is from within outwards and not the other way round. Changes, along with agony and distress, provide opportunities. But he who does not change himself cannot utilize the opportunities presented by changes. He who commits to change must be ready to be ruthless with himself, and believe that the change is for the good. Go hard, or go home. We cannot predict whether things will get better if we change; what we can say is things must change if they are to get better.
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better -the best of both worlds. More often than not, the cost of change is far lower than the cost of doing the same old thing. When Sachin Tendulkar was promoted to open the batting for India, the team lost stability in the middle order, but this change was instrumental in Sachin piling up records and the Indian cricket team reaching new heights.
Change is like a spark of fire in a cold forest night. It could provide light, warmth and hope to the lost traveller, but parallely runs the risk of turning into to a disastrous forest fire. It is up to us to weigh the opportunity with the opportunity costs and make a decision.
For a pessimist, change is the door to hell, the obstacle that will trigger a collapse. For an optimist, it is a breath of fresh air, the stepping stone to success.
Cover Designed By Satcheel Reddy Chamakoora
Edited By Supriya Subramanian
Article Written By Bharathwaj Suresh