The Paradox of Change

Nov. 7th, 2016

It is relatively easy for humans to maintain the status quo. We like things to remain the same. There's even a section about that in the fundamental level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Human beings need a certain amount of homeostasis. Even ADHD brains who are essentially hardwired to love change.

It occurred to me recently that the reason or catalyst for positive change is a bit of a paradox. It’s very rare and difficult to force somebody to change, particularly if they aren't aware of or won't acknowledge there's a problem. However, without others to reflect things to us, lots of us would have no knowledge of anything amiss. Like the frog in the pot. The bubbles are rising all around us, but because it happened so gradually, we fail to notice.

On the other hand, it is incredibly difficult and unlikely that anyone will change, even if they are aware of the problem, without the help of any other person. Support of loved ones is often a crucial piece of change for the better. And yet, if others supporting us is the only piece, and we lack motivation, awareness, opportunity, and intent, then change is very unlikely to occur.

Human beings sure are funny, aren't we? And the above paradox doesn't even begin to touch on the conundrum of what even constitutes a problem! One person’s pig sty is another person’s immaculate palace. Though to me, the real yardstick is functionality. Is the person in question doing what they want and need to do? And the answer to that is incredibly complex.

What did it take for you to change?