The Discard Pile and Loving Fate

There is change coming no matter how much control you think you have over your time. Learn to enjoy it.

One of Seth Godin’s posts last week tweaked something in my brain (as it often does) and reminded me of an important, constant truth: Nothing is forever, change is the only constant.

Walking away from something that we’re used to, even if it’s unjust or inefficient or ineffective–it usually takes far too long. Fear, momentum and the status quo combine to keep us stuck…

…Sunk costs are real, but we must ignore them. Culture changes, our standards evolve, opportunities arise.

Better is possible… if we care enough to walk away from what was and brave enough to build something new.

~ Seth Godin

It was reinforced by today’s Monday Musing by Ross Treleven thusly:

From Elliot Eisenberg (the Bowtie Economist); “Almost forty years ago, on 10/9/81, the interest rate on a 30-yr mortgage peaked at an amazing 18.63%. Today that rate is just 3.04%, a decline of 83.7%! Conversely, today, the price for a thousand board feet of lumber on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hit yet another high at $1,300.00/1,000 bd ft. A year ago, the same contract was $328.50, and on 9/28/09 it was just $163.60. Nothing is forever.”

These kinds of stats are a great way to observe and that what is current will not always be. What are you focused on or stressed about that will pass — good or bad? Perhaps you are failing to enjoy being in the moment. The constant is change. Nothing is forever. This is the kind of thing I need to hear when I am at either end of the spectrum: feeling down on top of the world. It’s an attitude adjustment for sure, but worth the gut check it offers.

Whatever you’re mulling on today, whatever gripe you have, or success you’re enjoying — be mindful of its impermanence. Enjoy successes, learn from failures, and move on knowing full well there is change coming no matter how much control you think you have over your time. Just ask someone who has had their daily routine interrupted by a death in the family, or got the call that their position at the company has been terminated.

One very useful mantra that will assist in your love of change is the ancient Stoic notion of “Amor Fati”. Loosely translated, it means to ‘love fate’; to enjoy what comes at you no matter what.

Don’t brace for change; embrace it.

New York-based Australian Comedian & Cartoonist for the New Yorker. Obsessed with productivity hacks, the creative process, and the Oxford comma.