The Metaphysics of Change

Change has been a mind-boggling thought that tickled man, even the minds of the ancient wizards. Yes, even now, this topic is a subject of debate among the modern scientists and philosophers.  

According to Parmenides of Elea, an ancient Greek philosopher, everything is permanent and nothing is change. However, Heraclitus of Ephesus, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, contradicted Parmenides’ argument. He believed that everything is change 

Change, according to the fields of philosophy and science, is a transition from something to something. It is a flux from one point to the other.  

But please allow me to focus this article on constructive or productive change and detrimental change.  

Constructive change is the one that leads us to success. It challenges us to face new views, ideas, and means. It boosts our minds to think and encourages us to exert all the skills in order to achieve goals. The more that we feel challenged the more that we become more creative and determined to achieve our dreams.  

This is one of the secrets of successful people. To mention some, we have the likes of Bill Gates, Henry Sy, Manny Villar, Lucio Tan, etc.  

Gates was a high school failure. But he accepted a change of “routes” in his life to meet success. He never resisted change.  

The rest were never well off as we may know. Instead of wallowing themselves in regrets and bitterness, they faced a great challenge in dealing with the life situation.  

The latter knew that their parents could not afford for medicine, engineering, and law professions, but they made doctors, engineers, and lawyers themselves! All of them prescribed remedies for the “illness” (read: poverty) that society has. They engineered and molded the little edifices of ideas that they had. They defended their convictions to meet their ultimate goals!  

Gates founded Microsoft! Sy instituted the SM malls. Villar, made a successful Asian real-state figure. Lucio Tan, established Asia Brewery, Tanduay Holdings, Fortune Tobacco, Philippine Airlines, Philippine National Bank, and Allied Bank.  

Detrimental change on the other hand is the change that may lead us to losses. Unlike constructive change, this is a hindrance to success. The tycoons I mentioned were cautious with this. If a change has a greater percentage of losses than gains, they never bargain with it.  

It is not good to trade a current job with a new offer with fewer advantages. A new offer may seem “flashy,” but you may never know what’s hidden. Thus, you end up broke and regretful.  

A current job may have some flaws and difficulties, but we can change our views to make that job better. We can make ourselves more competitive. We can enhance our skills! We can learn new ideas! (That is why I never feel bored of my job. Hehe) 

When faced with detrimental change, it is always good to ask and investigate. We never accept strange things that we lack knowledge of. We never venture into things that are very attractive. Chances are they always have hidden agenda. Such is the case of networking schemes, gambling, and lottery. At the very first glance they seem attractive, but as time passes, losses are greater than gains! With this, we lose time, money, and opportunities.  

In the book “Who moved my cheese?,” Dr. Spencer Johnson depicted our attitudes towards change that occurs in our works and lives. Some complain, and others find solutions.  

Our “cheese” can be our work, our relationships, or anything that we find security and comfort. Trouble comes when we cannot let go of the things that we are used to be with. I understand how hard it is to be drawn from our comfort zones (check related topic, “Just an hour”) and be thrown into the unknown. Worries and fears clothe our minds. We are anxious of what may come ahead of us.  

Here are my tips when confronted with change: 

1. “Never affirm, seldom deny, always distinguish.” 

A motto I learned from a priest-professor in high school. He always told us to evaluate especially during decision-making. This has taught me a lot, you know, in everyday life.  

My thought runs like: 

Shall I drink soda or not? What nutrients shall I get, compared to water? If I drink soda, it will add to my sugar level (though I am not diabetic, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, mark it…Hehe). Well, I can have water from the pantry, which can contribute more oxygen to the blood going to the brain, and thus giving me more vigor to think and work! Note, brain needs adequate supply of oxygen and it can only be obtained from the blood… Plus, the idea saves me some bucks! Two birds in one stone, huh!

Shall I transfer to another company or not? Does the new company offer me better benefits? Or will it add more burdens to me? What if I stay and find ways to make myself better in the current company and target new posts? My earning power has a potential huge increase, compared to the increase I may gain from the new company. (Though, this is a case-to-case basis.) 

When in doubt, do not act! 

2. Adopt the philosophy of Metamorphosis 

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which a caterpillar undergoes a purgation to become a butterfly. Like the pupa we need to accept purgation in order for the best of us (to) come out of us. Thus, giving us the power to fly, to soar high (check Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. I highly recommend it!). Change sometimes can be painful and castigating. But we always remember, that the amount of sacrifice is worth the amount of success, and success even exceeds the amount of sacrifice!  

Gold is always tested by fire! 

3. Have a sense of Metanoia 

Everything is change and we cannot change everything. But we can change our minds and hearts. Metanoia is one the philosophies of Marcus Aurelius about self-improvement through self-introspection.

 It is a reality that everything is change, so for us to be able to cope up with change, we have to adapt to the situations. We change our mental concept. We accept the change and fit in. We grow wherever we are planted. We do not allow the situation to swallow us into bitterness and regrets, but we rather control the situation. We accept things and find ways that can improve us.  

4. Be childlike

Kids never ask about a change. They just suit in and play with it. Yes they complain, but they inquire. They never question difficulty, but they ask how to do such things.  

5. Be patient

Success is not a destiny. It is a journey. (Read related article, “Advice for financial success”). Take time. Never rush. Success is a day-to-day achievement.  

6. Persevere! 

Don’t give up! Quitters are losers. The ratio of success to failure is one out of ten. When the ten are all failures, try another ten, and so on. When one succeeds, get it on and maintain it! Hold on it!  

What is permanent is change! 

Who moved my cheese? Nobody moved my cheese! But somebody likes me to move to find the cheese!

paulf 02/02/07

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2 Comments

  1. felicissima said,

    March 15, 2007 at 10:46 am

    thanks dude!..;-)

  2. gat3keeper said,

    March 13, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    nice one pareng Paul… though it only took 5 min to read this, it will be marked in my brain permanently…


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