If you want to grow, then embrace change

A statue of Buddha with curly hair and a sharp nose once common in ancient Central Asian art in the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China on May 15, 2015. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • We tend to concentrate on the crisis brought about by change (hence the resistance) so that we miss the opportunities that it presents. If you are fired from a job, instead of indulging in a pity party, look at it as an opportunity to start the business that you have always said you will start “someday”.
  • When he or she walks out on you and leaves you with a broken heart, this is an opportunity for you to meet new people and, who knows, you might find an even better partner.

The Chinese government wanted to undertake a road construction project in a certain village. The civil engineers made a brilliant blueprint of the project that was approved and work commenced.

Midway through the project, they faced a dilemma: a Buddhist temple stood right in the middle of the place the road had been designed to pass. After consultations, the decision was made to demolish the old temple, but after building a new one for the villagers.

The new temple was completed and it was time for the government to move items from the old temple to the new one so that the old one could be demolished to pave the way for the project.

First on the list was a clay statue of Buddha that stood majestically at the heart of the old temple. It soon became apparent that moving the statue without breaking it was going to be an arduous task. As soon as it was lifted, some parts began to fall off, causing an uproar among the worshippers.

By the time the statue arrived at the new site, most parts had either fallen off or had cracks. Then something magical happened. Through the cracks, they noticed something shiny. When they carefully removed the clay, they found a statue of pure gold.

Apparently, their predecessors had covered the golden statue with clay to protect it from thieves. Now in the middle of the new temple stood a majestic golden statue like they had never seen before and their tears turned into cheers.

Had the clay statue not been moved, were it not for change, they could never have discovered the golden statue.

The word “change” is the scariest on Earth, only second to the phrase, “We need to talk”, especially in relationships. It is scary because we often associate it with crisis, so much so that it is almost a synonym for crisis. It is for this reason that the most natural human response to change is to resist it.

Every human being is programmed to resist change and maintain a state of equilibrium. When a change occurs in our lives, our internal mechanism jumps into play to regulate the new influence and return the body to a steady state. The mechanism works to keep things as they are even when more favourable possibilities exist. It simply resists all change.

We tend to concentrate on the crisis brought about by change (hence the resistance) so that we miss the opportunities that it presents. If you are fired from a job, instead of indulging in a pity party, look at it as an opportunity to start the business that you have always said you will start “someday”.

When he or she walks out on you and leaves you with a broken heart, this is an opportunity for you to meet new people and, who knows, you might find an even better partner.

You never realise how bad good is until you have tasted better. The reason many people suffer is because they refuse to embrace change and cling to the good old days. They cling to the clay and never give themselves a chance to discover the gold they possess.

You cannot run away from change; it is inevitable. Change will make or break you depending on how you respond to it.

On the easy stuff, anyone can look like a superstar, but when faced by the steep slopes of change, your weaknesses start to show, the cracks start to emerge in your clay, and that is when the real superstars emerge. When change comes, and come it will, surrender to it and adapt to the new state. Rather than going against the change, go with it.

The malleable is always superior to the immovable. Clinging to the past when things have moved on is a foolish consistency, a hobgoblin of little minds.

Embrace change if you want to grow and discover the gold in you. Change can happen without growth but growth can never happen without change. Embrace change and begin to transcend it.

Mr Mureithi is an author and public speaker. cmureithi88@gmail.com