We are always in a state of flux. Biologically speaking, we are ~70% water. Flow and change are part of our system. Old cells die and new ones are generated every second. If we look at ourselves in this way, change is one way to describe who we are. A constant state of flux. It is what keeps us alive in many ways.
If change is such a big part of who we are physical, why do we resist it so strongly when it comes to living our lives consciously?
The thing is, all these changes are subconscious, we are not consciously doing this. We can’t stop these processes either if we want to. I think that is where the fundamental difference lies. Change is a part of our nature, subconsciously, I think it's one of the laws of nature.
If we are to further simplify things, in many ways, change is life. The definition of life is constant change. The only time that we don’t change is when we are dead. Genesis or the birth of anything is also just simply, change. A change in a chemical reaction, biology, evolution, genes, etc. If things did not change, life would cease to exist. So, we can agree that change in itself is a good thing.
But the discomfort starts when that change is imposed on us, or it requires us to consciously change a part of our lives actively. Quite possibly a part of life that we love and enjoy. We term such changes that are imposed unwilfully on us as challenges. That is where the quote in question comes in.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
– Fred Devito
When we face challenging situations in life (or when change is imposed on us) we are pushed to do better. To be better than we are today. Our challenges propel us to new heights of success and stretch our capability to learn and grow in a short span of time.
Many times, the challenge we face is hardly something that is good for us. Loss of a job, break in a relationship, etc. are not good changes per se. They are challenges. But if we embrace these challenges, it can become an opportunity for something better to come into our lives. The challenges that we face can become the conduit of good and propel us to dig deeper and become the person we were meant to be. To be the diamond in the making under pressure.
The one thing that is missing from the quote in my opinion is the importance of patience through challenges. Patience to stay with the challenges and work towards overcoming them. It is easy to feel defeated and unmotivated when we are under a lot of pressure. And it is okay to rest, take care of yourself and take a break. But don't give up on your dreams if you are faced with something daunting. Stay the course and keep at it.
Many self-help teachers say that when you resolve to do something (eat better, workout, create a side income, etc.) certain situations will come up to test your resolve. A wedding invitation with loads of booze, a late-night party, a trip to somewhere exotic, etc. can all be those situations that come up to test your resolve. In many ways, this is the universe’s way of seeing how much you really want something. What are you willing to give up for achieving that?
Tony Robbins has often said that as humans we are wired to solve problems and overcome challenges. And these challenges cannot be too easy or too hard. They just must be hard enough to keep us interested and also solvable. He goes on to say that if we don’t encounter challenges in our lives, we end up creating them for ourselves, all subconsciously of course.
The kicker is the challenges that we create for ourselves subconsciously tend to hurt us the most in the areas of our lives that we value the most. If we wish to avoid this pitfall, we must consciously choose a big enough challenge to keep us motivated, interested, and passionate in life such that we don't end up creating them subconsciously. Some examples that Tony Robbins gives are doing something about climate change, clean water, education, feeding the hungry, etc.
His point is, to give back to society in a way that is meaningful to you. The world is riddled with challenges, if you want to reduce the unexpected ones in life, then challenge yourself. Make it big and scary enough just for you. Be patient. Learn from these challenges and change yourself on your own terms.
We hope you love this quote, “If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you” by Fred Devito as much as we do and enjoyed reading a different perspective on it. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on this quote. Do you love it? Or do you hate it? Do let us know!