All through my life, I knew what was right but I could not engage in it. All through my life, I knew what was wrong, but I could not abstain from it.” – King Duryodhan on his deathbed, in the great Indian epic Mahabharata (3102 BC)
This series about change covers the beliefs and forces that cause people to resist change.
What are some of the things that hinder or prevent positive change?
1. My way is the only way and others can take the highway. King Duryodhan, the most powerful and intelligent man of his era, knew that failure to change his behaviors and techniques could lead to his downfall and the demise of his empire. However, his blind ambition (with added ego) prevented him from changing his behaviors to what he knew was right.
2. You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was aka “The Way We Were Syndrome” i.e., resting on past glories of their culture, family and company history. What matters is what you do NOW. Past is history, tomorrow is mystery, TODAY is REALITY.
3. As long as the others change it will be good i.e., Expecting others to change while refusing to change our own behavior. Change begins with you and it does not begin until you do. The best way to inspire people to change is by our actions and results.
4. Your successful path will block your vision to the future i.e., clinging to the practices that have made us successful and not recognizing the environmental forces dictating fundamental changes.
5. Old habits die hard or you die with them. Dennis Waitley, in “Psychology of Winning”, narrates a story about a tribe in one country. Research showed that high premature death rate in that tribe was due to the disease created by some kind of insects in the area where they lived. But they refused to move to better place offered by the government and continued dying. There are many similar examples all around us.
6. Failure to recognize the “Web of Life”. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. These words represent the wisdom of the ages from every culture: “As we sow, so shall we reap.” Just look at the root causes of the recent global economic collapse, wars, natural disasters, spread of diseases, crimes and all kinds of excursions.
7. Those who never learn from history are forever condemned to repeat it. No further words needed for this.
Reflection: There is an age old saying “Only thing constant in life is change.” Then by resisting change, one is going against the very process that keeps them alive (Life).