A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

G K Chesterton


Mark Twain might have said this famously, “If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.” Another maxim tells us that if we don't change directions, we'll end up where we're headed.

The biggest obstacle to growth and change is resistance to change. Marilyn Ferguson describes it this way, that it is “not so much that we're afraid of change... but it's that place in between that we fear... It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.”

We all know too well, as did John F. Kennedy, that “change is the law of life.” Nonetheless, Dean Lindsay reminds us that “all progress is change, but not all change is progress.”

John Maxwell offers a great perspective about change:

  • Change enough to solve your problems, not just get away from them.
  • Change your life to improve your circumstances; don't try to change your circumstances to improve your life.
  • Don't do things the same way and expect different results.
  • Change because you see the light, not just because you feel the heat.
  • Pay the immediate price of change in order to avoid paying the ultimate price that comes from not changing.
  • See change as a helpful thing that should be done, not a hurtful thing that must be done.

We already know we ought to take personal responsibility for the survival of our families and our homes. However, we unwittingly give over that responsibility to governments or employers—we give up our independence—in exchange for a wage. When we become dependent on a wage, we allow ourselves to slip into a “wage slavery” that lulls us into a false sense of security.

Deep down inside, we know we need to be ready for change before the economy inevitably shifts again, and the rug gets pulled from under our feet. If we change directions before we need to, we can change our destination, go against the stream, challenge the status quo, and make a difference in the world.