- The way I see it:
I am not denying at any level that changing is hard, and difficult, and that it implies a huge amount of effort and dedication, but by choosing Nick Tasler’s article I am pursuing my tenacious and stubborn conviction that human beings are much more prone to adaptation that what we may think.
Yes, there is a cultural narrative that support the biased evaluations of change, as Psychologists Ed O’Brien and Nadav Klein at the University of Chicago show in their recent experiments about the tipping point of perceiving change, but maybe it’s time to reconsider it. Some of the main aspects of the Tasler’s article below.
According to the prevailing cultural narrative, change is incredibly hard, whether it involves recovering from the death of a loved one, getting over a breakup, quitting an unhealthy lifestyle, or otherwise turning your life around. But research suggests that we are actually much more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for.
Our mistaken beliefs about change can be explained by the philosophical conundrum devised by the Ancient Greeks known as the “paradox of the heap.” This paradox, first presented by the ancient Greeks around 400 BC, asks a seemingly simple question: At what point do single grains of sand become a heap of sand?
One grain of sand is clearly not a heap of sand. Neither are two grains or three grains or four. But if we keep adding single grains on top of one another, eventually they will inevitably form a “heap.” The question is, when?
Most of us—whether we know it or not—hold the belief that change for the better is much more difficult than change for the worse.
When to make a change, we tend to ignore signs of progress. By contrast, we interpret signs of decline as legitimate indicators that this person, or company, or society, has officially begun circling the drain.
We confuse the fact that change requires effort with the myth that success is unlikely. The evidence actually suggests that change is hard much in the same way that it’s hard to finish a marathon or learn a new language. Of course it requires effort. But the fact that it requires effort doesn’t negate the fact that the majority of people who commit to it will eventually succeed.: That’s the twist. When psychologists say that change is hard, they mean that change requires effort and dedication.
The good news is that we can persuade ourselves that we are, indeed, highly capable of change.
Instead of feeding one another the erroneous belief that change is a rare, herculean accomplishment, we should start reminding each other that adaptation is the rule of human existence—not the exception.
- Quartz, by Nick Tasler,