SHIFT HAPPENS

Posted: May 20, 2013 in Deeper Things
Tags: , , , , ,

Recently, a few truths have hit me quite hard. A one of those truths is that there are a few things in life we cannot avoid. Try as you may, they will always happen to you, affect you, or even define you. One such inescapable (new favourite word) situation we will all face is CHANGE. Each of us ‘shifts’ in one way or another in every season of our lives. Whether the change is great or unnoticeable, it is going to happen. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

But I’m sure you’ve heard statements like “you haven’t changed at all”, or “I’m never gonna change”. Of course such idealistic and unfortunately simplistic noughts and observations really betray what is a fundamental part of any living entity. If you are alive, there’s no way you can’t change. You must change! Heck, if you thought you were undisciplined with your body when you were alive…just wait until you’re dead! Your body can’t wait to deteriorate and decompose. Now, if only we could do that with our weight huh?

One change that I want to talk about is the shift in your thinking.

I believe it happens with every piece of information you come across. As a finite being that has capacity to learn, whatever your mind ingests will cause a shift forever n your mind. You may not be aware of it when the details are small, or it may be obvious when it comes to major beliefs being altered, but it’s going to happen. Not only this, but it’s necessary!

Quote: George Bernard Shaw

Quote: George Bernard Shaw

These changes are necessary because everyday we’re exposed to new information or variations and derivatives of old information. Our brains need to take that information in and justify its existence in the mind somehow, or else we can never take in new information. Without these shifts, our minds would work like computers that always freeze when you do anything with them. Some of you know what I’m talking about: You click…it freezes..you reset. You open a folder, it freezes, you reset. It has what it has, can’t add any new files, and can’t handle any processes so that even the old files are unusable. It’s stuck!

A small shift could be seeing a very strangely patterned floral dress for the first time (just by use of the word ‘strangely’ I’ve accessed your definition of the word ‘strange’ and it’s been applied to the dress before you’ve even seen it). I could look at this dress that and decide I don’t like it. No surprise there, right? It’s simple. You see something, then decide you like it or not.

Kanye: "I picked her up like 'dis. I had NOTHING to do with the dress... The slit is the only relief we all have from it!"

Kanye: “I picked her up like ‘dis. I had NOTHING to do with the dress… The slit is the only relief we all have from it!”

But when you include the fact that you’ve never seen it before, this reaction to the dress is a new one. You can say “Well I never liked floral dresses anyways”, but what you’re missing is it didm’ include that dress.It doesn’t just remind you of a new decision. With new information, like this particular floral patterned dress, your decision to not like it has modified your base of previous knowledge, and placed it in the “anti-floral patterned dresses department” in your head. Something’s changed, even if it’s just extra information that’s added to an old decision. Whenever I see floral print..I’m gonna think of that dress, even if I’m looking at a different one!

I’m sitting next to a bookstore, and there’s a new book by Dan Brown being marketed. Somebody earlier was sitting nearby and browsing the book, and I noticed that it was that specific book. What happened was that the posters became an area of focus subconsciously, and so I could recognise the book anywhere else nearby, without even actively paying attention. A shift took place in my thinking simply because of a poster. So I guess marketers have us where they want us huh?

Now, that was just an ugly dress and some posters. What happens with “bigger” pieces of information, like news or books. What about events? They don’t simply have information. They have information that directly affects us, to a far greater and sometimes far more subconscious level. Somebody who’s been in an accident shifts their thinking around driving and/or safety; a tragedy will shift your beliefs about how great/not great life is; a promotion could shift your humility to ego-mania!

Many things happen to us, and once that new experience is in our heads, a shift happens. We’re never quite the same for long. Change is chasing us everywhere. As much as we’d like to hold on to beliefs that we’re “consistent”, that can only be true on a very broad level.

Some people don’t change a general thought towards something, but they do get further entrenched in it, shifting the thought from the realm of “good ideas”, to building a fortress of justification in their minds for whatever choice they’ve made. They go from a mild acceptance to hardcore determination.

Others may make bold and apparently new decisions in a moment, yet not realise that subconsciously, a shift had been taking place for a while through small and large pieces of information shifting your mind quietly. The moment may have had a trigger, but the ingredients were all there just waiting to go into the oven.

Whether we want it or not, every moment you are exposed to anything…

…shift happens.

You can’t escape it.

Over.

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Comments
  1. T says:

    I love the quote – It’s new to me – “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” #TheTruth

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