Letting go of old ways in favor of new ways is always a very difficult thing, especially if the old ways were actually quite suitable and got the job done.
Sometimes, I catch myself not being able to switch to a new version of doing something. It’s like that computer or software upgrade that you never wanted, because it entails learning new ways of doing things that were done just fine the old fashioned way. I don’t really know why I see within me this reluctance to change in some ways, when I have made the experience over and over again that the new way is indeed preferable to the old way. It is also strange to see that there are folks out there who insist that only the old way, following the old masters for example in science etc. is the “right” way or even the only way.
It goes without saying that logic dictates that new explorations are fun, can lead to ever improved ways and are to be pursued. Every ever so slightly bigger company has an R & D department after all. It is like stepping stones, we build upon that which we have done for centuries. Yet could we fathom doing certain things like they were done 200 years ago? In fact there are people who insist that this is the only really classical way of doing things and they keep insisting even when faced with proof of a new way doing the same thing. That kind of stubbornness is admirable in a way, as it shows the faith one has in that which is tried and true. However, it also shows a great deal of fear. Fear perhaps to have invested decades of one’s life to study the classical way of doing things, just to find that now, whoops, someone has figured out an easier way that brings greater or more accurate results? Why is it so difficult to make a switch and follow that which is new and perhaps let the old base knowledge filter in as well? Why do we (or some of us – in different circumstances probably all of us) feel so reluctant to jump into the new?
If we look at the new things that have popped up in the past 20 years, I dare say, those who had the courage to jump, untested or even just blindly are now recognizably successful in their own way, aren’t they? It is innovation, inspiration and execution of that which we dream of that brings these new ways into reality. If we could see that the person who had the greatest idea since the beginning of time is actually just an energetic part of the whole that we belong to as well, we could possibly let go of our fears, of any sense of competition that may cause us to poopoo that new idea. If we were instead cheering for the great minds that bring about all this change, we could send our egos back to their vacation islands and be happy for the one who had the grand idea. We could even be brave and follow one idea or the other – or, we could even be more daring and begin developing our own ideas. Free from fear, free from competition. What if we would all succeed to do things perfectly, easily and most of all individually suited to who we feel we are? What if all these different ways were equally cherished, recognized and appreciated? I think we’d have the most joyous innovation-fest one could ever imagine. How fast and easy would evolution be then?
(Original post: August 14, 2011)