Is Change Really The Only Constant?

His opening statement caught me by surprise, likely due to being still stuck in my early-morning fog.

Change is the only constant.” The Professor said, paraphrasing the familiar quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

He continued, “There is only one predictable element in nature, and in life, and that is change.”

Okay, it was beginning to sink in. But I still silently puzzled, “Wait a minute, how could change be a constant?”

With an air of finality, the professor declared,

“Nothing stays the same, except this fact. In the physical universe, change is not only constant, it’s inevitable.

It didn’t look like he was about to say it again.

Thankfully it wasn’t necessary as his words finally sunk in. He was talking about the physical universe, and as we live in a universe that is in constant motion, obviously, change really is the only constant

I got the wake-up call I needed to cause a dim bulb of enlightenment to glow through the thickets of significance in my freshman brain. That epiphany altered my perception of life in some very exciting ways.

The Professor smiled with knowing and obvious delight at our recognition of the basic truth that change is not only something we must accept, but also it is something to embrace and use to our advantage.

Professor Mandelstamm was one of the most highly respected Economics Professors at Michigan State University where I was enrolled as an intrepid student many years ago.  He taught Econ 101 at a huge lecture hall and put on an engaging performance in every lecture.

I’m certain he would be proud to learn that the fact of realizing this natural law of the inevitability of change as it became a stabilizing influence in my life.

For when I realized that nothing stays the same in a universe that is in constant motion, I also recognized that negative change is not permanent, and positive change was not only possible, but also, just as probable.

I also began to see that there just might be something I could do bring about a change in the direction I wanted.

While I thank Professor Mandelstam for introducing me to the basic principle of the inevitability of change, he failed to mention this other important point: External change follows internal change.

And the most effective way to influence external change is to change your internal attitude first.


Because whatever captures your attention or mental focus, commonly influences your attitude.

Simply: Attention influences attitude.

Shift your attention, and you change your attitude.

Your mental outlook then will act as a predisposition to influence a positive or negative outcome for your future. It’s axiomatic that whether you to expect to win or lose, depends largely upon your attitude.

The discovery that I had to change myself first before things around me changed meant that I was in the driver’s seat.

This insight has done more to strengthen my positive outlook in life than anything else I have studied or experienced.

If I ever found myself shipwrecked along with other flotsam and jetsam on the shoals of existence with no hope of rescue, all I had to do was remember the inevitability of change, change my attitude and things around me would being to change as well.

As a result, failure never affects me for long if I remember to change my attitude first.

Things will change – it’s inevitable.

But your internal attitude determines what type of change will eventually show up for you.

Make it what you really want.

daniel w. jacobs

(c) 2012-2030, all rights reserved


One Response to “Is Change Really The Only Constant?”

  1. I learned a lot from this…thank you for sharing this post…

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