Everything Works Until It Doesn’t: How to Flow with Change

There comes a time in everyone’s lives when things that you once used to rely on don’t become as effective anymore.

You sort of outgrow the training wheels.

The job you started out fresh and new doesn’t challenge you anymore.

The friends you had in college don’t vibe with you any longer.

The books you read don’t give you any more new knowledge.

You and your girlfriend have grown apart and you don’t “click” like you should.

This is what I call “things work…until they don’t”.

Everything’s peachy until it isn’t.

The Myth of Forever

Many years ago in the Western World (or America at least), people used to work for one employer their entire lives and live in one place their entire lives. You could expect to retire with a nice employer matched pension and for things to “just make sense”. This was the “American Dream”.

This stability was a glossy sheen over the inherent chaos and turbulence that is life and nature.

Nothing in nature stands still, everything is constant change. You, as a creation of nature are the same way. Things will (and must) change in your life. Dealing with this change is the key to unlocking new levels of meaning and nuance in your life.

When people aren’t able to accept change, they get tossed around like a leaf in the wind – unable to deal with calamity and chaos. Then, fear sets in. Then, hesitation. Then no action.

Knowing When It’s Time to Move On

What are the consequences of not being able to “go with the flow”? Well, you get stuck. You specifically get stuck in situations you absolutely do not want to be in. I know this because this happened to me.

I got hired for a job right after college. The job paid a nice salary for someone just out of college and I was learning lots of new things. About a year in, I stopped learning as much. I didn’t get a raise because the company wasn’t doing too well. It became unnecessarily monotonous. I had outgrown the position.

I justified sticking it out because I was optimistic that things were going to get better, but I stayed another year. At the end of the day, I was getting paid, right? Well, came to an abrupt close. I got laid off 2 years after I started. Everything worked out in the end, but I could have prevented this by being willing to jump off an obviously sinking ship.

The consequences of not moving on could be even more drastic in certain situations. You need the willingness, the discernment, the decisiveness to cut your losses and just move on.

Moving on From Certain Ideas

You not only have to move on from certain situations, but you also have to leave old modes of thought behind. Things you once cherished as absolute truth are now seen as half-truths or downright lies.

These may be beliefs you have about yourself, about others, about the world, etc, that are holding you back from achievement in a certain area.

You will only rise to the height of your belief system, also known as your paradigm. If you want to achieve success and especially earth-shattering, skyscraper type success, you have to leave old patterns and ideas behind. What are some examples?:

  • Believing you don’t have the skills to change into a new line of work
  • Believing that you don’t have what it takes to attract the partner of your dreams
  • Believing that the world is absolutes and black and white
  • Believing that you need to work a 9-5 salaried job to make it in this world
  • Believing that college is necessary.

The list goes on and on.

These beliefs served you well at one time by helping keep you comfortable, but now those same beliefs have become very uncomfortable.

Pulling the Plug Even When You’re Scared

There are times when you just know in your deepest heart of hearts that it’s time for you to move on, but you just can’t. You feel paralyzed with doubt, fear, and indecision.

Here’s some tips on how you can move on with your life and get past analysis paralysis.

1. Think of the Worst-Case Scenario

Things are worse in our mind than they are or will be in reality. This creates fear which paralyzes action, meaning you’ll never find out what will actually happen if you can take action. The worst-case of every action is that you will die. We’re all going to die anyway, so the worst-case scenario really isn’t that bad.

In the interim, you may experience some degree of pain, but you still have a chance to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve and get out of situations that simply aren’t working.

2. Think of the Best-Case Scenario

Imagine what will happen when you have the courage to move out of a certain situation into a better one. Imagine yourself in a better job, a better relationship, a better way of life — if you took action. What would happen?

Like before, you will experience some degree of discomfort, but it’s in the pursuit of a greater good.

3. Be Flexible and Accepting

When you move out of situations that aren’t helping you, there will be a rough adjustment period. Accept it as part of the process. Once you do, the better off you’ll be in adopting the changes to your new lifestyle.

4. Understand it’s necessary

The final crux to everything is changing your worldview and how you view things is absolutely necessary at some point in time. You cannot stay the same forever. Having the willingness to change makes everything 10x easier.

Sim Campbell has made it his mission to examine what it means to live an expansive and fulfilling life in the modern world as an emerging young man. He talks about this on Unstoppable Rise, a site dedicated to relentless personal development with a strong philosophical slant.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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