Mark Twain once said that the only person who enjoys change is a wet baby. Although intended as a funny saying, when you think about it, it’s so true. Most people resist changing things in their lives. They’re comfortable with the way things are and really don’t want to adjust to a new way of doing things, because “we always did it that way”.
Let’s look at the example of Kodak. For more than a hundred years, Kodak was the leader in the photographic industry. In 2005, Kodak’s stock was rated higher than Apple’s. But Kodak failed to make the change from photographs to digital photography fast enough and by 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and Apple was recognized as one of the country’s leading companies. This was largely because Apple changed the way people take photos. Now, most people carry their camera/phone everywhere. Few of us still use “film” and send it away to be “developed”.
MIT professor Lester Thurow isn’t nearly as funny as Mark Twain, but he’s dead on when he says, “A competitive world has two possibilities for you. You can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change.” Just think about fine Swiss wind-up watches. Sure, they have great style and some have great value. Now, however, our society favors digital watches, and many view them as disposable. Maybe the Swiss would still have the lion’s share of the market if they had recognized that change is inevitable and made the changes necessary to adapt.
Why do we resist change? Some view change as a loss of control. Others see change as excess uncertainty. Some of us do not like the surprises that change sometimes brings; change feels different. Others feel that by changing we might lose face. Some feel that change might point out our lack of skill as we are now viewed. Whatever the reason, change is often difficult.
Maybe Leo Tolstoy summed it up when he said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Whatever your reason, remember that things are always changing. Maybe, though, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Change is inevitable. Always be ready for it!
We offer consistent workshops about Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning. Just click here to join us at the one that works best for you.
Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.