Nothing Lasts Forever
BY PAUL MEEN PARK
NOV. 4, 2017
A few years ago, my uncle taught me a very valuable lesson about how change can affect your life by passing away, suddenly and unexpectedly, halfway across the world. He had been working in Seoul, South Korea, chasing down business leads and making deals, when an artery in his leg abruptly burst. Less than 24 hours later he was dead.
My uncle’s unexpected death taught me a lesson about change, how it’s one of the most constant forces in our lives. He had been a solid presence in my world for my entire life, and now he was gone. I mourned his passing, and it reinforced the fact that nothing lasts forever. I came to realize that the more you embrace that truth, the better you can prepare for — and even accept — the random twists and turns that are inevitably thrown your way.
Nothing Lasts Forever
Whether you’re going through bad times and feel like the world is against you, or you’re having the time of your life and can’t imagine it being any better — it will pass. And if you have the right perspective, you can see why this endless and inevitable cycle of change can be a blessing.
When life sucks, dedicate yourself to riding the wave and seeing it through until your fortunes improve. When you’re happy and on top of the world, take the time to appreciate what you have while it lasts. It’s all about your perspective.
Embrace Change and Flexibility
Since you know things aren’t going to stay the same forever, you have a very simple choice: Shake your fist and curse the heavens every time things don’t go your way, or be flexible and accept that the river of life is filled with unpredictable waves. If you’re able to ride the waves, instead of being smashed by them, you’ll better be able to stay calm when life inevitably throws challenges and troubles at you.
You can’t prepare for every eventuality, so learn to improvise. If your usual ways of handling a problem aren’t working, try something else. Be open to new options, even if it’s scary and strange. Stay nimble and you’ll be able to roll with the punches, instead of being flattened by them.
Winning and Learning
The late Nelson Mandela once wrote, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Coming from a man who had been locked away in prison for over 27 years, this quote contains a profound truth: There is no failure you cannot learn from, and if you learn from it, is it truly a failure? And if a man who lived Mandela’s life could learn from all his trials and challenges, can’t we do the same?
Learn to adapt, to live in the moment, to be grateful for what you have, to explore new options, and you’ll find that change isn’t something to be afraid of. Instead, change is something to embrace and accept. And once the fear of change is gone, you might be surprised how clear your path in life becomes.