We think we need to improve ourselves and our current situation, because we’re dissatisfied (at least a little bit) with how things are. We have a drive to improve, improve.
So we strive for change — exercise more, eat better, read more, be more mindful, do more meaningful work, be more disciplined.
And yet, we struggle with change. Why is that? What’s going on?
The problem is that we are clinging to the illusion of solidity.
Allow me to explain. It turns out that we all want things to be solid in our lives: we want a solid income, work routine, daily routine. We want a solid version of ourselves, that’s not so blown about by the winds of whim.
We want everyone else around us to be solid, dependable, stable, the way we want them to be. We want our relationships to be solid, trustworthy. We want our health to be solid, not subject to injury and depression and illness. We want everyone else to be solid and not die or get sick. Of course, our rational minds know this always possible, but still, this is what we want. Solidity.
Unfortunately, we are grasping for something solid … in a river. There is no solidity, just fluidity.
Think about yourself for a second: can you stick to a perfect routine, never changing, for an entire year? No, probably not — most of us can’t do it for a day. Why is that? Why can’t we just make a plan and stick to it? It’s because our minds are not machines that follow a fixed program, but instead are complex, constantly changing, constantly reacting to new things, constantly making new connections, fluid, dynamic, everchanging. We can’t shape ourselves into a solid shape of our choosing any more than we can grab a handful of water and make it into a solid shape.