“There is nothing permanent except change” is said by Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who lived 2500 years ago. Though the quote was said hundreds of centuries ago, it is the truth that is applicable today and will be relevant forever. This quote has some profound lessons to offer that could push us to embrace reality as it is. I am always amazed by the beauty of this quote, so in this article, I would share what does “There is nothing permanent except change” means and what we can learn from this. So, let’s begin from the beginning-
What does “There is nothing permanent except change” mean?
“There is nothing permanent except change” means that everything in this world is changing– whether the seasons constantly changing from summer to winter, the price of commodities rising, the development of technology, or your life- everything is evolving over time. When we are young, we feel energetic, but with time, we get old, and we become weak. When we get into a new relationship, we feel romantic, but with time things get messed, and we feel frustrated. It is all about time, for time changes everything.
We may sometimes feel that a certain thing will never change, but with time we realize that we were wrong. The only constant thing is change. Our life is the most fantastic example of change- some days we feel happy, and some days we feel sad; sometimes we feel motivated, sometimes we feel down; some days are full of hope, but some days we feel lost. It’s an infinite cycle over which we have no control because change is inevitable.
What can we learn from “There is nothing permanent except change”?
We saw that everything changes with time, and change is the only permanent thing. But how to apply this concept in our life? No problems, following are four practical lessons from “There is nothing permanent except change,” which we can use in our life-
1. Don’t get too much attached
Sometimes we get too much attached to a person or an object. This may be our spouse, friends, pleasure in life, or any object like our car or the house we live in. And this becomes the reason for our sorrow. This happens because we forget that everything is temporary.
We get attached to the pleasure and happiness in life, not realizing that they are also temporary. When we face a tragedy, we find it difficult to deal with because we have got attached to the pleasures. This is also the reason why we don’t want to get out of the comfort zone.
When you are too much attached to your car, you always think of it, feel proud because of it. But if anyhow, someone steals it- you would feel immense sorrow. When you are too much attached to a person, you can’t imagine your life without him/her and if some days he/she leaves you- you would be doomed.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t love a person or a thing. You must love, you must show affection, but there is a difference between affection and attachment. Hence love everything, but don’t get attached to anything because There is nothing permanent except change.
2. Accept the change
Nothing is permanent, so the wisest thing to learn is to accept the change. I have seen many people who are just unwilling to accept the changes and want to live their life as they were living all these times. They feel horrible when a person leaves them because they are not able to accept the new life. This type of living only ensures suffering. I am not saying it is easy to accept every change, but I am saying it can be made easy.
For example, when a person gets fired from his job, he grieves about his loss for days. He would feel lost with no way of earning money. This happens because he is not able to accept the change which life has proposed. But as soon as he accepts the change, he would begin to see the possibilities- to start his business, be an author, etc. We must be flexible enough to accommodate every change which comes to us, because they will come to us and we will have to accept them, the sooner, the better.
3. Problems are also temporary
Since nothing is permanent, our problems are also no exception. This is one of the greatest advantages of nothing being permanent- the hard times are also not permanent.
I have felt that when I face a problem, negative thoughts creep inside my mind. I tend to think that this problem will be there forever, it can never be solved, this is permanent, I am finished. Happens to you? When we suffer, we feel that this suffering will continue forever; when we face an obstacle, we feel stuck and forget that this will end one day; when we have hard times, we assume that this will never end.
But miracles happen with time- problems no longer remain a problem, and things change. In these situations, we must remember that there is nothing permanent except change.
4. You have limited time
This is the greatest lesson that we can learn from the quote. Nothing is permanent, not even you or me. We are all going to die one day because everyone who has taken birth will die. Death is inevitable, just like change. Many of us become so busy with our lives that we completely forget death. Death is a form of change that we can’t resist.
Long story short: you have limited time in this world to do what you want to do. Find what you love to do, your purpose, your ikigai. Work on it bravely as you have nothing to lose. Why? Because in the end, you are going to die. You came empty-handed; you will ho empty-handed.
If you don’t do what you always wanted to do and grow old, imagine how you would feel at that time. Won’t you regret that you didn’t do it? This feeling of regret is the worst of all feelings. But you can avoid it; you have time, so go for it. Even if you fail, at least you will be satisfied that you tried.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Let’s recap what we have learned in this article. “There is nothing permanent except change” means that time changes everything, and things around us are all changing- may it be the seasons, technology, or our life. We mustn’t get attached to any person or object, or we would welcome our sorrow. You must accept the change that time brings because change comes with opportunities. Nothing is permanent, not even your problems, and you must understand that you have limited time and hence you should work on your purpose bravely. And if in the middle of everything you face a massive problem, remember that- There is nothing permanent except change.