Whether you know it or not your life is constantly shifting and changing. Impermanence is an unavoidable facet of all of our lives, yet so many of us choose to ignore it. Our daily routine and interactions start to feel somewhat comfortable and welcoming; after all, as humans we value having a feeling of stability.
While this notion that we could go on exactly the same way until the end of time may be charming for some, it’s an impossible fate. In reality your life might as well be built on a fault line – things are going to be shaken up from time to time, and there’s almost nothing that any of us can do about it.
On paper the whole idea of never changing actually does sound pretty damn awful. Reread the first line of the previous paragraph and ask yourself “does that sound like what I want for my life?” I can guarantee that most people would immediately say no, yet in practice many of us shy away from changes that could positively impact our lives.
Impermanence is an interesting concept because it tends to be a double edged sword; changes can be good or bad, but the very risk of straying from our comfort zones usually stops us from taking this sort of gamble.
Remember, we’ve already pointed out that changes are constantly happening whether you like it or not. Metaphorically sticking your fingers in your ears and hoping the issue will just go away won’t help you – if anything you’re simply encouraging your own stagnation and stressing yourself out in the process.
We’re not about to just let you ingrain yourself into this kind of fate. Change adds all the spice into life, whether it be good or bad, and that in turn makes you a more interesting and unique person. All of the impermanence that’s already present in your life can be used to your advantage to find great opportunities – you just need to learn to embrace it.

Don’t Worry About the Size of the Change
You go through countless gradual changes throughout your life without ever even noticing it. If you’d like proof take a look at a photograph of yourself from 5 or more years ago. You’re probably completely reworked from the person you were then, from outward style to certain personality quirks. Do you think that the all the changes that you see between these two versions of you are for the better?
I’d argue that it’s a definite improvement, regardless of who you are. Your subconscious mind is smarter than you know; the good changes tend to stick while the bad ones are usually discarded without a second thought. I know that sometimes when I look through my old photographs I have to honestly ask myself, “what the %&*$ was I thinking back then?” It’s because our built in system for gradual change allow us to grow as people over time, and the previous versions of ourselves almost always pale in comparison.
Nobody really has a problem with this tiny measure of impermanence, mostly because it’s almost impossible to notice until you take a look backwards. However, it definitely offers noticeable benefits to us as individuals, and any negatives results that you may incur are short lived are usually small enough to be negligible.
Guess what? Big changes work in almost the exact same way, including the considerable personal growth. Most negatives are still just as easily tossed to the wind, while the positives are retained and develop you as a person. The difference is that big changes are presented in a much more grandiose way – the prospect of stumbling onto a bad result seems much more real, and our ability to mitigate any negative outcome seems nonexistent.
So essentially all you’re worrying over is how the issue is presented to you. It’s like getting a cookie wrapped in a really big box. The trick is overlooking the fear that comes when presented with any big changes. Think about it - it doesn’t really matter whether your cookie was packaged in a small gift box or a giant shipping crate, because at the end of the day you still only have one cookie.
Impermanence is impermanence no matter how you choose to look at it. The size of the change is honestly inconsequential; the benefits are still present, and most cons can be smoothed over with little effort.

Don’t See Burdens, See Opportunities
I recently moved into a house with some friends of mine, and the whole process was both exciting and terrifying. On one hand it was exhilarating; living on my own, having freedom to do as I please, etc. On the other hand it was heartbreaking - I had to leave the basic lifestyle I had known up until that point and figure things out on my own. As you would expect that didn’t always go well; I remember one particular excursion found me wandering around Wal-Mart for almost a full hour looking for bouillon cubes.
That experience wasn’t very fun at the time, and it certainly didn’t make me happy, but did any great harm befall me from it? I probably looked pretty silly scouring each of the grocery aisles 3 times apiece, but most people look silly in Wal-Mart anyway. Not only that, but it gave me an amusing story to regale my friends with once I came home.
If getting lost in Wal-Mart is the worst I have to worry about after implementing this change, I’d argue that moving was a very profitable decision. The caliber of the benefits far outweighs the caliber of the detriments; such is the same with most changes.
That’s the beauty of impermanence – any disadvantages of the changes in your life can usually be brushed off easily. The little burdens are absolutely nothing compared to the giant opportunity that you open up by implementing and embracing changes that are available to you. Developing this kind of mindset is crucial for using the notion of impermanence to your advantage.

Becoming an Agent of Change
If you really want to embrace impermanence then eventually you’ll have to start implementing changes and getting a feel for the process of growth. This is easier said than done for most people, but there’s a simple and reasonable solution.
Remember all of those little changes that we mentioned earlier? They happen constantly and subtly within your life, and usually without your conscious knowledge. A good place to start is to begin consciously choreographing these small shifts. This will give you a strong idea of how changes work on a small scale, and in turn you’ll be able to apply that newfound knowledge when life’s impermanence throws you a larger sized curveball.
Begin by looking for the signs of impermanence that exist all around you. I can honestly say that seeing all of your worldly belongings (all three of them!) packed up in boxes and garbage bags certainly offers a valuable change in perspective. Our world is constantly in motion, and by observing this you’ll find that changes are just a natural (and very beneficial) part of life. You can further yourself by seeking additional opportunities for positive change – after all, why just sit on the sidelines when you can lead the parade?

If you can make yourself an agent of change then you won’t just be playing along with life’s game anymore; you’ll be controlling it, and this will have drastic effects on you as a person. The impermanence that knocks others down and freezes them with fear will become one of your greatest resources, and using it will allow you to truly make the most out of life.

Author's Bio: 

Dakota is the founder of TheNew-RenaissanceMan.com, a website created to help visitors unlock their true potential and become more well-rounded in all aspects of life. When not writing or working on improving himself he spends his time making silly faces, creating merriment, and otherwise frolicking.