Change vs. Progress

“If You Don’t Create, You Disintegrate.”

I heard this in a meeting recently and I absolutely fell out. I loved it! I told the person who said it that I was stealing it FOR SURE! He said, “Go for it,” and explained that he had stolen it too!

So, for those out there who want to know the source – I haven’t got a clue!

There are probably a number of quotes out there that are similar. The truth is that IF we don’t continue (with intention) to create something, to keep moving forward, to continue learning and growing, well then – we end up going in the other direction. Hmmm!

Ok, sure, we’re going to end up there anyway, but why hasten the process? Why not have a little FUN along the way? Why not do something worthwhile on the journey?

So, our topic for today’s discussion is that “Change is automatic. Progress in not.” (Alright, I DO know who said that!)

“Change is automatic. Progress is not. Progress is the result of conscious thought, decision, and action.” Tony Robbins

So, Here’s The Deal:

Change will happen whether we like it or not. Whether we want it or not. The only thing constant in life is change.

Bodies change. Uhm-CHECK! Weather changes. CHECK! Circumstances change. CHECK!

Everything changes over time, living or not! Buildings, trees, landscape, houses, cars – they all change over time. The whole world changes. Change is indeed automatic. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not.

But Progress? What About Progress?

Progress, however you define it, is not automatic. The literal definition of progress is: “a movement toward a further or higher stage.” You might call it advancement, growth, or development. Call it whatever you want, but to make progress means to make CHOICES toward that progress. Even small progress is still progress. You have to keep moving forward…and do so consistently.

Why is consistency important?

So, let’s get scientific for a moment. ACKKK! Hold on! Don’t change the channel! I know that sounds scary but stay with me! I promise it will be worth it…

They call it entropy!

I hear you sayin’: “What the heck is entropy?” Well, it’s the natural tendency for things in life to go to H3!!-in-a-handbasket IF we don’t work to prevent it. DANG! Yep, things will deteriorate and disintegrate if we don’t do something to keep it from happening.

Author James Clear says that entropy “drives many of the problems we face and leads to disarray.” Left to its own devices, life has a natural inclination to lose order, and fall into chaos. (Case in point – the bedrooms of most teenagers!) You must put effort into keeping things in order. (Spoiler alert – It’s why vacuuming isn’t a one-and-done thing!)

Where Does Creativity Fit In?

Our creativity brings to life types of expression that the universe would not produce on its own. Hey, Mother Nature is great, and I’ve seen some magnificent things in her gallery! But artists can explore a multitude of other possibilities and produce order and symmetry in their works….an order and symmetry not found in the natural “disorder” of things.

Creative thinking causes us humans to find solutions not currently evident to the naked eye. You, the creative, produce things that previously didn’t exist. Through creativity we can produce new beauty each and every day. That’s YOU my friend! It’s progress toward happiness, fulfillment, and accomplishment. At the same time, it’s an expression of that fundamental principle – to put forth effort in order to keep entropy at bay!

This gives us a great reason to protect art and creativity. Practice it, defend it, enjoy it, treat it as something special. Entropy is the reason why art and beauty are so appealing. That’s all I needed to hear to get in there and create something fun!

Finding Your Place In This Disorder

We were all born with a specific set of interests, along with specific skills, talents, and abilities. We also live in a world that isn’t built specifically for our particular wants or needs. I mean, there are lots of us here – Yes? So, odds are you’re discovering a bit of conflict and chaos around fitting your world around your talents, and vice-versa. Given what we know about entropy, unless you put forth some effort…. you know where I‘m going with this. (Where’s that basket?)

As humans, we’re already at a disadvantage given that life probably won’t hand us a silver platter for our creative expression. No problem! You’re creative! That’s what makes creative thinking so much fun!

Maybe you didn’t grow up in a home that encouraged creative thinking. Maybe you were coached in the wrong sport or steered toward the wrong subject in school. Maybe you feel you were born at the wrong time in history. (Love me some Victorian era ballgowns!) But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull it forth and discover your voice NOW!

So How Do I Make Progress Then?

So glad you asked. Remember that putting forth effort thing? Remember that consistency thing?  Remember – “Progress is the result of conscious thought, decision, and action.” Yeah, it’s the “conscious thought, decision, and action” part that’s important. In a nutshell, entropy is the reason change is automatic. Things WILL decline if we don’t consistently do something to stop it. Don’t confuse motion and progress though! A rocking horse keeps moving but doesn’t make any progress! (Alfred A. Mantapert)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take it upon yourself to design your ideal lifestyle and make progress. And, of course, consistency is essential, as is creativity in my humble opinion.

Change is automatic and it’s gonna happen whether we like it or not. Progress in not automatic. We have to make that happen. And we can! We can wrangle some of that change to do in a direction we want and make progress in our creative endeavors!

Creative progress is the natural defense against entropy. So, remember our opening quote, “If you’re not creating, you’re disintegrating.”

Join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday and we’ll chat about this. I’d love to hear from you.

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