How the Environment Fights back in smaller ways and always wins
It’s almost one year since Resilience Beyond has been active, and I have come to appreciate a lot of things. In doing all this, I have come to realise that I have greatly uplifted myself from the person I was a few years ago. It’s been such a great experience so far. It has kept me thinking a lot about my life and goals and what it takes to live the life I preach. I have always desisted from writing about anything I have not tried out myself. I have attempted some things and failed so many at the first try, or even the second or third try; but what I’m sure I have always done is to keep attempting. And oftentimes I have achieved great breakthroughs. I have also come to realise that my environment has equally got a lot to do with this. I have studied myself, and no doubt many factors have played a role in the person I have become today. I am thankful to everyone who has interfaced with me directly or indirectly; indirectly through making your impression on what I for example write here. What I’m sure of is that, for as long as life still exists in me, a lot more changes will continue taking place. That’s what life is all about after all; rolling along with the change in times! And by the way it is not a mere change of calendar days; we too should feel it inside of us. When the clock continues to tick away every second, we can observe time changing, or even as we feel our heartbeats. Similarly, within us, every heartbeat or thought leads to a seemingly unnoticeable change in us. The change is so small that for some people it takes years and years to observe its mega effect. And in others, this change can quickly be magnified and becomes visible soon enough.
I’m a student of science, particularly science that aims at ensuring that our built environment stays strong and serves us for a long period of time. Take for example concrete, which is the most widely used construction material for the built environment. You shall find it in houses, bridges, tunnels, roads, and probably everywhere you turn your eyes. Don’t be deceived by the glass cover and paint you see on most buildings, at the base of it all lies this robust material. Concrete is very strong, but not failure proof. It starts out as a mere flowable mass, which quickly hardens and starts gaining strength. In engineering science, it is this strength that’s most important. Within about 30 days, concrete will have gained almost 80% of its total possible strength. The remaining 20% comes in slowly and as the concrete ages further. But the moment this material starts to get mixed, everything that could affect its strength and versatility starts to come into play, including the hand that is mixing it! Even after it is placed, the environment where it is placed starts acting against it. It starts to change it bit by bit. The environment is so consistent in trying to change the nature of concrete. It may take as little as 5 years to break down some of the concrete structures, or more than 100 years to bring down this robust material, but it eventually does! It does this by compromising this robust material in very micro stages, eating away small bits every passing time. At the end of the day, nature wins.
We as individuals should be no different from the environment in trying to push against the challenges that show up in our way. We should emulate such natural principles of actions. All in all, with that small effort at every passing moment, you should start pushing hard on so many things. Some people can push so hard in a few days and manage to get past their challenges, others need more time. What matters is first realising that there is something weighing you down, or something that needs to get out of your way. Then based on this knowledge, you determine how much effort you can comfortably contribute at every passing moment. This has to be done in consideration of the balance of all factors around you, lest you destabilise everything in your life. We don’t have an infinite amount of resources around us, but we can ensure an efficient use of our available energies, strengths and abilities.
Understanding this fact is the key to changing behaviours, it’s the key to success and the mother of all achievements. Let not the few exceptions fool you, there is a general rule, and that’s the rule of consistent or persistent effort. At the end of the day everything changes. It is all a matter of time. We may develop a lot of impatience as we wait to see the change we are trying to create, this is normal. Staying hopeful that the change will eventually show up, and continuing to exert as much effort as you can is one way to comfortably reach to your goal. Learn to be patient as you do all this. Be like Mother Nature, press consistently and be patient.
Other small things we can do to contribute to something greater;