Ascent Publication
Published in

Ascent Publication

The Way You Are Today is — Most Likely — the Way You Will Always Be

Most people won’t change — even though they can

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” -C.S. Lewis

Change is hard.

For most people, the way they are now is most likely the way they’ll be in 20 years.

This is profoundly unfortunate, because they could change if they wanted to.

But they don’t want to.

The majority of people in this world will never be truly successful. In other words, they will never change who they are, even if they constantly practice destructive, negative behaviors. This happens for many reasons.

Some people aren’t willing to give up the familiar, “safe,” but ultimately toxic relationships all prevent them from growing.

Others aren’t willing to give up chasing the stereotypical but ultimately empty “success” we see in movies — money, fame, hot cars and hotter women.

Some people just aren’t willing to give up all those dear but destructive behaviors they’ve come to rely on that simply waste your life away — excessive drinking, substance abuse, addictions, reckless spending, television bingeing, etc.

Most people just aren’t willing to evolve.

Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury we even have — the truth is, we don’t have a choice.

We are like an egg. And we can’t go on simply being a decent little egg with a normal, average life until we die.

We either hatch or go bad.

Small Things Become Big Things

Went to school in Baton Rouge for a couple of years
My college career got downed with a couple of beers
Came back home, now I gotta pay back loans
Same ni**a, same block, same shit they own

-Common, “It’s Your World”

It’s never just one hamburger.

Our decisions may seem small, but the effects are enormous. Even the smallest choice to skip your workout and grab a burger instead has far-reaching consequences.

Charles Chu describes the exponentially negative effects “one hamburger” creates:

On your way home from work (you’re walking) you catch a whiff of a rich, salty smell. Hamburgers, from the local fast food joint. Lunch was 6 hours ago. “What the hell,” you say, “it’s just a burger. It won’t matter in the long run…”

Yes, a single hamburger won’t make you fat or unhealthy. That’s not the point. The real risk is in the downstream effects of your choices.

You eat that hamburger. It sends a rush of pleasant hormones to your brain. You’re happy. The food toxins are absorbed through your gut lining and flow to the brain. Bam, brain fog. Clouded judgment.

Suddenly, fries don’t sound so bad. So you eat some fries. Well, what the hell. Why not some ice cream too.

We’re not done yet.

When you bought that hamburger, you flipped a switch in your brain. The switch says, “Hamburgers OK.”

Guess what happens tomorrow when you walk by the same burger joint? It gets a bit easier to do it again. By eating that burger, smoking that cigarette or shoplifting that pack of gum, you’ve made that much easier for the you of tomorrow to do the same thing again.

So no, it’s not “just a burger.” We’re talking about how one decision affects every single decision for the rest of your life.

That’s the power of downstream effects.

The main reason why most people will never be successful is because their “innocent” small things become destructive big things.

There are dozens of choices most people make every day that, while small at the time, are growing bigger and worse with every day.

Not calling back that friend who reached out to you isn’t that big of a deal — you’ll call them back. Soon.

Ignoring that work email about the boring project is fine — you’ll get to it later.

Pushing back your start date again to begin your book, create that blog, start that podcast, it’s fine — these things “take time,” after all.

But small things become big things — always.

“Soon” turns to soon-ish and “later” becomes “Wow, it’s been a year since I last thought about that.”

Time flies, and before you know it your chance is gone. You stopped going to the gym; another birthday comes (although your last birthday seemed like only a couple months ago) and you don’t really know what you did in the past year.

The scary truth is, the way you are today is — most likely — the person you will always be.

Of course, everyone has a choice to change this.

You can be and become whoever and whatever you want to be, starting right now, even. You can be anything — an expert, a millionaire, a business owner, a marathon finisher, a deeply connected and emotionally healthy person.

As long as you pay the price.

But most people aren’t willing to pay the price — deciding to become that person. Because once you decide, it’s over. You will be bound to succeed. It’s only a matter of time.

This is why in 10 years, most people will still be the way they are now. They are unwilling to change.

Good or bad — small things become big things.

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

“One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Every area of your life affects every other area of your life.

In order to begin seeing and experiencing true success in your life — improved quality of relationships, harmony between your values and your actions, constant incremental steps becoming the best version of yourself …

Your life can only be filled with high-level and productive uses of your time.

But this system cannot hold water if there are one or two areas that are incongruent with the rest of the system. Like a trail of gunpowder, the fuse will extinguish if there is any sand or dirt mixed in.

Most people might be making a little progress in certain areas of their life — for instance, starting to exercise, reading more books, or being more intentional in their relationships.

However, these positive behaviors become moot points when other negative cycles and behaviors remain in the system.

You can go to the gym 3–5 times a week, but if you still eat crappy foods, you won’t get become truly healthy.

If you resolve to start your own business but slack off and shirk responsibility at your day job all the time, you’ll never become the necessary version of yourself to start a successful business.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

You cannot make substantial progress in your life if other parts are out of order. But these parts are like a virus; they spread to every other area and infect them with the same negative, toxic behavior.

You may think that making huge strides and landing high-paying clients in your business is great, but if you’re absent from your family and don’t spend time in meaningful relationships, that business “success” is really just empty.

You Can Change You Who Become

“When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food.” — James Allen

The first step of evolution is to stop desiring the things that are stopping you from evolving.

Change is hard. Most people aren’t up to the challenge, and so continue the rest of their lives the way they current are — stressed, overweight, lonely, depressed, tired, and bored.

Ascending to greater heights and reaching new plateaus of success require far more than temporary changes. They require permanent, serious ones. This starts now, and can happen if you begin asking yourself some hard questions.

Where are you going? What’s your destination?

If you lived the rest of your life the way you’ve been living it the past few months, what would that look like in 30 years?

What’s holding you back? Why aren’t you giving that up?

Who do you want to be?

Because the glorious truth about all this is that you can be whoever you want to be. You can start today, right now, even — it’s entirely up to you.

The sad truth behind this is that despite this ability, people still don’t change. It’s not that they can’t — they won’t. They won’t pay the price and shed the toxic restraints holding them back.

It’s true — who are you are now is most likely who you’ll become.

Most likely.

For most people, this is true. They won’t change; they’ll continue behaving the way they always have, and so reap a life that reflects that lack of effort.

But for some of us…

Who we are now is just one version of many as we continually remove bad behaviors, add good ones, and become better versions of ourselves.

While everyone else is stagnating — you’re thriving.

While everyone else is going rotten…

You’re hatching.

Call to Action

If you liked this article, click the “heart” so others can read it too.






Strive for happier. Join a community of storytellers documenting the climb to happiness and fulfillment.

Recommended from Medium

Why You Can’t Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions (and What To Do About It)

2018 Will Be The Greatest Year To Be Alive In The History Of The Human Race.

How To Stay Consistent In The Marathon Of Life (Love The Process

Why being Ambitious is not selfish

Stop Trying To Live a Life That Isn’t Working.

Change of vision in life after joining defence forces

Why my 40 day challenge was doomed to fail, the 2 minute rule and voting for the person you want to…

3 lessons I learned from my 20s

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Anthony Moore

Anthony Moore

Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey.

More from Medium

Algorithmic Fitness Growth Challenge: Day 1 of 7

The Clawback Incentive Is Pure Motivational Genius

Progress Is Often Invisible: Keep Going…If You’ve Been Consistent, You’re Close

“Just Because One Method Works For One Person Doesn’t Mean It’ll Work For Another”