What Makes Change Possible?

Some times it seems as though things will never change. When you feel that way, how can you get unstuck and make change happen?

There are several reasons why you might feel that change is difficult, if not impossible.

For one example, you might feel like you have no good options. Rather than opting to make a bad choice, you may prefer to keep the status quo.

Alternately, you might feel like the situation is too big or too complex for any change you might make to have any significant impact. There are plenty of other alternatives as well.

Whatever the reason, is you feel you cannot or will not make a change, what can you do? Change, of course, is inevitable. But how can you make sure that the change that happens is most beneficial to you?

How can you change your circumstances, or at least your attitude? In your experience in your own life, what makes change possible?

Related questions: Change of status quo? How can you change your attitude? Can people change? How have you changed? How have we changed?

How Do You Stick To Your Resolutions?

To help start the new year, many people make resolutions of things they would like to achieve. Your resolution might be to lose weight, exercise more, read more books, or any number of other goals one might have.

But often, those goals are abandoned juts a few months, or even just weeks into the new year. The gym membership might go unused. Or the pile of books goes unread.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What is one thing you feel the need to do every day?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What is truth?’


How can we keep our motivation up, when our spirits start to sag? Once the cold and the dark of winter sets in, it can be very difficult to keep up with that dream you thought of back at the New Years Eve party.

Of course, not everyone make resolutions. And for those that do, not everyone gives up after some time has passed. But sticking to a schedule can be hard, when there might be a lot of obstacles, or temptations, that can get in the way of pursuing what you want.

Do you have any strategies for continuing with something, even when it is hard to do so? Is it simply a matter of willpower? How do you stick to your resolutions?

Related questions: Resolutions or no resolutions? How do you set priorities? What are you doing to improve yourself?

What Do You Want?

For many people, this time of year is about gift-giving and -receiving. Little children are expected to sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they want for Christmas. Even for adults, this time of year can be a good opportunity to answer the question: What do you want?

As an added bonus, it doesn’t even need to be Christmas specific. In general, what is it you want — for yourself, for your community, or for the world at large?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’


This question, when tied to the Christmas holiday, tends to be focused on the commercial. What present should someone wrap and put under the tree? However, in our thought exercise, it can be more than that. Not there is anything wrong with wanting a material good, like a new smartphone or a video game console. But you may also want something abstract, like justice, or peace, or happiness.

Knowing what it is that you want, some would argue, is the first step to getting it.  After all, if you don’t know what it is that you want, how will you know if you have achieved it?

So, like a child standing in line at the mall, waiting for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap, think about what you plan on asking for. What do you want?

Related questions: What new technology do you want? What do you want to do before you die? Why do we like what we like? What would you do with a million dollars?

How Much Does Your Past Determine Your Future?

It is tempting to think that your future is laid out in front of you. Anything is possible, given the proper choice in the current moment.

However, that is not true. In reality, choices made in your past determine which choices are available to you in the present.

For example, the decision you made in third grade to play trumpet in band class means that today you won’t be auditioning for a drummer in a rock-n-roll band. Or, perhaps, your choice to major in English literature means you probably won’t be getting a job at NASA as an engineer.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you show thanks?’


Of course, there are exceptions to this. All the time, people end up in careers that have little or nothing to do with their college major. Throughout your life, you can choose to take up a new hobby. You might go back to school to learn something new.

However, it is true that at a young age, it is easier to learn new skills. Appropriately exposed, young children find it much easier to learn multiple languages than as an adult. If you learn to ski at a young age, your muscle memory is more ingrained than later in life.

Can you think of moments in your life where you choose a particular path that helped determine how things played out for you? Are there times in your past life that a different choice would have opened up — or closed — other options for the current you?

Similarly, there are some choices that you might make right now, in the present, that will determine what possibilities exist for future you. How might you make decisions now to best benefit your future self?

The actions you have taken throughout your life might have consequences for you now. How much does your past determine your future?

Related questions: What is time? How have you changed? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned? What do you wish you had learned as a child? Will the future be better than the present?

Democracy Or Tyranny?

Democracy or tyranny?

Democracy Or Tyranny?