How Do You Deal With Major Life Changes?

As we go through life, there are bound to be major changes that happen to you. When they do, how do you deal with it?

When you look back on your life, chances are you remember most clearly the times when things changed. Graduation, getting married, a new job, and so on.

It is easy to see why these moments are memorable. Most likely, there are many new experiences involved, and when your brain is active forming new connections, memories are formed along with them. In addition, when things are changing, your future is uncertain, and that uncertainty can be scary (which is memorable).

These major life events can lead to all sorts of emotions, possibly at the same time: happiness, fear, loneliness, nervousness, relief, anticipation, and so on. Because of this, there are also numerous ways to react.

If you let your happiness dictate your response, you may react with more at ease. Fear, on the other hand, may lead you to reacting defensively or cautiously. Other emotions may lead to different reactions.

Can you think of patterns to how you react to big life changes, whether they are good or bad changes? Maybe you are consumed with glee or worry; perhaps you instead try to remain logical and as unemotional as possible. Or something else entirely.

How you deal with life’s big changes can say a lot about who you are. If so, what does it say about you?

Related questions: What was your last big change? What makes change possible? Can people change? How have you changed?

How Important Is Closure?

When coming to grips with a sudden change in life, some people feel the need for closure in order to move on. But is it really necessary?

Life can change very quickly, in ways both trivial and profound. You might lose a job, there might be a death in the family, or an appliance you depend on may stop functioning.

When a change like this happens, a natural instinct is to look for some closure. That might mean, respectively, an exit interview, a memorial service, or a repairperson’s visit. Once the closure happens, you can move on with your life.

However, closure is not something that occurs in our lives. We are born into a world that is already in motion, and as we grow and learn, we have to get up to speed on the state of things (and pick up some history as well).

Even when we meet someone new, we come in the middle of their story. And if they drift away, as friends sometimes do, there isn’t usually any sort of meaningful end point.

There is little doubt, though, that as a species we crave the sense of narrative completion. We look for it in the movies we watch, the books we read, and in other media we consume. A disappointing finale can ruin an entire TV series.

So which is it? Is a sense of closure necessary to process the events of the day? Or is it irrelevant, just an artificial narrative we construct that has no inherent meaning?

How important is closure?

Related questions: Why are people afraid of death? What can you control? Scripted or unscripted? How do you find peace when you need it?

What Is Luck?

We are all familiar with the concept of luck. It is a fairly simple idea. However, can you actually come up with a definition?

The most basic definition for what luck is would seem to be: “something good happens to you.”

Maybe that is sufficient. In a particular scenario, something can happen. If that something is good, it is good luck; if that something is bad, it is bad luck.

This way of thinking introduces the modifiers “good” and “bad”. Okay then: what are they modifying?

If we accept this idea of good luck is “something good happens”, it would seem the thing being modified is “something happens”. Does that make sense? But then, the one thing that we can be certain of is that something will happen. Things are constantly changing. Things have to happen in order for there to be change. Is everything around us constantly in a state of luck, sometimes good and sometimes bad?

However, sometimes it is the lucky outcome that something *doesn’t* happen. For example, if you fall out of tree (bad luck), you might think it lucky if you didn’t break a bone (good luck).

So now luck is “something does or doesn’t happen”? That seems pretty vague.

The concept of luck also would seem to contain some notion of likelihood. If something is overwhelmingly likely and indeed comes to pass, that would seem to be less lucky than something that is unlikely to happen. Finding a penny is lucky; finding a hundred dollars is less likely, and therefore luckier.

Can you think of an explanation for how you think of the concept of luck?

Related questions: How has luck shaped your life? Is thirteen an unlucky number? What makes change possible? What is the best sporting event you have seen in person?

How Do You Maintain Cultural Literacy?

In our fractured, constantly updating society, trends and fashions change at a mind-boggling rate. How do you maintain cultural literacy, and stay on top of it all?

Hundreds of years ago, very little would change from one generation to the next. Your life was probably very similar to the life lived by your parents, and their life was largely the same as their parents. And your children’s lives would look much the same as yours.

Now, however, that is not the case. Someone born in 1900, if they lived long enough, would have been alive for the first airplane flight and also the first trip to the moon.

Fifty years ago, there was no Internet, no cell phones, the number of television stations could be counted on one hand, and so on. As technology changes, our lives change as well. And the rate of change is accelerating.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


In concrete terms, this means that there is an ever-increasing amount of cultural information to track. Older generations had to keep track of actors, known from theater, TV and movies. But now, there are also people famous just for being famous. In addition, there are celebrities that are “Internet famous” — that is, they have popular YouTube channels, are Instagram influencers, or are known for their Tik Tok dances.

The same thing is true all throughout culture. In addition to traditional authors and reporters, there are now bloggers and cable news pundits. More traditional sports figures have been joined by video gamers and esoteric competitions like marble racing. Whatever niche interest you have almost certainly has a website or wiki page with details and further information.

There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with it all.

So how, then, can you learn enough about these things that you can have a reasonable conversation about them should the need arise? Or be able to recognize the benefits that might be available to you, or understand the potential risks or challenges they might pose to society in general? In short, how do you maintain cultural literacy?

Related questions: Are we too busy? How can we maintain wonder? How do you adopt new ideas? What social media platforms do you use?