The Theory of Fake Changes

The Theory of Fake Changes

“To improve is to change;
to be perfect is to change often”
– W. Churchill

We are changing over time: our interests, ideas, dreams, our lifestyle – it is all transforming over time. There are several ideological and behavioural shifts happening during the lifetime affecting the way we think and see the world. For example, adolescence, “age 30 transition”, midlife transitions – these are most common and most significant shifts. Changes happening to us are almost constant and inevitable. Just try to remember yourself few years ago – that was almost a different person.

These changes are essential. Such shifts allow us to understand things better, have a broader overview of the world, it allows us to understand the world differently and therefore, adapt to it better. However, it is not as bright full as you may think. Even though we are changing constantly, sometimes these changes won’t bring any benefits. And the shifts are becoming useless. Some persons remain complete douchebags during whole their lifetime. Even though if your habits and ideas are changing over time, you may stand still in terms of your mental development.

Such changes are useless and usually its original idea is ending up within the first stages.

Stages of change

Action stage is the one I’m talking about: the point where ideas are facing brutal reality. And here is the place where your change may stop (or stop being useless). The problem is we start adapting and applying change wrongly, blurring the primal purposes. Ignoring and avoiding this fact forces us to fake the change.

Development, in practice, requires certain efforts and “pushes”, action stage is the most effort requiring. So, people are skipping the action phase and go directly to the maintenance stage, that usually involves supporting processes. Such processes are aimed to set the applied innovation as a routine. Through the maintenance stage, it is easier to fake change, as far as appearance and outlook are the only elements that are modified.

Here is an easy example: let’s imagine your new fellow, his name is Jim and recently he has decided to start working out. He just went through the mental “interval” of development: he realized that working out is good for his health and will bring tons of benefits to his lifestyle. So, Jim as a smartass planned and imagined how he can go to the gym regularly, supporting such decision by switching to healthier food diet. Next day our fellow is buying gym subscription and new sport outfit, this guy is fully prepared and with no doubt coming first time to the gym, working out as hard as he can. Let’s have a look at Jim in a week. He bought brand new protein drink and even started eating some salads, however, our friend haven’t gone to gym second time. Jim, what’s happened? Ohh, your body hurts and you wanna have a little break, and prepare much better before the next time, nice idea, bud. Let’s have check Jim in a month, this guy for sure have pretty good results. Wait, is he eating a burger with beer… however, I’m sure Jim got an explanation. Am I right, fellow? What? You had eaten healthy food for almost two weeks and need a little break – rather strong argument. How’s your gym? Haven’t gone in a while? Ok…

That’s rather common example, but also usual in real life. And the problem of such people is believing that change has for real happened and they have developed themselves.

My point is clear: instead of making a real change, we are concentrating on appearance and ending up with just faking the shift (usually without even realising it by lying to ourselves). Changing the appearance/ outlook can be helpful and meaningful, but only as a supportive process, not as a major and primary one.