Life is short and unpredictable, and changes constantly.
But should we worry about it? Or should we simply embrace life’s unpredictability and learn to appreciate it?
In today’s article I’d like to share five reasons why it’s a good thing that everything is temporary in life, so you can face the future with confidence and see life’s brevity as a powerful motivator rather than a cause of worry.
What is permanent in life?
In general, nothing is permanent in life. However, there are things that don’t really change, or last for a very long time, such as your innate skills, your memories, or your legacy.
Ultimately, in life nothing is permanent because everything changes, and everything changes because nothing is permanent.
There are things that tend to stay the same — for instance, your personality type: as you grow, you may learn to adapt to different situations, and hide or potentiate some of your traits, spontaneously or on purpose. But your overall personality doesn’t usually change.
The same is true for your innate skills and talents. Think of something you are really good at, naturally, even though others find it difficult.
That particular skill is likely to be more or less permanent, whether it’s people skills, analytical skills, knowing and speaking a foreign language, expressing your emotions, and so on.
Then, from a spiritual point of view, you could say that our soul is permanent (or that at least it will be there even when our physical body will no longer exist), although everyone has a different opinion, and frankly, it’s one of those things most of us aren’t supposed to know.
Everything is temporary: 5 reasons it’s a good thing
1. New usually means better
In general, our brain doesn’t like change, and prefers to stick to things we already know. This is true for our habits, friends, relationships, career, and so on.
The truth is that, in most cases, people change only when their current situation becomes too painful or overwhelming (or at least more painful than the thought of changing).
On the other hand, when we are comfortable we rarely embrace new things as subconsciously we perceive them as difficult, dangerous, or overall worse than the things we already have — whether it’s a new relationship, a career opportunity, or moving to a different country.
The good news is that new usually means better.
Therefore, if everything here on this planet is temporary, it only means that better things are coming to us, whether we realize it or not, and that we should embrace the future even when it’s intimidating.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.Helen Keller
2. Change is good
We’ve already seen how the human mind doesn’t like change, and why we should actually embrace change as it usually means better things are coming.
But there’s another reason change is good, and it’s the fact that through change, we grow and evolve as human beings.
Consider this: when we experience new things, we also…
- Become more aware of the world we live in
- Learn skills we never even thought we could have
- Discover ourselves and our biggest strengths
- Forget the past and move on
Thanks to technology, our life is a lot more structured and predictable now than it was centuries ago, and in general this is a positive thing.
However, we should never fall into the trap of thinking that once we reach a certain situation or lifestyle, our life should never change. Everything is temporary, and constant change is only natural, so we must embrace it.
Besides, studies have shown that people aren’t happy when they earn more money (after a certain threshold, increasing your income doesn’t really affect your happiness), nor when they do nothing all day (this actually increases the chances of having depression).
People are happy when they grow and work toward new goals.
3. Gratitude and appreciation
Would we really be able to appreciate life’s gifts if they were permanent? I seriously doubt it.
Everything is temporary, and it’s a good thing because it makes us really grateful for all the things we get to experience here on this planet.
Many people make the mistake of taking everything for granted, and they appreciate things only once they’re gone; they realize the value of something only after they’ve lost it, or when it no longer exists.
It’s a common mindset, but it can be changed by practicing gratitude.
Have you ever taken the time to truly appreciate and reflect on all the things in your life that make you happy — not just your biggest accomplishments, but the little things as well?
If you haven’t, I encourage you to do it now, and as often as you can. These things won’t last forever, and that’s one more reason to be super grateful for them.
4. Setting goals and living life to the fullest
A famous quote attributed to Napoleon Hill states that a goal is a dream with a deadline.
In other words, having dreams and desires usually won’t give you the motivation to work toward them unless you have a clear deadline.
Life itself is temporary, and we’re all going to say goodbye sooner or later. But is this a positive or a negative thing? In terms of accomplishing goals and living life to the fullest, I believe it’s actually a good thing.
Once we realize life is short, or at least finite, that’s when we can go all in on our dreams. That’s when we understand every day is precious, and we should never waste our time on things that aren’t meant for us.
5. Everything is temporary… including pain
The last reason it’s a good thing that everything is temporary is the fact that tough times are temporary as well.
We all go through pain and painful times in our life, and sometimes it feels like our pain will last forever, so during those times it’s important to keep calm and realize that whatever we are going through will pass.
The title of this article could even be used as an affirmation: whenever you are facing problems that seem insurmountable, you can simply repeat to yourself that everything is temporary.
It’s a very simple statement, but it’s true, and it can be effective if you’re trying to reduce your anxiety.
You also want to keep in mind that change can happen quickly. Your current situation may be tough, but it doesn’t automatically mean it will be hard to get out of it.
One example of this is panic attacks: although they’re terrifying, they are usually very treatable; many people get rid of them completely only after a few therapy sessions.
The truth is that our mind can be our worst enemy, and it can come up with all sorts of negative thoughts telling us we can’t or won’t change, or that we’re always going to have the same problems in life.
Thankfully, everything is temporary. Including our own negative thoughts.
We tend to resist change. We think the word temporary is scary.
But what if we embraced change, and used life’s unpredictability as a source of motivation and personal growth instead?
Things are going to change anyway.
How we react depends entirely upon us.
So develop a curious mindset. Go with the flow. Learn to adapt and don’t live in the past.
Everything is temporary, but it’s a good thing, as it helps us:
- Experience new (better) things
- Grow mentally and spiritually
- Appreciate the present moment
- Set the most exciting goals
- Realize pain is temporary as well