Change is not a commodity

[C]hange does not take technology, it takes courage. And, this is why change is not a commodity. Change is not easy nor is it formulaic. But I can say this with the utmost conviction, change is inevitable and it is yours to define.

~ Brian Solis, from

If you want to affect change you must first understand which sorts of changes are difficult and why.

On the one hand, things change all the time. A great definition of “old age” is when you begin to lament the inevitable changes to the specific things you prefer in your supermarket. On the other hand, affecting a change that you desire feels extremely difficult. (Go try to bring back your favorite brand of mustard after the manufacturer has discontinued it.)

On the one hand, there’s a huge array of things I can change easily: My shirt, the book I’m reading, and the lane I’m driving in. On the other hand I quite honestly struggle changing my physical body, my bad habits, and my addictions.

On the one hand, changing thousands of minds at once is easy: Give me a few orange cones and I can make everyone change their mind about always driving on the correct side of the road. On the other hand, it seems impossible to get people to do the correct thing, when they are waiting to turn left at a two-way stop sign, and I arrive opposite them intending to go straight.

On the one hand, millions of people have been convinced to spend their time on social networks. On the other hand, try convincing just one of them to disconnect.

Sometimes a piece of technology is enough to change everything and everyone. Sometimes no piece of technology seems powerful enough to get it done. Sometimes a tiny idea spreads like wildfire, and sometimes the mindless mob wins. Sometimes people are swayed by emotion, and sometimes they make choices based on logic. Sometimes change is objectively good, sometimes it’s objectively bad, and sometimes it seems too complicated to decide.

The important question is: What sort of change do you want to attempt?