Our evolution made us develop two ways of instinctively responding to everything around us; fight or flee. While these have been perfect for our survival in the past, our evolution has transformed society and progress has taken the place of survival. Under these new circumstances, our response options have changed as well.
In our modern society, when facing problems, opportunities, challenges, even relationships, we have three options to consider: ignorance, acceptance and change.
Ignorance is what we do in most cases. There are too many things happening around us, too much information, too many people. We filter most of everything simply by ignoring them because they are of no interest to us. Think about all the emails going to our spam folder that we just delete without even looking at them.
We also ignore some other things that interest us just out of commodity, habit or fear. It’s the case of that email you still avoid to answer, the tasks you postpone until the last minute, the person asking for your help that you just put off for later. This is just a way to pretend that the obvious is not there.
Acceptance, on the other hand, is to understand that eventually you will have to answer to that email, to do that task or help that person out, so just get to work. Most times acceptance comes after ignorance, when the latter is no longer an option, when something is right in your face and there is no way around it. You might be able to ignore the emails in your spam folder for ever, but once caught outside in the rain you can’t just ignore it, but accept it.
When you can’t ignore something and you can’t accept it, the only option is to change it. This is what most people think. The truth is that change is inevitable, it’s part of our world, of nature and of society. Most importantly, change is the drive behind our evolution, behind any innovation.
Change should never be considered as the last option but actually the first. When faced with a problem or when something is bothering you, the first thought should be about how to change it, how to make it better, how to improve your life. Only after that should ignorance come in line and only when that does not work should you accept the situation.
Change the things you can change, ignore what can be ignored and only then accept it.