Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Status quo

Inertia has two distinct parts. The first is that objects in motion will continue their motion toward the same unless there is a force that changes the motion. The second one is that objects that are at rest will remain at rest unless they are acted upon a force. The Status quo is about the second part. It is all around us as the first part. People, their bodies, and organizations all want to protect their status quo. Even the people who should be the most rational, scientists, suffer from it. Changing the status quo is hard, but not impossible.

Status quo, bodies, and minds

Your body and mind both have a tendency to preserve the status quo. Your body wants to keep its temperature within a certain range and wants to keep fluids in balance. Status quo helps your body to function in optimal ways and to prepare for any threats that might get in your way. When the temperature rises, your body starts to sweat more in order to keep its temperature within the range. This happens to many other functions and other temperature changes or changes inside your body. Your body is full of balancing feedback loops that focus on keeping its status quo. Otherwise, your body would collapse and the death would occur fast.

Your beliefs and identity have status quo. Your thoughts also depend on it. Your mind keeps producing the same answers to questions day after day. It rarely produces any new thoughts even when they are important or necessary. It is even rarer that your mind destroys your old thoughts about the situations you normally confront.

Science and status quo

You might believe that scientists are the most rational people. You might think that they are willing to get rid of their old assumptions and change their views after you have given them evidence that they were wrong. This rarely happens in real life. For example, it took centuries or even millennia to approve the fact that earth is not the center of the universe. Science is changed by the crazy ones who are willing to endure to prove themselves right when people with old theories abuse them. Scientists are humans and they have egos and psychological biases.

Once scientists have made their conclusions about their research, they will toss out most evidence against their theories. They cannot objectively see their results after they have made their conclusions. They are willing to preserve their status quo at almost any cost. You will not easily find a scientist who is willing to destroy his theories even though the evidence shows them wrong. What you will find are scientists who disapprove of all people who can convince others that they were wrong. These people are the last ones who will change their minds. Their egos cannot handle contrarian evidence. This does not mean that science is bullshit. On the contrary, it means that the process is working. This resistance is part of the due process.

How to beat it

The longer the status quo has worked, the harder it is to break it. And the harder it is, the more effort and wisdom you need to overcome it. Willpower will not get you far. You can use it and beat the status quo for a short time, but eventually, you will succumb back to your previous situation. You have to use your path of least resistance and increase it bit by bit to overcome the status quo in your current environment. You have to start the change with minimal steps. If you increase steps too fast, you will fail. Then, you have to start again, but it will be a bit harder. The effort you have to put to reach the next step will increase. When you use incremental steps long, you can reach the critical mass needed to change and get in a position where the change will happen.

Even though the path least of resistance is key to change the status quo, there are few other ways you can make the change easier. In other words, you can make the resistance smaller. Use your psychological tendencies to weaken the resistance. You can cheat yourself with them to put more effort to overcome the status quo. If you can change your environment to overcome the status quo, do it. You can increase the availability of the triggers that will move you in the right direction. This is easier when the environment has changed. Sometimes the only way you can make the change is to change your environment. This is important especially with addictions.

Until next time!

-TT

PS. Do you consider yourself a helpful person? If you found anything useful in this text, please teach it to your friends.

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