A good while ago, I told you The Belief That’s Sabotaging Your Marriage is “people do not change”. This is an often-repeated lie, but it is still a lie. Recently a study gave some support to the idea we all change, and do so for as long as we live. The story People underestimate how much they might change in the future does a good job of covering the study, why some have said it was not very good, and why it probably is actually very useful. (My comments go beyond what is in this story, as I have read several other sources.)
The study asked adults age 18 to 68 questions about their personality in two ways – first as they are now, and then as they were ten years ago or as they think they will be in ten years. While everyone thought they had changed a good deal in the last ten years, most did not think they would change much in the next ten years. Most folks felt they had reached a mature and stable place in their personality, and would not change a great deal in the future. Thing is, when they looked at how much a certain age group had changed in the last ten years and compared it to how much those ten years younger predicted they would change over the next ten years, they consistently found predicted change was less than actual change. In short, we predict we will change less than we actually do, and we seem to do this for most if not all of our lives.
So, you are going to change. You probably don’t think you will change very much, but you will. As long as you are going to change, why not make an effort to change for the better?
BONUS: On a similar note, I have noticed some folks get mentally, emotionally, and socially smaller as they age; it is as if their existence contracts. It seems this often starts when a person hits a certain age; 60 and 70 are common, but some do it as young as 50. Alternatively, people do this at some life landmark, like retiring, or their last child getting married. They hit some point, and from then on, they don’t grow, they shrink. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN! I know some 70 and better folks who are doing more than most people half their age. They are growing, they have new ideas, they have plans, and they are doing things. There is no winding down for these people, they will keep going till they drop – and they wouldn’t have it any other way. This is a choice, a choice we can all make. If we do not choose otherwise, we will at some point start to get smaller. I do not think anyone chooses to shrink; it’s just what happens if you don’t choose NOT to.
Speaking of change: Can I get you to change how you shop on-line? If you go here, and click on any of the on-line retailers, you will pay the same but I will get a bit of a kickback. It takes a couple of seconds, and it really could help us. You can also go to the Generous Husband web site and click the image on the right side showing a number of merchants. THANKS!