You can never step into the same river twice.
What does this really mean? It’s a quote by Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in 544 BC. He actually said “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Basically, it means that people change all the time, and situations change around them all the time too. Something you didn’t know only a couple of minutes ago can change what you think about things once you know it. A situation you were considering or looking at yesterday can be considerably different today because of something that happened in the meantime.
That means that you have the chance to continually re-evaluate everything you do. Everything is in a state of flux, all the time. So to take advantage of this fact, you need to embrace change – not fear it.
If you try to dam a river, eventually the river will break through, or the dam will burst, unless you engineer things in such a way as to periodically alleviate the pressure of water which builds up all the time. And even then, things can happen unexpectedly both to the river and to the dam, which changes things again. If and when that happens, re-evaluation is swiftly required.
We live in a dynamic environment, an ever-changing world. Tomorrow, things will look, and very possibly be different. You will think differently about them, because you will be a different person too tomorrow. Problems you encounter might seem to be basically the same, but that doesn’t mean you have to approach them in quite the same way as you did yesterday.
Think differently, see with new eyes.
All this is a good thing though. Change means things stay alive – change means things grow, including you. If a plant stops growing, it dies, if a shark stops moving, it dies, fire cannot remain alight, unless it is in constant movement.
So instead of just accepting things as they are, and thinking things will always remain the same, recognise the reality. Everything and everybody is always changing. Constantly re-appraise your life. If you don’t, you’ll atrophy and die. You won’t be able to step into the river again. All you’ll be able to do is flounder about in an ever-diminishing stagnant pond, which will eventually dwindle to a tiny puddle, and then vanish.
He knew a thing or two, that Heraclitus.