Changing Ourselves

We have all heard the wise saying, “The only constant in the world is change.” Change is, indeed, inevitable and has always been a part of human existence, but the pace of change seems to be accelerating. Change is uncomfortable for us all. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit we have a bias toward the way things are in our world today.

In addition to these columns, I write books, make speeches, produce movies, and run a television network. As a part of my duties as president of the Narrative Television Network, several years ago I was called upon to make a presentation at a city council meeting in Houston since we were negotiating for channel space on the various cable TV systems there.

When I arrived at the city council meeting, I was informed that our presentation was the second one on the agenda, and the first presentation would be a proposal to install a light rail system throughout the Houston area. The promoter of the rail system explained to the city council and the rest of us assembled there that a commuter train system would relieve the overburdened surface street and expressway system throughout Houston and help with the endless traffic jams they were experiencing. When one of the city councilors asked if there were any polling results showing people’s preference to ride the train, the promoter of the light rail system responded, “No one wants to ride the train. They just want everyone else to ride the train so they can continue to drive to work the way they have always done.”

At the end of the day, we thankfully got our channel on the Houston cable TV system, and the light rail commuter train system proposal was rejected; but the enduring lesson I learned from that meeting was the fact that the only change we eagerly embrace is the change that will cause other people to alter their activities so we can keep ours the same.

While we should never change simply for the sake of being different, we must be willing to keep an open mind and try to focus upon what we want to get done and not how we want to do it. We must keep our mission as a permanent fixture and constant while being flexible enough with our methods to allow for change.

My late, great friend and colleague Paul Harvey was fond of saying, “Not everything we call progress is progress.” Just because it’s different, it’s not automatically better, but it’s not inevitably worse.

As you go through your day today, don’t focus on change or staying the same.  Focus on being the best.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; or on Facebook at

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