The Answers Have Changed.
Albert Einstein famously gave the students on his course the same examination paper two years running.
Einstein’s assistant asked the professor if he’d noticed it was the same paper with the same questions he’d set the previous year, to which Einstein replied “It’s not a mistake, the questions are the same; but you see, the answers have changed”.
Back in the 1920s and 30s scientific theory was advancing rapidly, so Einstein wasn’t just kidding his assistant – the answers had changed in the intervening year.
And isn’t that true of almost everything in life?
The answers we have as children and teenagers are different than the answers we have when we are older and our lives have changed: parenthood changes everything, divorce and the death of our loved ones; accidents, injury and illness all conspire to keep the answers we need on the move and elusive.
Because everything you currently know is only your best guess, based upon currently available evidence, and that’s the reason why it’s so important to keep learning and to stay curious – because the answers have changed: that’s a fact of life.
If you’re not busy finding out those new answers you’ll probably keep on using your old answers, even though your old answers don’t produce the results you want anymore.
Think of life as being a long corridor with doors all along both sides: you can’t open a door until you’re right in front of it, so unless you are moving along the corridor you only have access to the one door. Learning and growing is what allows you to progress along the corridor, open more doors and find the answers that you need.
So, what are you learning today?
It might not be The Answer, but it could be a clue to where The Answer is hiding.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2017
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