The truth today, a lie tomorrow


It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

In 2012 National Geographic released an amazing movie called “The History of Earth”. Creators created a photographic journey thorough time from the violent birth of our planet four and a half billion years ago, through ice-ages, massive volcanic eruptions and the dinosaurs’ reign to the first humans. This movie, dinosaurs and first mammals story in particular, gave an idea for my speech.

Dinosaurs were one of the most successful species. They survived volcanic eruptions and earth quakes. The dinosaurs lived for more than 160 million years. Nothing on Earth could challenge their dominance. Nothing on Earth… A huge asteroid, bigger than Mt. Everest, struck Earth with an immense force. In a split of a second world changed completely. Earth quakes shook the ground, tsunami’s battled the coast, dust engulfed the planet. Without sunlight plants died and animals started starving.Dinosaurs era came to the end. However, dinosaurs extinction brought opportunities for another species, a mammal. By living underground, mammals have avoided heat and by eating everything they survived, while more selective eaters died.

One story ends, another begins

In today’s world if a huge space rock appears on the horizon all we could do is observe the impact. Instead, what if every change in our lives could be compared to “a huge asteroid”. An asteroid which destroys existing rules, requires us to adapt to a new environment. And if we can’t act quickly, we extinct, like dinosaurs did… What are you writing about? I don’t get you? - you might say. An example. You like your manager and you perceive him as a great leader. One day he gets really sick and you get another guy above you - a douche bag this time. What do you do? How do you react? That douche bag could be compared to “a huge asteroid”. Your life will become different to some extent.

How could we prepare ourselves for changes?

1. Find a mentor

In other words - find a person you would like to be similar to. A person that will help you find an answer to your difficult questions, teach you different perspectives.

2. Expect things to change

Don’t think you reached some level and nothing will change in your life. Professions appear and disappear. One of the professions that disappeared long long time ago was ice cutters. They had over 50 years to react and find a new occupation, but how would you know? My recommendation here: follow your industry leaders, read blogs and listen to podcasts.

3. Seek and give feedback

Your work is not you. Don’t take constructive criticism about your work as an insult. Treat it as a valuable lesson that will help you excel faster. Your work is not you and you should always seek for a feedback, you should be open for new ideas. Remember, mistakes don’t make you smarter. Unless you know you made a mistake. And how you know you made a mistake? Ask for a feedback!

My performance at the university (in lithuanian)

I'm Valdas Maksimavicius. I write about data, cloud technologies and personal development. You can find more about me here.