Have you seen ELF, the famous Will Ferrell Christmas movie? If so you will likely remember the scene where he picks up someone else's phone and answers it with "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" What's more, you have probably quoted that at some point in daily life.
I want you to answer Buddy’s question. What is your favorite color?
Umm why is Taylor asking me my favorite color? This isn't elementary school. Great question. Before I explain why I'm curious, I also want to know if your favorite color has changed over time or if it has remained the same.
While you think about your answers, let me tell you a story.
Cheating on Green
Throughout all of childhood, my favorite color was green. Plain old classic green. I loved the certainty of having green as my favorite color. It was something I knew to be consistent about myself. In high school, it changed to "hunter green". I was okay with the change because it was simply another shade of the same color, like a graduated to a bolder version of it.
But then college came and I realized how much I loved navy blue. OH BOY. STOP THE PRESSES. That it was one of the constituent colors that combine to make green did not matter to me. It was a totally different color. What the heck was wrong with me? Had I changed? Why did I suddenly cheat on Green with Blue?? In college, I came into my own fashion style - finally - and learned that I happened to look really good in navy blue (if I say so myself). It also happened to be one of my school's colors. As I was developing into a mature, learned young man, navy blue seemed to be equally adult and bold.
Nowadays, I kinda like purple and I am not sure why. I only own a single garment that is purple and nothing about my work or life currently connects to purple in any way, but for some reason I have begun to see it as bold and powerful in its own right.
I rarely think about green anymore. No fault goes to green, but life has changed. I have changed. It is okay that my favorite color has not remained the same, just like my taste for certain foods has changed over time.
What does this mean?
Our brains crave routines.
Predictability and consistency allow the circuits in our brains to become strong and straight. A super easy flow of energy.
Predictability leads to certainty. Certainty represents a lack of threat. A lack of threat means survival. Routines, therefore, help our survival.
This is why we latch on to a certain idea of who we are that we call an identity. It is a consistent sense of self that we can rely on and that does not pose any kind of threat to our ongoing survival.
The problem, though, is that many of us believe that survival is more important than evolution.
As a result, people blind themselves from their everyday growth and prohibit themselves from progress that they wish to make. You probably know people who settle for a job, relationship, or hobby that does not actually excite them. They do this because it is predictable and consistent, and that consistency offers such great comfort that the thought of a risky life change, though ultimately for something fulfilling, is not compelling enough.
But we evolve all the time. Molecules are never stationary. Everything that makes up the universe is endlessly in motion. No matter how predictable and comfortable and settled we make our lives, nothing about it ever stays the same.
So if what is "predictable" in your life actually continues to be tested and transform itself every second of the day, why not embrace that evolution?
Evolution happens whether you like it or not. The question is whether or not you want to be the one driving it.
In other words: do you wish to let life happen to you or would you like to be involved with your own progress?
In other words: can you be proud of the fact that your favorite color has changed?
If so, you will not just survive, but you will grow in ways that you want to and you will enjoy your evolution along the way.