clouds in blue sky above green ground, spell the word change and an arrow

Personal change, social change, change in our environment — change, as the quote goes, is the only constant in life. Yet managing change, choosing change, sticking with positive change — that can be difficult.

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It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.

— Ralph Ellison

Life is a progress, and not a station.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be hopeful means to be uncertain about the future, to be tender toward possibilities, to be dedicated to change all the way down to the bottom of your heart.

— Rebecca Solnit

The victorious man in the day of crisis is the man who has the serenity to accept what he cannot help and the courage to change what must be altered.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

— Richard Bach

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.

— Richard Feynman

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

— Rob Siltanen

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

— Robert F. Kennedy

Most of the change we think we see in life Is due to truths being in and out of favor.

— Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

— Robert Frost

Change does not fail to occur because of insincerity. The heart patient is not insincere about his wish to keep living, even as he reaches for another cigarette. Change fails to occur because we mean both things. It fails to occur because we are a living contradiction.

— Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change

It is not change that causes anxiety; it is the feeling that we are without defenses in the presence of what we see as danger that causes anxiety.

— Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change

That ‘change makes us uncomfortable’ is now one of the most widely promoted, widely accepted, and underconsidered half-truths around…. [I]t is not change by itself that makes us uncomfortable; it is not even change that involves taking on something very difficult. Rather, it is change that leaves us feeling defenseless before the dangers we ‘know’ to be present that causes us anxiety.

— Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change

If we take time to reflect together on who we are and who we could choose to become, we will be led into the territory where change originates.

— Roger Heuser and ‎Norman Shawchuck, Leading the Congregation

I must make the important distinction between the rebel and the revolutionary. One is in ineradicable opposition to the other. The revolutionary seeks an external political change…. The origin of the term is the word revolve, literally meaning a turnover, as the revolution of a wheel. When the conditions under a given government are insufferable some groups may seek to break down that government in the conviction that any new form cannot but be better. Many revolutions, however, simply substitute one kind of government for another, the second no better than the first — which leaves the individual citizen, who has had to endure the inevitable anarchy between the two, worse off than before. Revolution may do more harm than good. The rebel … seeks above all an internal change, a change in the attitudes, emotions, and outlook of the people to whom he is devoted. He often seems to be temperamentally unable to accept success and the ease it brings; he kicks against the pricks, and when one frontier is conquered, he soon becomes ill-at-ease and pushes on to the new frontier. He is drawn to the unquiet minds and spirits, for he shares their everlasting inability to accept stultifying control.

— Rollo May

But to practice leadership, you need to accept that you are in the business of generating chaos, confusion, and conflict….

— Ronald Heifetz, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

— Rosa Parks

Likewise, civilizations have throughout history marched blindly toward disaster, because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today—it is unnatural for us to think that this way of life, this present moment, this order of things is not stable and permanent.

— Roy Scranton

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

— Rumi

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.

— Saint Francis de Sales

Nothing inspires more reverence and awe in me than an old man who knows how to change his mind.

— Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.

— Saul Alinsky

Change comes from power, and power comes from organization.

— Saul D. Alinsky

It doesn’t matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn’t matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years — we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.

— Sharon Salzberg

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Appreciate the fog. It is a natural part of life. It is an essential ingredient to growth.

— Stephen Harrison, Appreciate the Fog: Embrace Change with Power and Purpose

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

— Stephen Hawking

You may wonder, ‘How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?’ The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the ‘same old thing.’ What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.

— Steven Foster, The Book of the Vision Quest

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform.

— Susan B. Anthony

Liminality refers to a quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs during transition. It is described as a time when a person or group of people is in between something that has ended and something else that is not yet ready to begin. Transition experiences follow a predictable pattern that involves separation, liminality, and reorientation.

— Susan Beaumont

You can’t punish yourself into change. You can’t whip yourself into shape. But you can love yourself into well-being.

— Susan Skye

Being yourself is not remaining where you are, or being satisfied with what you are. It is the point of departure.

— Sydney J. Harris

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns.

— Tara Brach

We are uncomfortable because everything in our life keeps changing — our inner moods, our bodies, our work, the people we love, the world we live in. We can’t hold on to anything — a beautiful sunset, a sweet taste, an intimate moment with a lover, our very existence as the body/mind we call self — because all things come and go. Lacking any permanent satisfaction, we continuously need another injection of fuel, stimulation, reassurance from loved ones, medicine, exercise, and meditation. We are continually driven to become something more, to experience something else.

— Tara Brach

How can anyone trust scientists? If new evidence comes along, they change their minds.

— Terry Pratchett, Judgement Day

I have inherited a belief in community, the promise that a gathering of the spirit can both create and change culture. In the desert, change is nurtured even in stone by wind, by water, through time.

— Terry Tempest Williams

The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace and transform. If our hearts are big, we can be like the river.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

— Thomas a Kempis

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.

— Thomas Hardy

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

— Thomas Jefferson

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

— Thomas Jefferson

The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of men change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it. That which may be thought right and found convenient in one age, may be thought wrong and found inconvenient in another. In such cases, who is to decide, the living, or the dead?

— Thomas Paine

I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.

— Thomas Paine

The great reason why the real apostles of truth don’t make any more impression is this — the moment any person among us begins to broach any ‘new views’ and intimate that all things arent exactly right, the conservatives lose no time in holding up their fingers and branding him an unsafe person — fanatic, visionary, insane. If every man who is accused of having a crack in his brain is to be silenced, which of us is safe?

— Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.

— Tom Robbins

He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today.

— Tryon Edwards

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

— Unknown

In his later years Pablo Picasso was not allowed to roam an art gallery unattended, for he had previously been discovered in the act of trying to improve on one of his old masterpieces.

— Unknown
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