How and why are the rules of life constantly changing? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
The rules of life are constantly changing because the environment in which life exists is constantly changing.
Many millions of years ago, our ancestors lived in trees in what is now central Africa. Life was good. Fruit was abundant. Predators lived on the ground (mostly), and we were pretty brainy and communicative and these could be easily avoided.
But then the rules changed.
Shifts in climate dried out our environment and forests receded. Grasslands emerged, and our lives became chaotic. We had two options: follow the trees or adapt to the grass.
Some of our ancestors did not adapt. They moved with the forests, staying where life didn’t change much. And they, consequently, didn’t change much. We call them chimpanzees and bonobos today, and there they are, living in what is left of the forests of Africa.
But others adapted. Evolutionary pressures favored upright walking, tool use, bigger brains, the ability to communicate, opposable thumbs, etc. These traits passed on, and others were lost. But every day was different. Species rose and fell, weather and climate changed, relationships between individuals were changed. We were faced with a perpetual race to keep up with the changes around us.
And we still are.
Success today depends on the ability to deal with 2016 life. But 2017 life will be slightly different, and new skills will be heavily favored.
30 years ago, my mother insisted that I learn to type. I have been enormously grateful for this skill. But there will come a time when it is not needed, having been replaced by something better.
The rules of life are always changing because the world is always changing. Tomorrow will be different than today, and so you must be different to succeed.
Prepare to change.
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