Can people really change? (Day #27)

Alex Barrera
3 min readDec 27, 2016
Throwback moment. Can you find me in this picture?

The never ending question. The source of so many discussions.

Let me start by saying that the human mind is complex, to say the least. Despite being predictable irrational, it’s still capable of an immense number of permutations.

And while there are base patterns that are predictable, each person has a unique perspective of the world. So each person IS different and will react differently to change.

Now, can people really change? I do believe in change. I’ve experienced it in my life, in other people and all around. Is it easy? No. Can everybody do it? Probably not.

I believe change requires a massive mental strength. As I said before, not everyone is the same, so not everybody is born with an innate mental power.For some people, applying mental Jiu Jitsu is easier than others, it takes less effort, or they do it faster.

That fact doesn’t mean though that we can’t learn. I’m a firm believer on what the Dalai Lama says over and over:

“If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

I’ve always been bad at math. I love science and numbers with passion, but my brain is just not the most efficient with them. Nevertheless, I got A’s in Math and Physics. It was hard. It took me painful hours to get there. But I got there, and I’m very proud of my work.

The same applies for our minds. Some people are gifted with incredible mental strength. Others need to work their asses to get there, but there they’ll get. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

Then it’s important to understand that my way isn’t your way. My path doesn’t necessarily need to be your path. Today I read a wonderful Zen quote:

“Just as many streams lead to the ocean, where they merge into the uniform flavor of salt, goes the ancient metaphor, so do the teachings of enlightenment lead to the ocean of enlightenment and merge into the uniform flavor of liberation.” — Blue Cliff Record

Your stream might be different to mine, but the end goal will be similar. We can change, we do change, we just take different paths. Some will go faster than others, some will be more drastic than others, but there shall be change.

The major obstacle to change is in our minds. Is in thinking WE can’t change, that we will never change.

Maybe the most important aspect of change is the willingness to change. The roadblocks aren’t outside us. They are not our situation or social status or situation in life. The major obstacle to change is in our minds. Is in thinking WE can’t change, that we will never change.

If you want, you will change. If you don’t want, you won’t. It’s as simple as that.

What people refer to, “he will never change,” really means “he will never make an effort to change,” which is a very different proposition.

Sometimes people aren’t offered an option. They’ll face a life threatening situation and will be pushed to change. Nothing like facing our own mortality to make us reconsider our habits, our ways.

We are ‘we.’ But ‘we’ can take many different forms.

So yes, I believe we can change. Not only a little bit but to completely reinvent ourselves. We are ‘we.’ But ‘we’ can take many different forms. It takes a spark, a need for change, followed by hard work. Work that every human can undertake if they want to.

There is no magic; there is constancy. There is no shortcut; there is relentlessness. There is no easy; there is growing up.

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama

This post is part of my 30 Days Writing Challenge. If you want to check out the previous post, here you have an index.



Alex Barrera

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.