If You Don’t Understand this Principle, Life will Keep Getting Worse

5 min

Imagine you cleaned your room on January 1. Everything looks well settled into its place. The room looks neat and tidy.

On day two, you look around, and it still looks the same. A week later, a few things are out of place, but it still looks okay.

Imagine that six months have passed without cleaning your room. And even though you didn’t do anything on purpose to mess it up, your room may still look like it was ransacked by burglars.

This gradual movement from order to disorder is caused by one of the most powerful laws of nature, known as entropy.

If you want to become financially independent, for example, and you’re procrastinating working for your dream life, the resistance will increase over time. Right now you may be giving yourself one or two excuses; later, you may find five more to support your decision to NOT start. It’s entropy.

Entropy exists in all parts of our lives.

Don’t keep your clothes in order for a week; a pile appears in your closet out of nowhere.

Don’t exercise and eat junk food for a month, pounds appear out of nowhere.

Once someone asked Ernest Hemingway, “How did I go bankrupt?”

Hemingway said, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Nothing happens all of a sudden. The law of entropy is fixed, but it’s not cruel. It gives us time to get back on track. It gives us signs so we can take control of things.

But we’re unable to see the signs.

We don’t see the signs because it’s impossible to see change in real time. The movement towards chaos is slow. Your face, for example, changes everyday. It’s hard to notice. But if you look at a picture of yourself taken 10 years ago, you can clearly see how much you’ve changed.

Life moves slowly from order to chaos.

If you don’t invest in your relationship and start taking your partner for granted, they may start losing attraction and slowly drift apart. And one day, when they decide to break up, you’re left wondering how the hell that happened.

Love goes sour over time when we forget to show our partner care and attention.

Health continues to fall when we’re unable to control bad habits and addictions.

Memory weakens if you don’t sharpen it with reading or other mental activities.

Human nature is such that if we don’t see the immediate effects of an action, we don’t pay much attention to it. Our blindness to the future consequences of our present actions is what allows the chaos to grow continuously and reach a state where it becomes impossible for us to reverse its effects.

Everything compounds over time, whether good or bad.

Entropy is a force of nature that gradually moves things from order to disorder. Wisdom is to catch yourself when things are in the ‘gradual’ phase. Before things go out of our hands.

We can control its effects only with a continuous conscious force that creates order.

The opposite force is awareness.

Entropy → Disorder

Order ← Awareness

Awareness is the act of paying honest attention. I’ve added the word honest because, without being honest with ourselves, we remain blind to all the signs of disorder created by entropy.

Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in ‘Brothers Karamazov’:

“Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others.”

As an introvert, you’re naturally more self-aware than most people. Your sensitivity makes it easier for you to think, reflect, and analyse the consequences of your own actions.

Awareness, in other words, is facing reality head-on. To see things exactly the way they are without making up mental stories to hide the truth and escape it.

If you’ve gained weight over the years, it’s okay. Maybe you have stress issues or you just love eating. If you gain 25 kg (55 lbs) in two years, you may not even notice it. Because two years is a long time. And another reason is that our brain quickly adapts to change.

But if you’re smart, you should also know that if you don’t apply an opposite force to reverse it or at least maintain it, which in this case could be working out or eating healthy, entropy will make you continue to gain.

It’s not your fault, dear friend; it’s the law of nature. No one is immune to it.

Why do we behave in such an irrational way? The answer lies inside our brains.

Back in the jungles, it was our emotional brain (limbic system) that helped us survive. Our main goals were to survive, eat, and reproduce. As we evolved, we developed a new layer of brain called the prefrontal cortex, which helped us move out of the jungles and build cities and the world that surrounds us.

The emotional brain has limited use, but it’s still there. And any kind of everyday stress may trigger the same old neural pathways that make us make emotional, irrational decisions in the heat of the moment.

Bad habits, procrastination, lack of discipline, or anything that moves your life into disorder stem from your emotional brain (limbic system) overpowering your rational brain (prefrontal cortex).

The emotional brain doesn’t have the capability to analyze and foresee the negative consequences of an action. It only serves the function of behavioral and emotional responses for survival, reproduction, and fight-or-flight responses.

Most people use their emotional brains to make 99% of their life decisions. They live their lives according to trends like:

You only live once

You should try everything once

It’s just this one time. 

This is the last time

Without understanding the tendency of the limbic system. It’s a part of the brain that chases patterns of pleasure and comfort. Once it finds something pleasurable and comfortable, it’s very easy to get yourself settled into a pattern and very hard to break out of it.

On the other hand, the prefrontal cortex serves the functions of making rational decisions, planning ahead, focusing and concentration, and controlling compulsive behavior. Most importantly, it helps us examine the long-term effects of short-term pleasures and control instant gratification.

Or, in other words, it helps us balance out the force of entropy and maintain order in our lives.

A happy, peaceful life is a choice. As Dr. David Hawkins said in ‘Power vs. Force’,

“Recovery from alcoholism can’t be accomplished by fighting intoxication but, rather, only by choosing sobriety”. 

Don’t ask yourself, “how can I lose weight?”

Instead, ask yourself, “What should I avoid that is causing me to gain weight?”

Don’t ask yourself, “How can I become wealthy?”

Ask yourself, “What should I do to avoid losing money?”

If you understand how, if you don’t put in any effort to counter its effects, entropy can gradually destroy your life.

Then, the most important question to ask yourself is:

“What should I avoid that may become a cause for a gradual disorder in my life?”

It could be related to habits, addictions, or indecision. You have to be very honest with yourself.

Self-honesty is one of the most crucial values one can cultivate. In chapter 10 of my book Born to Stand Out’, I’ve given 3 Powerful Core-values of successful introverts. One of three core values is self-honesty.

Pay close attention to your life. Be present in your own life. Observe, analyze and then reflect on the things that are gradually moving your life into disorder.

And then, being completely honest with yourself, make a plan and put in efforts to restore order.

Because until you do something to counter the disorder caused by entropy, things will not get better; they will get worse over time.

Nature always gives us signs. A wake-up call. Consider this letter as one.

Stay blessed,