Staying right where you are isn't free.

It's easy to think of the status quo as a passive force, something that simply exists without our intervention. But the truth is, maintaining the status quo requires active effort.

Culture and tradition don't persist on their own. They require constant reinforcement to survive.

If a tradition is not actively upheld, it will naturally fade away over time. This means that if the status quo is not shifting, it's because we are actively choosing to maintain it.

But why do we hold on so tightly to the status quo?

Change can be difficult, but it's often because we are so deeply invested in maintaining the way things are. We fear the unknown and cling to the familiar, even when it may not be in our best interest.

This status quo bias is something that has been observed in scientific research.

In one study, researchers found that they could predict an individual's level of success in the workplace based on whether or not they used the default browser that came with their phone.

Those who went to the length of installing a different browser because they knew it would be better, were more likely to challenge assumptions, actively seek out solutions, and be more successful in their careers.

With every day that passes, you're paying the opportunity cost of a better path—the equivalent of a faster browser.

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "There is nothing permanent except change."

What defaults have you accepted without challenge?

What assumptions have you been taught but haven’t tested?

Which of your habits should persist, and what should be discarded or updated?

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