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Order and Disorder and Your Career
By Harrison Barnes  Follow Me on Twitter

Every single person, place, or thing that you encounter follows these laws, which present and repeat themselves time and time again. In fact, both order and disorder are good things because they can be used to lead to great improvement in our personal lives and in society. How you make order and disorder work for you will in large part determine your success and failure in life and in your career.

A few years ago, a very intelligent friend of mine, an attorney, came over to my house and started telling me about what a good investment property was. He had spent his career advising companies around the world about various legal issues, and he had recently returned from working in Europe. His family owned a large mortgage company and bank, and they had been in the business since the early 1900s. Clearly, banking and property investment were in this guy’s blood.

When I asked him why he was always so enthusiastic about property investment, this is what he said:

“Owning property is insane because you are always under attack. The government is always taxing it and will take it away if you do not pay your taxes. If you owe money to a bank for the property, they want their money at the same time each month and if they do not get their money, they will take your property away. If you have tenants, they may try and sue you if they fall down. If it is commercial property, you have to keep it rented out to keep cash flow coming in the door. Not to mention the fact that the elements are constantly wearing away at the property: Roofs need to be replaced; air conditioners and heaters break. Carpet wears out. Everything in the property is continually falling apart and is in need of repair or replacement. It is a challenge to hold on to a property, which is one major reason why its value increases over time. None of this even takes into account things like earthquakes, wars, and various things that people in other parts of the world need to deal with.”

After he said this, I thought about the statement because there was a lot of depth to it. Here it had come from a man who had spent his entire life and career involved in the property business in one form or another. What he was describing, in effect, was the fact that the longer things are around, the more they tend to lead to disorder. The force that he was describing that made property so difficult to hold on to over time was the force of disorder. This force is incredibly strong and will lead to the breakup of a property very quickly if it is not maintained, taxes are not paid, and people are not living in it constantly.

Have you ever seen what happens to a house that has been abandoned? When I was in law school in Virginia, I lived on a farm that was more than 500 acres. The owner of the farm had several houses scattered throughout the farm, which he rented out for extra income. They were all a mile or so apart, and I lived in one of the houses. There was one house on the farm that the owner had stopped renting out around 10 years previously for some reason.

This is what I discovered from that house. The first thing that happens to homes that are abandoned is that kids generally show up and have fun smashing the windows. I do not know where these kids come from, but you can practically set your watch by it. This particular house was in the middle of nowhere, but still its windows had been shattered. I have seen this phenomenon occur with abandoned houses all over the world. After a house has been abandoned, within a few years weeds start growing, and a process of accelerated decay occurs as bugs, weeds, and all sorts of other elements take over the house and its surrounding area. Within ten years, the house looks like it has been abandoned for one hundred years. The disorder that takes over a house and takes it to the ground and back to nothing, works very, very fast once someone is not there maintaining it.

In Detroit, where I grew up, people burn houses that have been abandoned. They just go and light them on fire. It is as simple as that. This is the ultimate form of disorder. However, once the house has been burned to the ground, all that remains is a lot. The remnants of the house are carted away by city authorities and you are left with the same lot that was there right in the beginning. Disorder leads to order.

When a criminal is out of control, stealing and committing all sorts of crimes, the police do everything they can to find the criminal. When they find him, they put him in handcuffs and then drive him to a prison where he will be put in a small prison cell. In society, our way of controlling criminals is to impose order upon them. Where there is disorder, we create order. Putting a prisoner behind bars is a way we try to impose order on disorder.

When people are happy and feeling good about themselves, it is always a challenge for them to remain in this state. They may feel ordered and content; however, according to natural law, they cannot feel this state forever. They will be under attack from outside forces and the world, and their state will eventually be disturbed. People will insult them. Bad things will happen in the world, which will upset them. Chaos will occur in the world and eventually there will be disorder. The person will become frustrated or discontent about one thing or another. Order naturally leads to disorder, inevitably.

Our bodies are made up of billions of cells, and bones, and tissue. The physical order that we represent will also one day be gone because we will die. When we die, some of us will be cremated and go into the sky as smoke and dust, eventually scattering our remains around the earth. Or, we will be buried, whereby our bodies will decompose over time and eventually turn into the earth. The order that our bodies represent and hold will eventually change into a state of disorder.

  • It is this way for every plant.
  • It is this way for every house and every building.
  • It is this way for every piece of machinery.
  • It is this way for every boat, car, and airplane.
  • It is this way for every single thing on earth.
The order that exists will always become disorganized and put into varying states of disorder. When something is put into a state of disorder, it will be transformed into a new state again, whereby it will once again be reorganized into something that represents order. This is a never-ending cycle.

Ideally, each time something is subjected to further disorder, it has the opportunity to reorganize itself into something different. An example of order coming into being from disorder is the creation of diamonds:

Diamonds form between 120-200 kms or 75-120 miles below the earth’s surface. According to geologists the first delivery of diamonds was somewhere around 2.5 billion years ago and the most recent was 45 million years ago. That is a long time, my friend! According to science, the carbon that makes diamonds, comes from the melting of pre-existing rocks in the Earth’s upper mantle. There is an abundance of carbon atoms in the mantle. Temperature changes in the upper mantle forces the carbon atoms to go deeper where it melts and finally becomes new rock, when the temperature reduces. If other conditions like pressure and chemistry is right then the carbon atoms in the melting crustal rock bond to build diamond crystals. There is no guarantee that these carbon atoms will turn into diamonds. If the temperature rises or the pressure drops then the diamond crystals may melt partially or totally dissolve. Even if they do form, it takes thousands of years for those diamonds to come anywhere near the surface. http://www.gemsutra.com/diamonds.html

The creation of diamonds represents disorder being changed and coming together as something quite beautiful. The pressure on the rocks creates a diamond. However, not every type of disorder becomes something great. When many people are exposed to disorder, what emerges is something bad. In addition, many people stay isolated from others and the world, in an effort to avoid disorder.

When you are in a company and lose your job, you are exposed to disorder. Almost any job you are working at, you will eventually lose or leave–disorder is a natural law. Almost every company that you are working for will eventually go out of business (some time in the future). Many people’s lives and careers are punctuated by an extreme amount of disorder. They move from relationship to relationship and job to job and profession to profession. Each exposure to this lack of security and order in their lives is a chance to expose themselves to disorder, and to potentially change their lives for the better.

When you lose a job, this is an example of being exposed to disorder. How you react to this disorder will, in large part, determine how successful you become in your career and life. Many people panic and get extremely upset and desperate when exposed to this sort of disorder:

  • They take the first job they are offered, even if it is beneath their skill level.
  • They may not look in other geographic areas where there are more opportunities.
  • They may get depressed and turn to drugs and alcohol.
  • They may confine their job search to looking on one job board, rather than exploring all the additional options available.
There are numerous potential responses to disorder when we face it in our lives. Disorder needs to be seen as a good thing and should be viewed as a chance to create a diamond, instead of something worse than what existed before. It is very powerful knowing that the disorder we face will lead to order. If you are not near retirement age and you are fired from a job, or lose a job, you need to understand that the “order” of a new job will come back to your life and you will find another job. Disorder always leads to order. The methods that you follow and how you go about creating the new order, represented here by the new job, are very significant and powerful. When disorder is imposed upon you, or you face impending disorder, it is an incredible opportunity for you to reorganize yourself and your life into something better.

There are all sorts of responses we can have to disorder. I read an interesting article today, about an alarming increase in bank robberies in Spain due to current unemployment rates hovering at 20%. The article dealt with a contractor who had robbed four banks to pay his employees (before he was finally caught). This is a negative response the man had to the disorder he was facing, due to a bad economy. A positive response to a bad economy might be to find new sorts of work that need to be done, instead of robbing a bank. Another response might simply be having fewer employees on the payroll. Disorder always leads to order.

It is the same with relationships. There is order and there is disorder. Both order and disorder are related and are present in every relationship. Sometimes things are going well and other times they are not. Many people crave order in relationships and others crave disorder. In every relationship there will always be order and disorder. It is important to make disorder work for you in relationships and not against you.

Because order always leads to disorder, it is important that we look upon disorder as something positive and not something negative. In addition, there are times when we are in an ordered condition, when being in this condition may not really be in our best interest. There is a real danger in isolating yourself and not allowing yourself to be exposed to disorder. The more you are exposed to disorder, the better the chance that you can reorganize and become ordered at a higher level.

There are many people out there who are in stable relationships but who are not growing in these relationships. They may have paired themselves with people who did not challenge them, or who are far beneath them in terms of intellect or something similar. This is very common. Many people seek out people and situations that do not challenge them so they are not exposed to disorder. They are frightened of disorder. In their careers, many people put themselves in situations wherein they are not challenged, just so they can avoid the risk of being exposed to disorder (i.e., being forced to learn new skills and to push and grow outside of their comfort zone). They choose to live lives of mediocrity and deny the achievement of their own potential, because they are unable to challenge themselves. This is extremely common. It is more than likely occurring with you at some level within your own life.

The two laws that (1) order leads to disorder and (2) disorder leads to order, are something you should understand in your own life. You need to make order and disorder work for you. You need to utilize disorder so that you can grow. The best thing that can often happen to you is to be exposed to disorder by losing a job, or experiencing some other sort of setback. The times we are exposed to disorder are some of the most important times in our lives. Our reaction to disorder shapes our lives to come.


Two fundamental laws of the universe are that order leads to disorder, and disorder leads to order. Since disorder always leads to order, you must always view disorder as a positive rather than a negative; disorder in your life is an opportunity to reorganize your life and career into something better. Making both order and disorder work for you will enhance your chances of success in career and life.

Click here to read more of such interesting articles from our CEO A. Harrison Barnes.

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