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Similar to our story structure, in systems science, equilibrium is the hero’s routine. Our systems are stable, and they consist of repetitive processes. Like a huge corporate you might say.

And this is not always a bad thing. Habits and routines make our life’s easier, they help us safe energy. When we learn something new, it takes an effort. Once we repeat the process then it becomes easier.

Think about the first time you tried to ride a bicycle. That was an experience, you might still remember today. When was it that you first rode the bike without your parents holding the bike? Now try to remember the time you went by bike exactly this week, last year. My guess is, you won’t remember. I wouldn’t at least. The reason is that it didn’t require effort and brain cycles. Bike riding has become second nature to us. We do it based on habit.

Now let me in on habit’s dirty little secret: it is based on repetitiveness. It doesn’t create anything new, and it doesn’t adapt to new situations. When our environment changes, habit keeps doing the same old things over and over.

But equilibrium is only one possible state an element can be in. Which brings us to our next point: disequilibrium.