Change Yourself Not Others

22 02 2011

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” by Jacob Braude

 
I came across this quote half a year ago and I started to reflect on what it means to me. People often come to me, seeking advice and help, asking for my opinion of a situation they have found themselves to be in. In most cases, my words gave a new perspective; shed a different light on their situation. At the end of our conversation I would see a different person, someone more confident and ready tackle their problems. But in a few weeks or even a few days, I would see them fall into a deeper slump than they were in before. They would continue making the same mistakes, leaving their problem unresolved, putting them into the same or worse position than before. I thought our conversation changed the person but it seems as if all I did was build hope. I realized that I had no control of their actions after the conversation ended.  In a sense, I was angry but something hit me…these people were me. I remember the countless times I sought advice from someone and did the opposite or even worse, did nothing.  As I thought more about myself and I realized why I was upset. I saw my faults, my mistakes and failures in them. I realized how difficult it was for me to change for the better from the advice I received from other people.

 
“Consider how hard it is to change yourself…” We have no control of our environment or the people in it. The only control we do have is over ourselves. Our thoughts, feelings and actions are the only factors in the equation of life you have control of. The reality of life is we shouldn’t expect people to change. More often than not, we know what we should do; yet we go to other people in attempts to validate the decision. If you want different results, a different lifestyle, a change in a relationship you are in, to have a happier life, or even to become successful, you must first make the decision and then change your actions accordingly. Diane Cossie said, “When you want something you have never had you must do what you have never done”

 
“And you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” Again, we have no control over other people’s actions. We can only help others visualize the image they want to become. Help others look into the direction they should go and offer them the tools and choices to make the first step. So how do you change people? We can’t. We must change ourselves and stop trying to change others. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” So if you want to change the world and people in it, be that change. We can’t change a person’s situation, but we can change their perspective on it.  Instead of giving people advice and telling them what we think they should do, we should empower them to make the decision to take actions to change. (Only interfere when it the situation is dangerous and very unhealthy, emotionally or physically.)

 
So when friends and family come to me to talk, how do I help them seek change? I listen to them. A lot of times, people just need someone to vent to, an ear to hear what is going on is their life and how they feel about it. I ask them questions about what they think they should do, what would make them happy, and what they would need to do next in order to make themselves happy. I allow them to talk and hear themselves say, “I’m not happy, I need change.” Trust me; they will need to hear a dozens of times before they actually make a step towards change. Deep down inside they know what to do and regardless of what you say they will do what they want to do.
This quote reminded me the main focus in changing our lives comes down to one factor: YOU. We choose to become better people when make a decision to do so. We observe people we admire and choose to take action to become like our role models. Hundreds of people will influence and motive us to take action but only you have the power to take action.  We should stop point fingers on what others should do because what you say plays very little in their action, rather lets look what actions we can take to create the reality we want in life.

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24 02 2011
Change Yourself Not Others (via John Ulep) « HawaiiToday

[…] It all starts with YOU “Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” by Jacob Braude   I came across this quote half a year ago and I started to reflect on what it means to me. People often come to me, seeking advice and help, asking for my opinion of a situation they have found themselves to be in. In most cases, my words gave a new perspective; shed a different light on their situation. At t … Read More […]

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