Who among us hasn’t wondered why people don’t just do things our way? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone just adopted our way of thinking? Our process? Our ideas and solutions? As often as people dream about this very concept, unfortunately, there are 7.4 billion people on our planet and therefore, 7.4 billion ideas of what the right way is to do something.
We can’t change others. That’s a simple truth. But there’s one person we can change – ourselves. Not the answer you were hoping for, right? But have no fear. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually an opportunity to develop and strengthen our personal character. So with that said, how can we change ourselves when we can’t change the world?
- Stop worrying about what the world can do for you, and start thinking of what you can do for the world. As a whole, we are generally very self-centered, but when we stop thinking inwardly and think outwardly, the coolest thing happens. We grow. When we give, we grow, and by enriching others, we enrich ourselves.
- Live in the moment. We can’t change yesterday, and there’s no way to predict what tomorrow will bring. Staying focused in the moment will allow you to recognize moments and make memories that you may miss if you’re always looking over your shoulder or trying to see beyond the horizon.
- Turn the overthinking down from 11. If you’re an over-thinker, you know the vicious cycle overthinking leads to. This kind of ties into “living in the moment,” but a subset of that is to simply be. Don’t try to read into things or analyze what someone else is thinking or feeling.
- Try to see things from a new perspective. One of the most challenging things to do is to try to understand a perspective we don’t agree with. But oh, goodness – what a nicer place the world would be if we could collectively agree to TRY to understand another’s point of view. It’s a mindset that has to start somewhere, right? Be a trendsetter. Try to understand another point of view.
- Recognize that there are three sides to every story. Hers. And the truth. It’s not that His or Her are lying, but people perceive experiences differently. And from His perspective and Hers, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. When we understand that others have experienced and perceived shared memories differently from us, that’s a good thing! Obviously, when a blatant lie is shoved in there, that’s a different matter. But on the whole, it’s okay if others don’t agree on every detail.
- George Harrison sang it – It’s Gonna Take Time!A Whole Lotta Precious Time. Few things change overnight, and attitudes definitely don’t. Be patient with others; be patient with yourself. And give yourself the grace to make changes slowly.
- Be intentional. No one teaches intentional living better than John Maxwell so if you’re looking to make changes to yourself, his books are a great place to start.
- Redefine your expectations. A good chunk of our communication issues come from issues with our expectations. You can’t expect others to know what you expect if you don’t tell them. And sometimes, our expectations are too high or unreasonable. When that happens, it’s easier to re-define our own expectations instead of getting frustrated that others fail to measure up.
We can’t change anyone but ourselves. And sure – there are those who believe that they are set in their ways. But a person with resolve and strong determination can do incredible things. Change begins from the inside and, who knows? By making your own personal changes, you may find others rise to the challenge and change as well.