There are many things human beings are capable of doing. Just take a look at the creation of the Internet, astronauts going to outer space, and most recently “Spray Cake.” There is one thing, however, that we as human beings cannot do.
Early on in my career, I used to become frustrated when some of the patients I provided care for didn’t improve. Usually this would happen because they didn’t follow my recommendations for one reason or another. Then one day it hit me:
I can’t change people
NO ONE CAN CHANGE ANYONE ELSE!
Why we can’t change others
To think we can change others, means we think that we have control over others. It’s amazing how many of us think that we have control over certain things, which are, in fact, really out of our control. We can try to force people to do things, which may bring about changes driven by fear, but coercion eventually backfires, creating resistance, resentment and even rebellion. (Just look at all of the world empires in the past.)
We can influence how others feel or how others react, but again, it is their choice as to how they will let it affect them. I can blatantly disrespect 2 different people. One person may want to lash out at me, but the other may ignore me and go on about life.
So how can we change?
We can change once we can accept the fact that the only control we have is over ourselves. This frees us from trying to control everything outside of us, that we really don’t have control over. By doing this, we in effect, can change the world around us. Mahatmah Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
If we make positive changes in ourselves, we can set a good example for others and motivate others to make positive changes. Positivity (like negativity) is contagious, and through a domino effect we can make a positive impact on a universal level. We can also promote change by supporting others and providing them with a healthy environment for when they are ready to change.
This does not mean, however, that we should change ourselves to make others like us or view us a certain way. This is still a form of control and will attract controlling and manipulative people into our life. Wanting others to view us differently implies that deep within we don’t want them to see who we really are, which is an imperfectly perfect human.
People change when they want to change
I can help in changing a lot of things when it comes to people’s health (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc). Ultimately those changes occur when a patient makes the choice to take my advice and/or be accountable for his or her own health. Take smoking cigarettes, for example. The most successful way I have ever known someone to quit smoking, was to JUST QUIT. They didn’t need a nicotine patch, e-cigs or even prescription medications. It didn’t happen when someone else wanted them to quit. They did on their own terms.
Making the impossible, possible
I’m glad I learned early on in my career that I can’t change people. I know that my intentions are to help people and I will do my part, and that’s all that matters. If you can accept the fact that the only control you have is over yourself, you will lift a huge burden off of your shoulders and you won’t need to control life, because then life will just flow.
If you want to see changes in your life and your world, stop trying to change the outside. Stop fighting others. Stop trying to control others. Change yourself on the inside and the outside changes will follow.
Do you have an idea, product, or skill set that can help change the world? Consider sharing it at the World’s First Pay it Forward Platform at the milliondollarmosaic.org. You can also check out my book for some helpful tips on how to make positive changes within.