I Wanted To Change The World

By , 2011


Change is one of the tough choices in life. How many times have you wanted to help someone else change their ways only to find that they keep moving on in the same direction and with the same behaviours and attitudes? You can present as many rational arguments as you want but still the same old same old.

An Example
A a colleague at
work who keeps doing the same job over and over again despite the need to adopt new ways, or more efficient ways to get the job done. What is the reason for this lack of adaptation? One reason may be that they are too set in a comfort zone because that is the way that has always worked for them and they know it cold. To ask them to adopt a new method of working requires them to move out of their comfort zone, and to take a risk that they might not be able to adopt the new procedure without making a mistake.

My Experience Has Taught Me
For several years, I worked in the social justice area and spoke to many hundreds if inmates in provincial prisons, and to inmates on their way to federal penitentiary. During these hundreds of conversations, one theme began to show over and over again. That theme was this: there was nothing I could say or do that would help them to change their
life simply because they did not want to.

To make any kind of change, one has to have the will and
determination to do it. There is only one who can do it and that is the person who is in charge of their own destiny.

The same applies to addicts of any sort. An addict can be sent to a detox centre but upon release, the only decision to get involved again with the addictive substance is the person. Each person has a choice; the
choice to do as one may wish and as one wants remains with the individual. If a person sees no benefit to change, they will not change.

Several years ago, I experienced a similar
challenge with one of my staff members. There was a real need to change the way we conducted our service and I desperately needed everyone on board. Part of the issue with this particular person wasn't that they did not understand the need to change, nor was it that they did not have the experience and knowledge to change. It was really a matter that they did not want to adapt because they had always done it the old way and saw no benefit to doing their particular service in a new way. So, my challenge was to find a special benefit to them so they would decide that to change would be of special benefit to them. In the end, I was able to speak privately with this staff member and outline a special benefit to them that would satisfy her to want to change.

If You Want To Help Someone Change
They must first want to change. If they do not want to change it is the same thing as leading a horse to water. You can get the horse there but you can't make them drink. The story below, which was written by an Unknown Monk, in 1100 A.D., reflects we can only change ourselves.
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world."

Inspirational Quotes To Consider:
"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change." Confucius

"Change always comes bearing gifts." Price Pritchett

"You have control over you and that is the only person you can change. When you realize this you will save yourself a lot of frustration. Remember: you can change YOU and only YOU." Catherine Pulsifer


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