It’s The Other Way Around

People want their lives to change but they don’t do anything about it.  They simply expect things to change due to the decay of time while they remain stagnant in their existence and development.  I speak of people who vow to be happy ONLY after finding their ‘true love’ or people who vow to work harder ONLY IF they have been given a raise.  These people seek to change themselves based on the movement of their environment; and as what mature people would know, these vows are seldom fulfilled.  If people wait for external circumstances to act as cues to their actions, then they’ll be out on a long journey of waiting and more waiting.  If I wait for my first million before I’ll start up my business, then honestly, I may never ever put up my own business.  This reminds me of what my Singaporean friends would say: “you wait long long.”

Stuck in your mundane life of meaningless routines? What are you really waiting for?

I have encountered a lot of people in counselling who want to change their attitude, behavior, and life.  Some people want to be less angry (anger management), while some seek to be free of their past hurt (unrequited love).  Their main problem lies in their belief that they can only change IF certain conditions in their life are met.  “I’ll be less angry IF my wife stops nagging at me” or “I can only let her go IF I meet someone new.”  What most of these people don’t realize is that their lives won’t change unless they themselves alter a few things within themselves.  This actually reminds me of a humorous but nonetheless correct definition of insanity which states that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (by the way, I doubt that Albert Einstein was the one who said this).  If gambling hasn’t been making you money for over a year, then let it go.  If sexual addiction is driving you to depression and meaninglessness then it will NEVER just one day give you true happiness and meaning.  If you only vow to stop smoking when you get a boyfriend who will treat you right, then you may never stop smoking, because most guys hate kissing smokers!

People have it the other way around.  They are waiting for life to change before they change from within.  If they really want life to change, they should first be working on themselves.  If I vow to be less an angry person base on people’s behavior towards me, then I will never be less angry.  That’s because as long as I’m an angry person, people would continue treating me like an angry person!  What I can do right now is change my attitude towards life and change my attitude towards people.  This would help me lower my anger and treat people and the world differently.  Once I change, people and the world around me would change.

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.

-Michael Jackson, Man in The Mirror

Life responds to us as we respond to life.  We do not base our happiness base on our bank account reserves; instead, we become happy NOW and see our bank accounts attract more money.  You see happiness, like most attitudes and actions, are founded on internal states of the person and are NOT found in the environment.  Have you ever observed that true love and true success don’t install themselves on the angry and miserable person?

Show me a change in attitude and I will show you behavioral changes that will cause everything around you to change – for the better.