Who is the only person I can change ? Right - Myself. I bet you've known that for a long time . So basic , so fundamental . Here's another question for you . As you are reading this article ,who have you been picturing , thinking , "I wish they could hear this , coz they need it ?!" It happens all the time .We say , "I can only change me ," but then when asked , " who have you been thinking needs this article ?" we say "They Do!"
Have you ever tried to "fix" anybody lately? We all do it. Some of us don't think that we are trying to change people, even when we are .A director says to his team members that," m not trying to change my assistant .I'm not ! I just think that she should set more long-term goals for herself ." Translation : "I want her to be what I want her to be ."
Others know that they are doing it , but they just want to admit it .I was talking to this lady who was the aassistant to the Chapters President on the day of a Spelling Bee Competition who was making the final arrangements of the program. She said ," Do you know why I'm doing this ?" "Sure", I said , cautiously , wondering where this was leading . She said , she wanted to fix the president. I asked, "Why?" She kept on explaining n reasoning that she is been struggling for so long for that role n stuff .But instead of taking responsibility and dealing with the situation in a direct n honest way , she chose to fix him . The words she used always stuck in my mind .
Still others think that its their job to change people. I was visiting this man who was in his late twenties who actually said ,"I believe it's my job to change the people ---- I'm the manager . Sorry .Manager don't chnage people .They coach , counsel, train, teach and guide , but no one change another person. Change only comes from the inside, as a result of decisions made by the individual .
This is a hard lesson to learn , and even when we say we "get it" there's a big difference between understanding the idea ,"Yes i can only change myself" and honestly examining the reality of our thoughts and actions.
This was a frequently asked question to a group ," Whats that one thing you would change to improve the effectiveness of your softdrink business?" Usually they come out with the list of P's : Products, Pricing, Processes, Policies, Procedure ,Promotion n above all People .More people , fewer people , different people .But only one guy said ,"from Coke to Pepsi" . Yes , if only we'd switch the pop machine in he break room from Coke to Pepsi ."
People's minds fill with all kinds of ideas when asked what they would change to improve things .But guess what ? Nobody ever says "ME!" I would change me for the betterment of our company .Our thoughts almost always focus elsewhere first. Asking questions that begin with "What" or "How" and contain an "I" brings our focus back to ourselves.
How much better things would be if we all tried to mold and shape our own thoughts and actions rather than those of others . The bottom line is "You can change only yourself."