I hear it all the time. Personally I’ve fallen into this seductive trap. It’s siren call can be compelling. “She needs to change this about her, then I’ll be happy. He needs to change this. If only they’d change this…” Of course, the list grows and grows. In truth, it’s an ever-expanding, even endless list. How sad. How dis-empowering.
Waiting for others to change is a fools errand, however tempting. We’ve all been there. We’ve all tasted the bitter fallacy. Expecting someone else to change their behavior is controlling and arrogant, no matter how we justify it. Yes, it’s much easier to point a finger at others. I sure prefer it to looking at my own behavior. Yet, in the long run, it stifles our personal growth. After all, as long as we can point the finger at someone else, we don’t have to take responsibility for our own life. It takes us off the hook.
I know the refrain: “But I’m just trying to be helpful. But it’s true. But I’m right.” So what? It doesn’t change a thing in terms of your personal happiness, your empowerment. It’s just a distraction. A distraction from yourself. A distraction from successfully and gracefully navigating through your own life.
Once the truth of accepting responsibility for our happiness finally sinks in, it’s so liberating. It’s like opening the windows in a mountain cabin and letting a fresh breeze sweep through. The energy it frees up! You can channel this energy to your life. Your goals. Your desires. You’ll find yourself spontaneously doing things you’ve put off. You’ll accomplish more each week while seemingly working less. You’ll experience less struggle. Things just seem to flow.
So the next time you’re tempted to focus on how someone else should change so you can be happy, just remember – it matters not.
You matter. Your life matters. Claim it.