“You can never control or change how others think, feel, or act. You can only change how you think, feel, and act, and lead by example.” ~ Celestine Chua …
Although many of us would not want to admit it, we all try to exert some form of unnecessary control over others from time to time. Most of us tend to downplay it… we say that we are just giving advice or doing something that is “for their own good,” but this is an effort in futility. We will never possess the ability to change how others think, feel, or act through our own coercion. The only way to do so, in a lasting fashion, is to change ourselves, and then lead them by example. This allows others to continue to be their authentic selves, as well as come to the understandings themselves.
When we try to make others how we want them to be we are damning ourselves to frustration, disappointment, anger, despair, and many other negative emotions–nothing positive, wholesome, or good. Of course, when others do what we tell them to, we feel satisfaction for a while, as we feel we have helped them in a sense and perhaps saved them from suffering. The reality of it, however, is that they generally are just trying to appease us because they feel intimidated, annoyed, or just want us to leave them alone. And if that is the case… did we truly change them or even help them at all?
It is important that we allow others to do things in their own ways and then learn from it. It is a powerful way of being there for those we love in a positive and uplifting way. After all, when we experience learning on our own terms, we gain personal insight and investment into our lives and our future. As long as we do not allow our helpfulness to become controlling, we can be a wonderful guide and helpful leader in the lives of those we care about.
Gain a greater degree of control over the way you think, feel, and act today so that you may be a better example to others.
Questions to consider:
In what ways do you attempt to control or change how others think, feel, or act?
What is the difference between giving advice and trying to get someone to do something in a certain way?
How can changing and controlling ourselves positively affect those around us?
For further thought:
“Notice that the moment you become unhappy is usually the moment you attempt to control another person.” ~ Hugh Prather