162 – Change Yourself First

Don’t badger people about their need to change. It’s best if you just live your life wisely. That will inspire others in some way, thus offering the best chance that others will choose to change.

You don’t want people to change to whatever things you dictate for them, to become the image you make them into. You will be much happier with friends who gladly live out their own empowered lives. Having real, genuine relationships requires that you accept people as they are.

Give tips, such as brushing teeth (a bigger problem outside the West, but just for example). But, tips are not any attempt to fundamentally change someone’s bad habits or hygiene. People always grow and change.

Change comes by inspiration. We change into whomever we need to in order to pursue what captivates us. So, rather than “changing” others, change yourself; become captivating just by existing, without explanation. Be an inspiration by example. Improve your own habits. Get better at whatever you want other people to do. When we perceive that we want something to change in someone else, that’s Life’s way of showing us what to change about ourselves. Once you truly, fully, all-out, no-stops change yourself into top-grade material, you won’t even care to consider changing others. You’ll find “changing others” was just a distraction from the most important person to give a talk to: the one in the mirror.

The tongue gets everyone into a lot of trouble no matter how old we get. The best way to rein it in is to focus: Manage your own life. Then you will be comfortable with one-word answers, whether you give the answer or whether someone gives the answer to you. You won’t spill your beans when someone asks an inflammatory question or hurtles accusation. You won’t need to lie or feel guilty. You’ll easily speak only what helps, rebuking no more than necessary, never complaining, focusing on the helpful difference you can make.

If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything. Change yourself first. Talk about what you’ve done and the changes you’ve made yourself. Everything else is superfluous. Change is contagious and it starts with changing oneself.