“Real change is made when the direction includes more than just yourself.”
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of personal growth is a realization that you’ve been wrong in some aspect of your thinking. Many find great satisfaction in being recognized for their intellectual attributes. When some flaw or error is discovered, it may feel like a blow to one’s self-confidence. However, any moment of self-growth should never be construed in this way.
Last week’s article challenged people to constantly reexamine thought patterns and process as well as be open to the possibility that change may be needed. But it’s not always clear when or if a change should be made. It’s easy for me to suggest a change is needed but what are the signs and how do we know when it’s necessary?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a local expert who could divvy our stellar advice so we could immediately commence on our journey of unfettered self-development leading to a bright and thriving future?
So how do we know it is time for a change? As just about any other of life’s quandaries, there is no one answer for all of us. Many times, we won’t know until after the fact whether or not the decision was correct. We do our best to gather the information, weigh everything carefully, seek advice, but ultimately, the decision is ours on what action needs to be taken. We must make that determination and ultimately reap or suffer with the consequences of our choices.
It has always been my aim never to tell any of my readers what they ought to do. Even if I were 100% correct it wouldn’t matter because each one of us must embrace and take complete responsibility for that choice. I do recall in years past there were many times I sought the advice of others specifically to feel less blame and responsibility for what the coming result would be.
There are, however, a few indicators which should set off warning signals and I believe should not be a part of your thinking. The first is perhaps my biggest concern. If a person believes the way he or she believes, thinks, or feels about a particular issue is the only correct way, and anyone else who feels differently is wrong, I recommend standing in front of a mirror to see who is really wrong. This is a recipe for disaster. Not only does it instill narrowmindedness and foster arrogance, it initiates and promotes division and strife.
Secondly, if your ideas encourage taking full advantage of others for your benefit, you should definitely reevaluate your intent. I often error on the side of kindness and while many see this as an act of weakness, it actually takes more strength. Imagine for a moment if everyone took this approach, what a better world this would be. Unfortunately, nefarious actions – especially those which tend to generate huge income – are frequently lauded. It’s time that honor, good intention, and kindness usurp the spotlight. Those who’ve been in power learn to manipulate the system specifically to benefit themselves and subjugate those out of their group or trying to annul their power.
Personal development will no doubt require certain modifications in our thinking. But if those changes include exclusion, division, and manipulation, the change is in the wrong direction. Growth ought to shift towards honesty, integrity, and compassion. Not because of some reward we’ll get by doing them but because it’s the decent thing to do and also what we hope to see in others