This post is inspired by a previous one called Leading by Example. I love innovating, improving, and reforming things, but I’ve learned that it’s much better to do that for yourself, and let people who are interested in doing something similar come to you of their own free will. Trying to convince someone that they should improve just makes them defensive. If you improve your own life, people who are inspired to do the same will follow you, but those who are stuck in a rut will merely complain and blame others for their misfortune.
There have been times where I wanted to help others improve, but in hindsight I see that part of my motivation for doing it was out of anxiety, and they were reluctantly going along out of niceness anyway. I was wanting to change them in order for me to feel better. Some people just weren’t interested, and I negatively judged them for it, so it was really myself that needed the most reform.
My new way of being is to be internally strong, yet externally flexible. I used to be the opposite. I took everything that people did personally, and felt wishy-washy on the inside. That just made me anxious all the time. Nowadays, I’m very serious about my values and principles, but toward others I’m much more allowing, compassionate, and understanding.